Pokemon Scarlet & Violet launched in a buggy and unpolished mess. That is an indisputable fact! With any other games, this would have been grounds for harsh scrutiny and lowering of review scores. Yet, most reviewers gave the game a surprisingly positive review, in fact, they were willing enough to excuse the clear lack of polish from a studio that has been in the game for more than 25 years, all in the name of loving Pokemon. Myself, I couldn’t help but think of all the other games that have received a lower score or reception simply because of the state in which the game was launched.
As Metacritic collates today’s reviews, the score is currently at 76. To me, any game that sits above a 70 is an indication of a good all-around solid game. That means it runs well, has a decent story, and all the mechanics work. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, unfortunately, did not meet the first mark, running horrendously on the Switch. With a fixed three-year schedule I can understand that it will be tough to iron out small bugs here and there, but to launch in the state that it did, and still be forgiven by many reviewers in their scoring system seems oddly biased. Many games in the past have suffered greatly in review scores because of launching in a poor state, SONIC BOOM: RISE OF LYRIC, WWE 2K20 & ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY to name a few, each receiving scores to match their poor state.
However, like Pokemon Scarlet, games such as Cyberpunk 2077 end up getting good reviews despite launching in what I would argue as unplayable conditions for a $70 game. Nintendo’s case makes it worse since you can’t even refund a bad game unless the collective community complains about it. I can’t tell anymore if it’s selective bias or nostalgia that is at play when it comes to some of these games getting reviewed. However, one thing is for sure, the community does not care about quality in the slightest bit, yet is the pickiest and most complaining community when it comes to Pokemon games. Every year I would see threads of Pokemon fans complain about a past Pokemon game, then line up like sheep to buy the next installment, knowing dam well that nothing has changed. It’s likely a contributing factor as to why Nintendo and GAME FREAK have not bothered with quality control in years.
Everything about Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is honestly a disgrace in terms of quality, something that just should not be the case. The fundamentals are there yes, but I can not excuse the way the game was released and I am beyond dumbfounded by how major reviewers have scored the game so highly.