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Things in Scarlet and Violet you were pleasantly surprised by?


Formerly "Sheeer" | Avatar+ Sig art by Okido
Apr 27, 2022
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What were some things in Scarlet and Violet that you were pleasantly surprised by? Things you weren't expecting to be as good as they ultimately ended up being, or things you just weren't expecting at all.

One thing that comes to mind for me is the handling of Nemona. Was worried she'd be a fairly standard rival, but she ended up being one of my all time favorites. She was written very well they struck a real good balance with her personality.

Also appreciated the continuation of standard non regional form based cross gen evos like Annihilape and Dudunsparce. Granted those were also in Legends Arceus, but I was kinda worried they'd might drop the concept again here in SV, so it's cool they seem to be here to stay after a long absence of em.
The human* characters feel vibrant and likable (well, mostly. Tyme was an ass and I wanted to punch Harrington). The friend group is awesome and I wish they were my friends. The AIs are the best characters and I wanted to hug them and I wish we could at least OFFER to free them from the machine.

Clavell had every possible villain marker set up and he subverts every last one of them, being the nicest man in Paldea. If Clavell was my principal, things would have gone a lot differently for me.

The ending made me cry. I have it on camera. Arven crying out for a parent he knows is gone, that he can never have closure on...even if my dream comes true and the AI returns someday, they're not his parent and never were. His parent is gone, dead, and he never got to say goodbye. He'll never know if they could have changed. Nobody can ever know that.
The only other time I cried at the ending to one of these games was Moon when Lillie left. But at least we can keep in touch with Lillie, even if it isn't part of the game. It's reasonable to assume that our character can call her and stuff, and someday she'll come back to Alola. Our goodbye with her is temporary. Arven's goodbye is irreversible.

I love love love the new mons. I was so excited for the "pompadour parrots", but the standouts for me were Flamigo (another one I was very excited for when I saw it in the intro, and I was over the moon when I saw how early you could catch one), Veluza (when I first saw one I thought it was a shiny Arrokuda since it was the one in the mountain pond and was alone. The lore around these mons is hilarious!), and Skeledirge (apparently what we do on Flat Fuck Friday is lounge singing!). Oh and Miraidon but that's to be expected (though I...wouldn't die to protect one, sorry kid).

Wasn't expecting the Star story to go so hard. It made me viscerally upset, because I'd been in that same situation and nobody listened to me. It was honestly rather harrowing to see these things from my past play out.
I really appreciated the refinement of the story's scope into a smaller, more personal affair. They managed to make a really strong narrative by focusing pretty much all of the game's story on the character writing. At almost every turn the game's central focus is on a group of kids with extremely personal and grounded stories, themed in a way that most people are probably going to relate to at least one of them.
A kid who doesn't really have any peers to share her passion with finally finding someone she clicks with, a kid with absentee parents who had to take care of himself and the pet that was his only source of comfort, and a group of bullying victims who - isolated by the rest of the world - found comfort and a powerful bond with each other. It's actually really good in a way that I wasn't really expecting.
It becomes a bit grander in the final act with the introduction of Paradox Pokemon and the Professor's whole schtick, but even that's still directly tied in to Arven's story, and now gives a big focus to your Raidon, now fully cemented as the fifth member of The Gang. All in all SV has a great sense of focus in its themes and writing.
What were some things in Scarlet and Violet that you were pleasantly surprised by? Things you weren't expecting to be as good as they ultimately ended up being, or things you just weren't expecting at all.

Game and World Scale, the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet map is wider, more diverse, and richer than I believed Game Freak was capable of delivering.

The cities, visually, finally appear as such, their scale, their flourishing and characterization were on point. However, its exploitation is quite dry and poor. I miss going into buildings and snooping inside.

Area zero, The Great Crater of Paldea, was the pinnacle of the game for me, both in scale, design, and story. The interaction between the group of characters, then formed, was flawless and one of the best experiences I've ever had in Pokémon.

Finally, the characters are, for the most part, likeable. As well as, overall, they're more fleshed out than most other instances of the franchise. Although, personally, I don't think they're as amazing as other colleagues seem to credit them with.

Despite the said above, currently, my interest in the game is pretty low.
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Actually if we're bringing up actual Pokemon, then I have to bring up Espathra. I shrugged it off during the initial leaks for being weird and kinda ugly, but it ended up becoming an integral part of my team and really grew on me to the point it's practically become my in-game ace and is now among my top 10 all-time favorite Pokemon, potentially even top 5.

Also, one more thing that just came to mind, Terastallizing. More recent gens' main gimmicks have been kinda weak imo, but this one is actually really good. There's like actually strategy involved and it's really fun mixing and matching terra types and Pokemon. Has added a lot if replay value.
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It's a little difficult for me to explain, but I was pleasantly surprised at how Paldea was able to be an open world that still had areas that feel "route-like". Especially before your Raidon is able to run and jump and climb everywhere. Like each area feels pretty distinct and separated by use of different elevations and rivers instead of screen transitions and it just feels natural and eloquent somehow. I am enthralled by it.

I've been messing around on a save file where I skipped entering Mesagoza and it's kind of cool seeing how you can get almost anywhere on the map without your lizard. I even discovered there's a cave entrance that let's you get to Alfornada without having to climb any walls that I didn't know about in my first playthrough.
I'm one of the many who liked Arven waaay more than I initially expected to. Loved his story and development and he's easily one of my favorite characters in the franchise now. Also enjoyed the endgame and Area Zero a lot. Was initially skeptical about the idea of Paradoxes from the leaks but the story sold me on them.

Also pleasantly surprised at how how interesting Terastylizing is to me. From Gym Leaders using it to use mons that wouldn't normally make the team to just seeing people find interesting ways to use it, it's been interesting to watch.
the story. the character writing might be the strongest in any pokemon to date. to me, pokemon isn't really known for its complex characters, we really only get one once in a blue moon like n or lillie, so i was really enjoying how arven, penny and nemona each felt like real characters with real struggles. i also really like how each of the routes you can take add to the story and characters it's like each route is made to specifically meant to focus on someone. also even if the whole time travel thing fucks up pokemon lore a bit, i am a sucker for ambitious plots in pkoemon games (something funny i noticed is that each gen with an odd number has a more interesting story than even numbers).

also penny literally committed embezzlement and thats amazing
Considering GF's shitty PR, I had little expectations but everything was so good.

The rival/friend group is fun and likeable (except Arven in the beginning but he turns it around so well), and when I walked into Area Zero and that OST began playing, I just went:


Everything about this game clicked for me. It's not as good as BW since the BW story was insanely based and good, but if it weren't for the glitches, I think SV might have been perceived as the best game ever since Gen 5. It was so, so good. I had so much fun.
Also, has anyone ever seen Clive and Clavell in the same room? They are brothers but they never talk! I hope the DLC adresses this and shows up a Clive and Clavell team up.
The death of a significant character (though i would have preferred it be nonviolent) and actually following up on the constant stand by me references the franchise seems obsessed with.

Also the environments are flat out the most beautiful in the series. Detaila and art direction beats fidelity any day.
The story. When it comes to story telling, Pokémon has not really been the greatest since day 1. The developers tried to shake things up a little, especially since Sun & Moon, by changing the generic villainous team that steals the thunder and instead giving the bad guy role to "unexpected" characters. But in Scarlet & Violet, it just hits differently.

First of all, the characters who accompany you in Area Zero, namely Nemona, Arven, and Penny, genuinely feel like beloved friends. It is far from how you felt about your rivals Serena/Calem, Tierno, Shauna, etc. in XY, and Lillie's friendship was underwhelming in Sun & Moon. Hop was too generic in Sword & Shield. Then you have this golden trio.

The climax of battling the AI Professor was shocking and impactful. I have never in my life, after finishing a Pokémon game, felt like checking out a part of the game on YouTube. I watch the AI Turo/Sada battles occasionally for the impact they have on me. It gave me goosebumps while I played it, and I am still under a great impression of what happens there every time I watch on YouTube.

The ending credits, where you walk with the golden trio as I call them, and then the game finishes, truly felt like saying goodbye to friends, not some "coded characters in a game".
I really love the sheer number of new Pokémon in this game. And I'm pleasantly surprised by the fact we were barely spoiled on the new mons! So many happy surprises while my wife and I were playing the game!
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I was taken aback by how well the free-roaming gameplay worked - yes, it's buggy and often looks like arse, but the map is vast enough and Pokémon species well-distributed enough to feel like I actually am exploring a continent filled with roaming beasties. The map shrinks significantly once you've picked up all the HM abilities, but Paldea's mountainous landscape is quite imposing to navigate on foot. I was a little let-down by Galar's Wild Area, so was pleasantly surprised when SV pulled it off.
I always liked the animations in the new open world style. Each Pokemon has its own personality and moves in a different way. The Pokemon also seem so life-like and I love how they often appear together in little tribes sorta like real animals!
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