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REVIEW: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are evolution at its finest

The best Pokémon has to offer, despite the hiccups

29 November 2022
by alecandstuff 2
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Pokémon is a franchise we’re all pretty familiar with. I mean, being the biggest media franchise in the world, it’s no surprise, right? From the hardcore fans, to the more casual players, and even to the moms, dads & grandmas of the world…it really seems as though everyone has a certain set of expectations when it comes to Pokémon. Then, in walk Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

During a console generation in which Pokémon games are continuously challenging the idea of what it means to be a Pokémon game, Scarlet and Violet are here to continue forward with the foundations that Sword/Shield and even Legends: Arceus established for the series.

The only question is, do these new games bring Pokémon into that bold new future Game Freak has been building up to? Or do they feel stuck in the past?

A new adventure begins!
A new adventure begins!

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet take place in the beautiful new region of Paldea, a brand new region set in an open world inspired by Spain and other Latin American countries. Just walking around the game’s overworld you start to get a real sense of the game’s Spanish inspirations from things like the big open countrysides, the vibrant color schemes in its architecture, the Spanglish lingo from its locals, and even down to the Pokémon themselves.

All of these factors work in service of making Paldea feel like one of the most inspired regions in a Pokémon game to date. There were many moments during my initial playthrough that made me feel motivated to explore the world around me, like the beautiful seaside market of Port Marinada, the future tech city of Levincia, and even the snowy ghostlike charms of Montenevera. Most importantly for these cities is that they all feel lived in, featuring equal amounts of people and Pokémon in any given scene from streets, sidewalks, to the insides of buildings.

It’s clear that this game’s world is trying to sell you on the idea that Pokémon are a big part of it, and it all adds to the believability of the region at large.

Form strong bonds with your Pokémon team!
Form strong bonds with your Pokémon team!

Speaking of Pokémon, the new creatures for this generation of games are all absolutely great! Arguably one of the most important parts of every new generation of Pokémon, the standout highlights when it comes to new games is always going to be the creatures that come along with it. Of course, this is all just going to be a matter of opinion, but I do feel that some of these new designs and names are among the coolest and most creative we’ve seen from Pokémon in a while, like Sprigatito!

Taking the English word “sprig” (small twig) and the Spanish word for “small cat” (gatito) and putting them together to make a small grass cat is just brilliant! Another one of my favorites is Arboliva, taking the Spanish word for tree (árbol) and combining that with the English word “Olive” to make this large Olive orchard-esque tree design is so good! Then there’s Flamigo, the new Flying/Fighting type Flamingo friend (amigo) whose body design is in the shape of a boxing glove!

All in all, I love the new designs on display here. There are certainly far more than will be mentioned in this review (103 to be exact), but they all work together towards that common goal of giving the Paldea region, and the games at large, a unique sense of identity for Pokémon’s 9th generation.

A peaceful night in Paldea
A peaceful night in Paldea

Perhaps the biggest change to the franchise in recent years comes from the steady phasing out of linearity in the pursuit of a truly open world. We saw this crop up first in 2019’s Sword and Shield, and even more recently with Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

While rather tame by comparison, these games’ “Wild Areas” certainly felt like Game Freak’s first foray into that open world design. Sort of like they were getting their feet wet, rather than fully diving in on the concept. Then, we come to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet whose whole brand exists within that open world. While it may be a turn off for some, especially in a world full of other games going for the same thing, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet really nail it with just how seamless it all tends to feel.

The biggest pain point for me with “open world” games is pointing somewhere in the distance with the intent to go there, just to be stopped by some invisible wall or loading screen, and it’s at those points when the whole experience starts to fall apart for me. Scarlet and Violet have none of that, and apart from the game’s opening prologue there’s virtually no limits to where you’re able to explore on the map. In my time playing and streaming the game, I’ve talked to many different people about their experiences so far and each response I get is totally different from the last. I have heard some people starting at completely different gyms than I did, different sections of the map, and even some individuals exploring the entire map while only having a few badges!

There seems to be a huge degree of agency the player has over crafting their own story with these games. Nothing that changes the actual narrative of the game obviously, however it is empowering to know that you have some say over whether to take on the bug gym that’s right next door, or the more challenging ghost type gym in the snowy mountains of the north.

Strike a pose with friends!
Strike a pose with friends!

In addition to having a large map to explore, you’re also able to tackle the entire thing in co-op thanks to Scarlet and Violet’s brand-new multiplayer mode! Accessed via the Union Room, players can host a lobby of up to 4 trainers that, once connected, are able to freely explore not only the map, but the entire game’s story as well.

That’s right, not only does the game give you the freedom to access the entire map independently, and without the need to stay within proximity of one another, it also gives you the freedom to play through the game’s story as well. This means that no matter what your other 3 friends are doing at any given time, you are still able to tackle gyms, play out cutscenes, whatever your heart desires and all without losing any progress.

You don’t even need to be the host of the lobby either, all 4 players have total control over the multiplayer experience they want to have, all at any given time. I personally had low expectations for this mode going into Scarlet and Violet, as my mind was occupied by thoughts like “Alright, but what CAN’T I do?”, to which the answer is nothing, it’s all available to you.

Having this much freedom in a multiplayer session is fantastic and a huge step in the right direction towards a truly cooperative experience for Pokémon. While you can’t battle gym leaders cooperatively or make appearances together in the game’s cutscenes, there are certainly a lot of doors that open just by having this feature available, and I am loving playing together with friends. Cooperative shiny hunting, anyone?

3, 2, 1....liftoff!
3, 2, 1....liftoff!

Of course, if you’re reading this near the time of review then I’d feel like it’d be remiss of me to NOT talk about the games’ various technical issues.

Tons of videos have cropped up over the last week showcasing so many weird bugs, glitches, and other visual oddities. My personal favorite has been the Jigglypuff flying away in the wind. I can only speak from my personal experience of course, and in my first campaign play though, I’ve only experienced the occasional game crash, which while frustrating isn’t exactly exclusive to Scarlet and Violet. I’ve had the same thing happen to me across multiple other games like Splatoon 3, and even some other first party games though it’s only ever sparingly.

To Game Freak’s credit, this could have been way more frustrating for me if not for the fact that the game auto saves relatively frequently so I only lose small amounts of progress. This experience is helped by just how fast Scarlet and Violet boot up after completely resetting the software. Outside of game crashes there are also things like framerate issues, and other graphical oddities that can certainly break the immersion for some but for me a lot of this just felt like a non-issue. I was simply too busy enjoying my time with the game’s story, catching Pokémon or who knows what to feel that my enjoyment was being hampered by the occasional dip in frame rate.

This is something that’s going to vary wildly depending on who you ask, but for me this did little to nothing to harsh my experience with the games, though I do feel they could use a general performance patch or two to smooth things out for all of us.

Nemona wants to battle!
Nemona wants to battle!

Another factor that plays into the game’s nearly 60-hour campaign is the story, which is quite honestly one of, if not the best storyline the series has ever seen

Throughout my first playthrough of the game, I found myself shifting from an attitude of “Oh okay, I know where this is going” to one of “They put THIS in a Pokémon game?!”. Without getting too much into the specifics, these games’ story is one of the darkest and more surprising narratives we’ve seen yet from a Pokémon game, that all culminates in the biggest, most bombastic ending sequence that the franchise has ever seen. While subtly weaving its way through some pretty tough themes, the games do a phenomenal job at keeping the player engaged from start to finish, thanks in large part to its vibrant cast of characters.

Now, when it comes to Pokémon characters over the years, a lot of them can tend to feel pretty one dimensional, at least in the grand scheme of things. In Scarlet and Violet, you can get a mixed bag as well, but the main cast featured throughout the game’s 3 storylines are as strong as ever. I don’t think we need to go analyze every single character, though if there’s one role that is always subject to the most criticism, it’s the player’s rival and this time around? She’s actually really cool!

Nemona is the academy’s Student Council President, she’s your hometown neighbor, and she really wants to battle you. I mean she really, really REALLY wants to battle you. On the surface she may seem a bit one note in that regard, though as the story unfolds, the player begins to learn more about why she is the way she is and why she’s so obsessed with the idea of challenging you. Outside of details locked behind story progression, one thing about her is made immediately apparent and it’s that even in her defeat, she’s always cheering for you to do and be better. I found this to be particularly endearing as nobody likes having a rival who is also a sore loser.

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After 25+ years of constant (albeit slow) evolution, the Pokémon franchise is getting a huge step in a brand-new direction with Scarlet and Violet. Despite its technical hiccups, these new games offer so much value to new players and longtime fans alike. From its fantastic art direction, brilliant storytelling, and Pokémon designs that are just as charming as ever, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are no doubt the best Pokémon games on the platform and certainly among the best in the franchise.

At the end of the day, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet evolves from the foundations of games’ past to bring forth a new generation of Pokémon games that fans will still be discussing far into the future, and for years to come.


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A new generation of Pokémon usually means tons of new Pokémon to catch and collect, as well as some creative or even odd ways to evolve them.

In this new generation, one of those Pokémon happens to be Pawmi. To evolve a Pawmi, the player must walk alongside their partner for a total of 1,000 steps using the game’s “Let’s Go!” feature. On paper, this seems like a simple feat to accomplish as you’re walking (or biking) most of the time anyway. However, this can wind up being a bit more difficult than it sounds as the Pokêmon following you have certain limitations for how far you can walk from them before they return to their ball, thus taking away from your progress towards 1,000 steps.

Luckily, it seems that one Japanese player has discovered a rather simple trick to make this whole process a lot easier, and all it requires is the High Jump ability.

As you can see in the video, the trick is pretty easy, basically requiring you to send out your Pokémon using “R” or ZR”, then jump on top of a Pokémon Center using the High Jump ability that’s acquired from the ‘Path of Legends’ storyline in the game. Once the player is on the roof, the Pokémon that’s left on the ground will proceed to run around in circles as it attempts to reach the player. Once this happens, all that’s left is to give the Pokémon about 5-10 minutes (or longer) to get in its cardio for the day, then level it up to evolve and BOOM! You should have a shiny, brand new Pawmot by the end of it. If for whatever reason it doesn’t evolve, you can repeat the process from the start until it does.

What do you think of this method? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!


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Just a few short weeks ago, the popular Pokémon x Mister Donut collaboration made its way back to stores across Japan, with donut designs featuring Pikachu among others. Now, it’s been confirmed that a new, familiar face will be making a big debut during this upcoming holiday season!

Mister Donut has announced that it will be adding a new Jigglypuff donut to its menu and will be made available for sale during the month of December 2022. In a press release, Mister Donut confirms that the Jigglypuff donut’s hair tuft will be made out of whipped cream coated with strawberry chocolate, while its eyes and ears will be made of chocolate.

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What do you think of this new menu item? Is this a treat you’d be willing to try?


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2022 has been a great year for the Pokémon Local Acts initiative, and the organization is not quite done yet because today we have word that 9 more Chansey-themed manhole covers will be making their way to Japan’s Fukushima prefecture very soon!

This organization’s goal is to beautify certain areas of Japan, while also attracting tourists to areas. One of the big efforts of the PLA has been replacing manhole covers with covers that spotlight Pokémon, and it’s been a great success so far. You can see a gallery of all of the new designs below, and visitors to the local area can see them in person after their installation throughout December 2022!


There are now officially over 1,000 Pokémon

Gotta catch all 1,000+ of 'em!

19 November 2022
by alecandstuff 1
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Pokémon Scarlet & Violet have officially launched across all regions and with their release, the series has finally hit a massive milestone!

In total, Scarlet/Violet introduce a total number of 103 new Pokémon, which officially pushes the series past 1,000 total Pokémon. To break it down by the numbers, before Scarlet/Violet, the “last” Pokémon according to National Dex number was Enamorous (#905), and if we add the 103 from the new games that brings the grand total to 1,008 different Pokémon species across all of the games!

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Of course, being that the games don’t currently include a National Dex, it’s tough to say which Pokémon earns the title of the official 1,000th Pokémon. Though if we had to guess, we’ll likely get the answer to this once Pokémon HOME compatibility launches for both games next year. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of updates as they come.


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Overwatch 2's New Tank Hero, Ramattra Revealed

"A better future for all omnics"

05 November 2022
by alecandstuff 0
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The next playable hero coming to Overwatch 2, named Ramattra, was just revealed during the Overwatch League Grand Finals this evening. While Blizzard didn’t divulge much into the new hero’s abilities or gameplay, he is confirmed to be part of the tank role, and will be launching alongside the game’s second season later this year on December 6th! Check out the post below for Blizzard’s official announcement post on Ramattra, as well as his ‘Origin Story’ trailer!


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Just earlier this year, a new Animal Crossing-style farming sim titled ‘Hokko Life’ made its way to Nintendo Switch. Now, Game Source Entertainment has announced that a physical release is on the way for fans of the game over in Japan, on behalf of Team17 (the game’s original publisher)

Hokko Life will be launching in Japan on December 22nd, at the cool price of 5,478 yen, or about $40 USD after tax.

Official 'Hokko Life' box art
Official 'Hokko Life' box art

At the moment, there’s no word on if the game will be getting a physical release in the West, we’ll make sure to report back if anything changes later on.


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Alan Wake is one of those games that’s gained a sort of cult following over the years since its initial release in 2010. So, in response to its status as such, the original team at Remedy partnered with another studio as well as Epic Games Publishing to bring forth a remaster of the game. The team felt a remaster was a better route to take than a remake simply because it fit their goal of “maintaining the core gameplay and narrative elements of the game but improving the visuals for newer game systems with support for 4k resolutions so that the title would appeal to both those that played the original and new players”

Well, now that the game is officially out on all platforms as of today with the Switch release shadow dropping just yesterday on the Nintendo Switch we can finally see if this vision holds true through the game’s remaster.

Now, when it comes to multiplatform releases like this, we’re sure that no one is expecting the Switch to visually look the best of the bunch, but just how far off is the Switch’s release off from its competition? GameXplain’s video above will show just how stark some of the differences can be.

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One of the most apparent things in this comparison is the overall frame rate the Switch version has by comparison to its PS5 and even original Xbox 360 counterparts. On top of what’s already a lesser visual experience, due in part to the Switch’s hardware limitations, it seems as though the game’s Switch release is marred by things like unstable frame rates, blurry textures, and less than ideal character models.

While some of this may not come as a surprise to some, as pointed out in GameXplain’s video, it’s a real shame that even the original Xbox 360 release seems to outperform the Switch remaster in some areas, despite being a less powerful console than the Switch is.

All in all, this is no knock on the game’s quality overall. Alan Wake is still very much the same game that it was 12 years ago, it’s just unfortunate that the game’s Switch release doesn’t seem to hold up as well as some might have hoped.


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Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx, an upcoming title based off of the long running Disney Channel show, has not released just yet but the game has received a brand new launch trailer to prepare for the title’s release next week. You can read an overview of the game, as well as see the new launch trailer below

“Paris needs a hero! Once again, the city of lights is in trouble as it faces a new menace—the most threatening sentimonster ever created is about to take control! As you take on the personna’s of the globally renowned superheroez Ladybug and Cat Noir, you’ll need to unveil the diabolical plan hatched by archvillain Hawk Moth—and squash it! Immerse yourself into the magical world of Miraculous and level up your superpowers as you embark on your biggest journey yet!

Key Game Features:

• Epic Adventure! Immerse yourself in an original story as you take control of everyone’s favorite heroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir. • Team Up! Experience the thrill of teamwork as you battle villains and de-evilize akumas together in local co-op. • More Villains! Come face to face with familiar villains Hawk Moth, Gamer, Weredad, and Mr. Pigeon, and some new enemies too! • Discovery! Explore the streets of Paris as Marinette and Adrien and uncover the story behind their alter-ego’s Ladybug and Cat Noir. • Super Gadgets! Use Ladybug’s fast flinging yo-yo and Cat Noir’s magical versatile staff to swing or vault into battle! Upgrade the gadgets to unlock powerful new moves! • Master Fu! Visit your friend and mentor Master Fu whose words of wisdom help you to learn new powers. • Kwami Shop: Discover the many treasures of the Kwami shop as you unlock never-before-seen artwork, music, and more. • Friendship Quest: As Marinette and Adrian, you’ll need to catch up with your friends for clues to progress the story and unlock special friendship moments.”

Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx officially launches for Nintendo Switch on October 25th.


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As we previously reported on, Nintendo recently announced two new upcoming concerts, one of which themed around Splatoon 3 and the virtual band ‘Deep Cut’. Not only are these events being live streamed, but it also seems that Nintendo wants to carry the celebration over into the games themselves by making a brand new Deep Cut themed Splashtag available now via QR code! See the announcement here:

As detailed in the tweet, you can use the QR via the Nintendo Switch Online app, then proceed to pickup your rewards at the in-game terminal. We’ll also include the standalone QR code below for convenience sake. Happy splashing, everyone!

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Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope doesn’t release until later in October, but it seems as though Nintendo may have spoiled the identity of the game’s main villain by way of a recently released trailer! At least that’s what the folks over at GameXplain seem to think! Be wary of potential spoilers ahead..

As shown in the video, the trailer shows the villain’s eye up close and for a brief moment shows the villain’s “uncorrupted” eye that seems to be a very similar shape and shade of blue to Rosalina! The video goes on to provide a few side by side comparisons and the results seem pretty convincing!

Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to find out as the game is due out on October 20th!


Overwatch 2 file size ~30GB, can be preloaded starting 10/4 @ 9AM PDT

The world needs more heroes…and about 30GB hard drive space

01 October 2022
by alecandstuff 2
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Overwatch 2 launches next week, and to prepare for the game’s launch, Blizzard has detailed the preload process for all platforms. Shared in a post on Twitter Blizzard notes that players who already own Overwatch on PC can begin pre-installing the game now to ensure they’re ready for the Oct 4th release date. It’s worth noting that console players (Switch included) will have to wait until October 4th @ 9AM PDT before they can begin the pre-install process prior to the game’s final release later that afternoon (12PM).

It’s certainly not as much extra time as PC players get, so better make sure you have the hard drive space and internet speeds ready for this update once it launches next week!


Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal gets a new trailer

The anime premiers October 7th

17 September 2022
by alecandstuff 0
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Square Enix has officially debuted a new trailer for ‘Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal’, the TV anime based on the Legend of Mana video game series & produced by Yokohama Animation Laboratory and Graphinica.

In addition to the new trailer, Square Enix and Warner Bros. Japan also announced that the “Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal Pre-Launch Special Program” will premiere on September 23 at 20:00 JST.

Check out the trailer below!


Indie survival sim "Hell Architect" coming to Switch

Crafting the hell of your dreams

27 August 2022
by alecandstuff 0
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The indie survival/colony simulator “Hell Architect” that first debuted last year is now making the jump to Switch! The game’s developer has no concrete release date just yet but our guess is sometime before year’s end.

Hell Architect is a game all about creating “the hell of your dreams” and features a few gameplay mechanics that fans of the city/base building genre might be familiar with. Check below to read a small blurb about the game

“Create a hell of your dreams - will it have the infamous 9 levels, or will you create your own chaos, the way you see fit? You begin with some basic buildings, like power stations (yup, they need those in hell, too!) and canteens, work your way through shrines and toilets and finish off with some intricate torture contraptions.”

“You can treat the sinners sent to your humble abode to different, fun (or not) sources of suffering - be it by punishing them for disobedience or just doing it for fun. Your hell, your choices.”

[Woodland Games]

Hell Architect isn’t stopping at digital storefronts either, the game will also be sold physically as well, which Amazon is already taking preorders for. As mentioned before, we do not have a set release date yet, but rest assured we will report back as soon as we do!


New prototype images of upcoming Metroid Dread figma figures shared

Dreadfully awesome Metroid sigma coming soon

06 August 2022
by alecandstuff 1
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Goodsmile Company has officially unveiled some new factory prototype teaser images for their upcoming figurines based on Metroid Dread!

First off, the company shared a look at a colored version of the recently announced Samus Aran: DREAD ver. figure. In the image you can see Samus’ suit represented in a beautlful mold that really pops with the vibrant colors of her suit

Following the Samus figure, Goodsmile also shared an early-in-production look at the prototype for its E.M.M.I. figma, also upcoming. The image shows the unit in its ‘damaged’ state, similar to its in game appearance.

If these production images are anything to go off of, we feel its safe to say that the final products are going to turn out great! It is worth noting that while there are listings available to browse on the Goodsmile official website, at the time of writing, no release dates have been given for either of these figures just yet.

Are you going to be picking up these figures when they fully release? Let us know in the comments!