Pokémon Violet Review: Right in the childhood feelz

Here’s yet another Pokémon Violet review posted on the interwebz! Just what the online gaming world needed, I’m sure. Thank you if anyone reads this though! I am genuinely grateful for your click or tap (hopefully psychic internet is never a thing).

My Progress

The official first game I beat in 2023! It was New Year’s Day in the wee early morning hours when I finished, too. I may be a rapidly aging millennial but I shamelessly admit my parents gifted me a copy of this title for Christmas of 2022 and I couldn’t put it down. Just like the good old days with the OG Game Boy Pokémon games! Man, I miss the 90s.

Anyway, I invested 50 hours and 41 minutes of my valuable time into this one (I wish I would have invested in real estate 5-ish years ago, by the way). I did all the story things (including the end game extra stuff) and caught 283 unique pocket monsters. Not too bad! Part of me was tempted to buy another Switch and the Scarlet version so I could catch ’em all, but I did act like the adult I am for once and passed on that impulse.

I also got to chill with my friends from Later Levels and show them the game. I’ll never forget spending a few hours trying to find a baby sloth in a tree while they cheered me on. Good times!

Analyzing the Thing

I choose you, cute grass cat!

As is law with all Pokémon games (probably) you get to choose your first friend out of three starter options before the adventure kicks off proper. In the past, I’ve always chosen the fire type because they seemed the coolest. For the first time in my poké-history, I chose the grass type for this adventure.

I can never say no to felines! Sorry, disco duck and fire gator.

Three paths merge to become the very best, like no one ever was!

After befriending a mysterious creature you can ride around the world on, you arrive at a fancy academy. You have the option to attend some classes ran by quirky teachers, and then you’re let loose to tackle the world in whatever order you want.

The main story boils down into 3 main paths that lead to a grand finale: classic gym badges, epic sandwich making, and battling the usual new gang of misunderstood thugs. Fun!

The real treasure was in my heart all along! Or something terrible like that.

I’m not sure why the incredibly cheesy, and way too cheerful story, resonated with me so much, but it did! I guess it was a nice escape into a simpler life. Why is real life so hard? *sobs uncontrollably* Ahem.

Exploring this flawed wonderful world was the best thing ever.

Getting to roam around a vast beautiful landscape filled with SO MANY cute Pokémon simply delighted me more than words can describe. This was the gameplay model childhood me always dreamed of! It’s been a long time since any game triggered such a level of genuine joy in my heart.

Of course, the cynical adult I truly am needs to point out a flaw I noticed. Animated things in the background constantly had abysmal framerates (a certain windmill looks like it runs on a stepper motor from far away, for example). This wasn’t game breaking by any means but an annoyance none the less. My game only crashed once in 50 hours so can’t say it was that flawed for me, sorry internet.

Overall, this game made me feel like a hopeful kid again and I loved it! Video games are supposed to be fun, and they don’t always need the joy critiqued out of them. Yay!

⚠️ Memory Lane (Click to show SPOILERS!!) ⚠️

Favourite Ability/Item/Weapon

Gliding and climbing cliffs with Miraidon was so much fun!

Favourite Character

Nemona the friend-rival gets the nod from me! Honestly, she is the definition of a true best friend. She pushes you to become greater and is legitimately proud of you for beating her. Not one hint of jealousy in the air when you become the best. Secret resentment is like a slow-acting poison on false friendships, eh.

Favourite Zone/Level/Area

The Great Crater of Paldea, which perfectly captured that epic final area feeling! I loved how haunting the music sounded, and the friendly chatting with your friends helped ease the tension around the area.

Fourth wall breaking too!

Favourite Story Moment

Fighting the futuristic rogue AI robot that Professor Turo had become at the end of the game. That whole final area was so cool it gave me chills! As a Final Fantasy fan, bonus points for the evil crystal room.

Favourite WTF Moment

Seeing all the Pokémon from the future as you progressed into Area Zero, and then the Professor acting really weird was quite the OMG moment for me. It was so creepy and I needed to find out what was going on.

Favourite Pokémon

Other than my grass cat, Chien-Pao the legendary ruinous feline entity was probably the most awesome Pokémon I’ve ever seen. It’s literally a cat creature with sword teeth and made up of snow, along with the hatred of people who were killed by the sword. Cool!

Sources: All images in this post are screenshots we took with the Nintendo Switch from the video game Pokémon Violet by Game Freak

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