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Digital Foundry slams Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

It is no secret that the recently released Pokemon Scarlet & Violet haven’t launched in the best state and that they could have done with more time in the oven for optimisation and to stamp out some of the hilarious bugs that players have encountered. Now video game tech-focussed site Digital Foundry has gotten on the case and their analysis puts Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s performance and visuals under the microscope. The team says that the games frame rate and textures are all over the place with popup being noticeably rampant and there are even issues with shadow and lighting effects. The subtitle on their article reads “Embarrassing artwork, terrible draw distance, poor performance and a litany of bugs.” Here’s a few choice extracts from a simply damming article:

“Cutting to the chase, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet simply do not live up to the standards of other Pokémon titles. There are so many glaring technical problems that it’s going to be difficult to cover them all, but the most fundamental issue is the poor visual design and asset quality. Scarlet and Violet are bland and extremely basic-looking: environmental assets are of a low quality with basic geometry, ugly tiled textures and simple designs. At a distance, the environmental assets look at their worst, stripped of most detail and completely lacking shadows. Violet makes use of some pretty harsh normal maps to add detail here, clasing with the game’s generally otherwise low-frequency aesthetic.”

“It’s likely that engine limitations probably play a role here and I suspect Gamefreak’s proprietary tech is due for an overhaul if not an outright replacement, especially when it comes to more ambitious and open titles. But even the code issues don’t excuse how crude some of the artwork is, which suggests a production bottleneck elsewhere as well. It’s clear that Scarlet and Violet are well below the technical standards set by prior Pokémon titles, and that extends far beyond the visual and performance complaints we’ve mentioned here. The game suffers from serious bugs and game-breaking issues, most of which have been extensively documented online. These range from momentary visual artifacts to ridiculous traversal exploits. There’s no end to the variety of bizarre problems players have managed to uncover.”

“Ultimately, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are comprehensive technical failures. Embarrassing artwork, terrible draw distance, poor performance, mediocre image quality, and a litany of bugs plague this pair of very troubled games. Pokémon fans deserve better.”

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21 thoughts on “Digital Foundry slams Pokemon Scarlet & Violet”

  1. I’ve seen a lot of people going to bat for these titles the last few days, and I get it, there are some things people like about these games in terms of story, the open-world idea etc.

    But I really recommend you have some standards. You literally cannot go 5 seconds in this game without seeing poor assets, models, or various bugs or visual artifacts. It is rushed and unfinished, and understand this. It is an insult to us. Game Freak knew full well this was technical trash (anyone would after playing for even 5 minutes), but they thought they could get it past us. Why are you trying to defend the company who are showing you zero respect by selling you an unfinished, messy product?

    Glad to see that Digital Foundry didn’t pull any punches, and glad to see that they didn’t just blame it all on the Switch like some reviewers did – we have seen more ambitious games on Switch that perform a whole lot better than this – see Zelda: BotW, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Monster Hunter Rise, The Witcher 3, just take your pick, all of them put this shambolic effort to shame.

      1. I’ve had the game crash on me three times. The frame rate can drop to absurd lows (especially when it rains) that it slows down the game considerably.

        I’ll also just say that for all it’s numerous technical problems (I don’t even care about the graphics, just the performance), the game itself is a ton of fun. It’s easily the best Pokémon game – in terms of balance, challenge and fun things to do.

        If they patch it so it runs smoother, this would easily be one of my favourite games on the Switch.

    1. They thought they were pretty slick just to make sure they won’t miss the holiday sales or cyber sales this year. rough frame rate and performance issues looks unfinish and a complete mess for GameFreak. Not only that, you can’t go inside people’s houses like previous games which is really mess up. Those are the two main issues in this game that people like me that I face. Yeah, they don’t get a passing grade for this.

  2. I’m honestly torn. I agree this game is a walking disaster. It needed more development time and they were more concerned about having a game for the holidays, knowing with a name like Pokémon it would sell regardless. On the other hand this is the most ambitious mainline game in the franchise yet. The open world nature, multiple paths, player freedom and more is everything I always wanted the games to have. It’s just a shame that the game that fully realizes many of these long awaited desires has to be a literal mess.

    1. Having read that article and seen the screenshots. This was going to be on my to get list as soon as possible because I know people have said they’re having a lot of fun with it but yeah, I’m going to hold off and wait for some kind of discount which I know is not going to come anytime soon but I can’t justify paying $60 for a game that looks like this. Why didn’t they just hold off and delay the game a few months instead of releasing it like this? The latest game in the mega franchise should not have all these issues that people are reporting. Fans truly deserve better.

    2. You do realize it’s not an either/or situation, right? If they had spent more time working on it, it would have still been the most ambitious Pokemon game. The only difference is that it would have been better.

      Honestly, this should make people more angry than if the game still sucked. “Why did you ruin something that was looking to be a good final product??”

  3. The state it was released in is definitely not quality, especially for Nintendo and pokemon that generally release polished games.

    They should have delayed but obviously they would have missed those holiday sales. I’ll pick it up when they release a patch, although not sure if they’ll be able to fix it since its gamefreak in which case I’ll wait for a nice discount.

  4. Who cares if it’s trash, I find imperfection to be another form of perfection, it’s not as if the game isn’t playable, I’m having fun so far, even though I can see the glaring issues. I really don’t care, as long as I can make progress in my adventure is what really matters to me. This game should have come out Christmas next year if you want my personal opinion. There was to much going on at gamefreak and things got left unfinished. But what really matters here is the product and it’s worthiness as a game. It’s playable you can get things done, you can have fun with the glitches too, so it’s all good from my stand point 😊

  5. I do enjoy the open world aspect, the camera system and the Pokémon creatures in the game. But, the only two main problem is are strange glitches with rough frame rate and textures in other places and you can’t go inside people’s houses like previous games which is really mess up. Those are the two main issues in this game that people like me that I face. Feels like dragging a wet towel.

  6. Well i do enjoy the open world free roam and player freedom however i don’t feel as if im being challenged. Most gyms and Team Star hideouts aren’t even difficult, and I’ve hardly spent any amount of time level grinding between gyms. You can literally go from one gym to the next without any random encounters and defeat the gym leaders without using a single item. Most gym leaders Pokemon can be defeated with one Atk. I just wish they’d add a difficulty setting or nerf the enemy a.i because it’s ridiculously easy.

  7. I’ve put in maybe about 15 hours into Violet at this point and, yeah, this game is a chuggy, bland, and obviously-unfinished mess. Animation frames for things like NPCs or moving objects (like windmills, in one glaring instance I recorded) stutter and move at like 10FPS unless you’re standing right next to them. The camera regularly dips below the ground when it zooms in on something on even the gentlest slopes, showing you the vast expanse of nothingness beneath the floor. I jumped onto a boat to grab an item and had to use the flying taxi to get back on land because the geometry of the boat was so thin I couldn’t position myself to jump back off. Cliffs use the same 5X5 texture patch so when you see one in the distance you’re seeing the same pattern 50 times, and it looks strange. This game clearly needed more time to iron out all the kinks and polish things up to more acceptable levels.

    It’s honestly a shame because the gameplay here actually has good execution and I’m enjoying this WAY more than I ever did Shield, but when stuff made in Microsoft Paint looks better than a AAA-company game, it really drags down the experience.

  8. You lot are just sad sad losers, oooooh my fps has dropped awww I can’t go in people’s houses, the sad nerds at digital foundry need to go outside and see the sun, you’re perfetic the lot of ya. It’s a game, it works, it’s what people wanted and yet the Virgins are still crying about fps and bugs. It’s not even been out a week and is fixable so stfu 🙄

    1. Technically we aren’t talking where typing, nerds and losers who play video games you must have thought long and hard. What next you gonna tell us waters wet, no posting inflammatory comments this comment section needs a moderation intervention. Funny how you use nerd as an insult when technically a nerd is anyone with an interest or an obsession over a hobby such as video games. Not sure if your troll flame post was just that or what you was expecting on a Nintendo fourm. Troll bait, troll flame, go craw back under your bridge.

    2. Silly us having standards for a game we have to pay our money for. You sound like a sycophant, child. Go see a shrink and take your meds,

      1. If you have standards REPORT THE BUGS instead of bitching in unofficial forums. If there are no reported bugs they have no reason to patch the bugs out. The biggest complaint that I have is the fps of windmills and npcs when there are too many on screen. But I move smoothly, I can battle without issues though the Tera battle mechanics are wonky since they seem to have tried both turn-based and timed. Some npcs attack twice before I can once. But I report these bugs.

  9. Honeslty everyone needs to chill out i have been playing pokemon since red and blue and this game is awesome. we live in a wolrd of whiny little brats like danng be happy that game freak and nintendohas finaly changed the game. keep complaining

  10. honest Everyone needs to chill out. the game is amazing and I have been playing pokemon since Red and blue and im so proud of Game Freak and Nintendo for final chaning the game yeah there are so lags in the game but so what. We live in wolrd full of whiny little babies and cant be grateful for shit. the game is really good the best pokemon game ever to hit the market enjoy the game and as time goes by watch it only get better.

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