Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: A New Era of Pokemon?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: A New Era of Pokemon?

New Pokemon Scarlet and Violet got announced in February, and many people are excited about a fresh take after Pokemon Arceus.

New Pokemon, new mechanics, and a new region. These are all typical for a new Pokemon game. Plenty of people are speculating whether or not Scarlet and Violet is the new era of Pokemon that long-term fans have been waiting for.

The games have a release date of November 18th, so we have a lot of time to speculate as Nintendo drip-feeds us information.

Is this the Next Chapter, the new era In Pokemon?

New Pokemon!

Scarlet and Violet introduce three new starter Pokémon: Sprigatito (grass), Fuecoco (fire), and Quaxly (water).

An image of the three new starter pokemon.
We stan Fuecoco here.

We’ve also seen the two main legendary Pokémon, Koraidon and Miraidon, plus a few other new ones like Pawmi, Smoliv, and Lechonk. Of course, most Pokemon haven’t been announced yet. Some rumors state that some older Pokemon will reappear, but we don’t know yet.

New Mechanics!

There are plenty of rumors surrounding Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Still, we know a few things that The Pokemon company confirmed.

  • Pokemon Home – Scarlet and Violet will work with the pre-existing Pokemon Home system to transfer between games.
  • The first genuinely open-world Pokemon game, where the story doesn’t limit you to progress to new areas.
  • Four-player multiplayer – This is the first time multiplayer will be introduced to the mainline franchise.
  • Seamless transitions to battles – This was part of Pokemon Arceus but is now being brought into the next generation.

I won’t be surprised if The Pokemon Company brings back an older mechanic. Things like Mega Evolution, Z-Moves, Dynamax, or maybe even a new attempt at a similar mechanic for a newer era. I would love to see a return of Mega Evolutions, personally.

A New Era of Pokemon?

When Sword and Shield were released, many gamers say it divided the community. Fans were vocal about not being interested in them, but the games still sold well. I believe it was a testing ground for new mechanics for the franchise’s future.

I do believe it was more of a tech demo more than anything. Pokemon fans loved many features from the last two games that are making their way to Scarlet and Violet.

We’ve already seen the two previous iterations of Pokemon trying to break the mold, with Sword and Shield having open ‘Wild Areas’ that allowed you get a taste of what a free-roaming Pokemon world would look like. Pokemon Arceus improved on this with a better camera system, and battles no longer being instanced, allowing for wild Pokemon to join the fray.

From what Game Freak has said so far, the two new Pokemon entries will be FULLY open-world, no longer restricting you to one area, and opening up to a new open-world experience for Pokemon.

Sword and Shield introduced DLC to the Pokemon franchise for the first time EVER, which has continued into Arceus too. We also saw a new method to catch Pokemon, free aim catching, that allows you to skip the slog of battling to catch new Pokemon.

With the way The Pokemon Company designed Sword and Shield and Legends of Arceus, it is obvious Scarlet and Violet will be their next era of Pokemon. With the emphasis on Pokemon Home and Multiplayer, it’s obvious they have a new and fresh team working on Scarlet and Violet.

Let The Pokemon Hype Continue

For people who have left Pokemon for whatever excuse, will they come back to Scarlet and Violet, or would it be for true Pokemon RPG fans and young kids? Only time will tell, and more trailers and gameplay can sway the opinions of the masses. I have high hopes for myself and firmly sit on the Hype Train.

If you liked this article, check out our podcast episode on the Pokemon genre of games! Jeff and Crev cover the entire genre A-Z, and all the new IPs inspired by the originals.

Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Playing In 2022?

Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Playing In 2022?

For massive fans of CD PROJEKT RED, they knew the company’s track record for launches. Many others only knew the perfection of many patches of Witcher 3 after several patches to make the game stable enough to play after release.

With RED’s PR team lying about performance and optimization, paired with releasing it far before it was ready, the writing was on the wall from the start. Crashes, glitches, refunds, and other issues forced some retailers to entirely take the games off the market.

With the turbulent launch behind it and several patches to stabilize the game, is now the time to finally play Cyberpunk 2077?

Have Recent Patches Improved The Experience?

Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Playing?
The infamous T Pose glitch.

Since it was released, many patches have come out to fix its problems at launch. Glitches and bugs were first on the list, then performance, and lastly, optimization.

With them fixing the game and being in better condition than launch, stores began to put it back in their marketplaces. The previous patches fixed people’s core problems with PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions.

Recently, their most significant patch to date, 1.5, was reportedly going to be a literal game-changer.

1.5 & Next Generation Update

The 1.5 patch dealt with a lot more fixes to the world and UI, but CDPR added the spotlight free content, as well as:

  • Performance mode
  • Ray tracing
  • Updating the Next-Gen versions of the game

Buying new apartments and weapons shakes things up, and they included more character customization for appearances too. With a list of hotfixes, you can see they are still striving for a better experience for the player.

People are happy with the updates. Every time a new update comes out, the population spikes on Steam. However, the people coming back to test the updates don’t stay. Only die heart fans keep playing.

Many YouTubers do go back to the game to test out the updates and talk about what was updated, which could have helped with the jumping population on Steam.

The Current State Of The Game

With Cyberpunk 2077 and the context of being playable, as it wasn’t at the beginning of the game’s release. Not seeing T poses and game crashing during that major questline is a fix in my book.

Cars do not float on the road, and they have weight to them now. The game loads assets better, and the minimap is pulled back so that you won’t miss turns while driving.

Yes, some glitches did make the game a bit more fun, like the item duplication glitch and the cyberware slide jump glitch that let you zoom around the map like Barry Allen.

However, overall the game is in such a better state now than at launch. I think it is well worth a try now. Will it ever rise above the ashes like No Man’s Sky? Probably not. Check out our take on No Man’s Sky here

Now Leaving Night City

Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Playing

I’m a massive fan of the cyberpunk genre as a whole, whether it’s Blade Runner, Robocop, Total Recall, Altered Carbon, or anything else in the genre.

One of my favorite authors is Mike Pondsworth, who not only created the original Cyberpunk tabletop RPG back in 1988 but also has worked on every release since. Pondsmith also worked on Cyberpunk 2077 as a consultant. And his vision is nearly present in this game and evokes similar emotions when I play his TTRPGs.

So, Is Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Playing Now?

Cyberpunk is an excellent game, in my opinion, and it’s a hundred times better now than it was a year ago. On the other hand, I would debate people on the story, but that’s for another article.

You should try playing Cyberpunk 2077 now. If you haven’t played since launch, it’s like night and day.

Is Xbox Gamepass Worth It?

Is Xbox Gamepass Worth It?

Gaming should be easy, like in the old days when you put the game in and just play. These days, there are so many streaming services for movies and TV, and the gaming world has fallen into the same realm.

You’ve probably heard of Game Pass, Microsoft’s gaming subscription service, but how does it hold up with so many other services out there? 

What Does Game Pass Offer?

Game Pass is for PC and Xbox consoles, starting at $9.99/mo, and you get a lot for that price. You get access to over 100 high-quality games on PC or console, and new games are added all the time, with Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release.  There are also some discounts and deals for subscribers too, though not as noteworthy.

The last deal they offer is Game Pass Ultimate. For $14.99, it provides everything from before but offers it on PC, console, and mobile. They also give Cloud gaming, free perks like in-game content and partner offers, and Xbox Gold for a month if that isn’t enough.

An Xbox controller against a mousepad
Photo by Jose Gil on Unsplash

Being on PC and having Xbox titles at your disposal makes it an enticing offer.  Playing exciting upcoming AAA titles like Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, Stalker 2, Gears 6, and Fable at the time of release is great. You don’t need to purchase the games, and you’ll probably get exclusive DLC for certain games for having Game Pass.

Now for an Xbox fan, this is a no-brainer. An automatic wallet throw at Microsoft or others raises the question, “Should I get this? There are other services out there, and maybe they fit what I want?”

What Are Some Similar Services?

Playstation Plus, Google Stadia Pro, EA Play, Ubisoft Plus, and  Amazon Luna are competing against Microsoft in this new area of gaming. Maybe you didn’t want to participate in the console wars and got a PC, but now you’ve entered the Streaming Wars.

Playstation Plus

PlayStation Plus Essential provides two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access for $9.99/mo.

The next tier is Playstation Plus Extra, which provides all the benefits from the Essential tier and adds a catalog of around 400 PS4 and PS5 games from Sony and third-party partners, which you can download and keep for as long as you have the subscription, and this tier is only $14.99/mo.

The final tier, Playstation Plus Premium, adds up to 340 other games, including games from PS1 to PS3 via cloud streaming. Plus Deluxe is offered for people who can’t stream games but has the same benefits as premium but at a lower price. The major downside is that first-party titles aren’t available when they launch and will be added later. Sony said in an interview that the reason they did this was to keep the standard of the quality of first-party games high, but we’ll see if that stays true.

 Google Stadia Pro

The subscription service for Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service for $9.99/mo. This includes playing on anything that allows you to cast to it, any Android device, or anything that can open a Chrome window. With the Pro subscription, you get access to a library of games that gets updated monthly, which is usually a mix of recent AAA titles and some indies. You also get discounts for purchasing games on the platform, although not all deals are great. Stadia is also a little slow to get newer AAA titles, and some more prominent companies still haven’t supported a Stadia release.

If you want to learn more about Stadia, check out our feature article here.

EA Play

EA play has two tiers, a $4.99/mo plan, which offers 10 hours of early access to new games, unlimited access to their selection of EA titles, and saving 10% off EA digital content. Their EA Play Pro, which costs $14.99/offers early access to “deluxe versions” of new games but not much else compared to the basic plan.

Ubisoft Plus

Ubisoft plus PC access, which is $14.99, and multi-access, which is $17.99, are relatively the same. Both have new releases at launch, DLC and Season Passes for games, and over 100 games on pc. Multi-access has Cloud Gaming which is that extra $3, allowing you to connect your account to Amazon Luna and Stadia if you already have them. This is an excellent deal for those who are major fans of Ubisoft, but most of these games will show up on other services at later dates.

Is Gamepass Worth It?

All the streaming services have their own exclusive libraries, though several eventually overlap (minus platform exclusives). With Ubisoft games eventually coming out to other services and EA Play being included in Game Pass, the question is, “If I’m going to save money and play the most games, what service would I get?” 

The two leading contenders would be Game Pass and Playstation Plus. At the time of writing, the new Playstation Plus service hasn’t come out yet, and we don’t know whether or not it will be as much of a contender until then. 

In my opinion, with the quality and longevity of games on Game Pass lacking at the moment, it’s hard to tell how Playstation will perform when their new system does come out. Microsoft already has a huge advantage with their recent acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard, so Sony will really need to knock it out of the park.

An Xbox controller next to several Xbox games,
Photo by Oliver Beer on Unsplash

As someone who uses Steam and plays MMOs, having a subscription service that you can pay for and play any games at any time is a benefit. With Playstation not including first-party titles when they launch, those who want it for the first-party titles will affect it.

If Sony makes us pay for first-party titles or the delay in adding new first-party titles is too long, it won’t hold up for long. These are the choices for the best bang for your buck without paying for anything additional. At this moment, Game Pass is, by far, a way better deal and service more worth it. Having access to certain games that most players for those games are already on PC, and with Playstation Plus not out yet, and have yet to encounter their own set of trials to change how their service is used. If you have to choose one, it’s clear that it should be Game Pass.

How do you feel about this new shift in gaming services? Is there a platform we missed? Let us know in the comments, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date!

Featured Photo by Sam Pak on Unsplash