The latest Pokemon games have had the most significant worldwide launch sales in Nintendo’s history, despite players complaining of bugs and poor graphics performance.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, released last week on the Switch, have the lowest user scores in series history on the Metacritic reviews aggregator website.
Previously the lowest-scoring game was Pokemon Unite with an average score of 3.7, but Scarlet and Violet have “beaten” that with 2.9 and 3.4 respectively at the time of writing.
Scarlet and Violet were mostly praised by critics, with reviews complimenting the addictive gameplay and vibrant colours, and they sold a combined 10 million copies in their first three days.
But players on social media have documented numerous glitches and evidence of poor graphical performance.
It’s fair to say that the visuals are pretty lacklustre by modern standards – for our money, they’re reminiscent of a PlayStation 3 game from yesteryear.
During Sky News’ time with the game, frame rate drops were frequent even in simple scenarios, and Pokemon and other characters popped in and out of the landscape.
The gameplay, which continues Pokemon’s transition into a more open world experience, remains enjoyable.
Shoddy graphics raise questions about Switch’s future
Some have put the poor graphical performance down to the Switch’s hardware – even the most recent iteration, the premium Switch OLED model, is less powerful than Sony’s last-generation PlayStation 4.
But more than five years after it was released, the Switch is still incredibly popular and was predicted to emerge as Black Friday’s most popular console.
Searches for the Switch were 132% higher than for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5, which chimes with consistent results showing the Switch to be the top-selling console every year since release.
The console is still capable of producing some excellent-looking games, with fans looking forward to the upcoming open world epic Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom.
Scarlet and Violet’s issues have raised questions about the future of regular Pokemon developer GameFreak, but regardless of the middling reception, Nintendo certainly won’t be worried about its financial performance.