Two professors. A true open-world. Legendary Pokémon that can turn into freakin’ motorcycles. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are incrementally shaping up to be some of the most intriguing role-playing games of the fall. Today, the Pokémon Company made that even more clear with a new trailer that ran down the game’s antagonists.
Of course, a mainline Pokémon game can only break so much ground, married to form as they are. Scarlet and Violet versions, planned for a Switch release on November 18, follow the monster-gathering footsteps of their forebears. But every new iteration (Scarlet and Violet mark the beginning of generation nine) has pushed the envelope somewhat. And early footage has shown off a ton of firsts, including new Pokémon, a new realm, and a new graphical style. For fans, it looks awesome, or at least fresh.
Here’s the latest trailer, which shows off the new “treasure hunt” mechanic:
The Pokémon Company
It’s blisteringly paced, and runs through a ton of what players can expect from the game.
As revealed in last month’s trailer, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet casts you as an academy student. Today’s trailer opens with a look at Mela, who runs the “fire crew” of Team Star, the “school’s troublemakers.” Every Pokémon game has featured a “team”—a group of ne’er-do-wells who always appear in the wrong spots and are just generally a nuisance. Team Star appears to be that for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. That there are various segments of the team differentiated by type could make the antagonist team far more interesting to fight against than in previous games. (Typically, enemy teams stick to the same old poison-type roster.)
The trailer also showed off some kinder opponents—including rival Nemona, elite four member Geeta, and grass-type gym leader Brassius—in action. And we got a look at three new Pokémon: the giant rock-type crab Klawf, the fire-ghost-type Ceruledge (calling dibs), and the fire-psychic-type Armarouge. Also, Nintendo UK announced a Pokémon Scarlet and Violet-themed Switch - OLED Model. It’s out November 4:
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are the first games in the series to feature not one but two professors—the typical mentor NPC for the player character. The first, Sada, all done up in orange, prehistoric-inspired clothing, will appear in Scarlet. The painfully future-chic Turo, meanwhile, will headline Violet. The vivid red Koraidon and deep purple Miraidon, two legendary dragon Pokémon, will headline Scarlet and Violet respectively as well. Rather than mere fierce monsters, you’ll also be able to humiliatingly ride them (by land, air, or sea).
The most significant change, though, is the switch to an open-world model. Historically, Pokémon games have been linear romps. You’d battle your way through eight high-powered trainers, called gym leaders, in a predetermined order. Scarlet and Violet will let you approach them in any order you wish. As my colleague Sisi Jiang pointed out last month, this means, for the first time, the three starter Pokémon will theoretically be on equal footing. Pour one out for the Charmander fans of yore, yes, but also cheer for Quaxly, a feckless water-type duck who already has the entire Paldea region (and the rest of the world) stacked against it.