Welcome back to yet another Nintendo recap. There was plenty of Nintendo news this week, starting off with a new Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trailer on Wednesday. Despite being only roughly three and a half minutes long, the trailer introduced us to several new characters and mechanics that we're excited for, including Auto Battles.
In other news, Mario Kart Tour continues to go strong and is finally getting rid of a controversial feature. Splatoon 3 also released this week and has been received well. There's plenty more to discuss, so let's get this party started.
New Gen 9 Pokémon, paths, villainous team, and more shown in Scarlet and Violet trailer
Yet another Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trailer released this week, giving us new information regarding the upcoming RPGs that release on Nov. 18. We were introduced to the villainous group for Gen 9: rebellious students known as Team Star, who wear racing helmets and star-shaped shades.
Team Star's Fire crew, also known as Schedar Squad, are lead by a young woman named Mela who is shown battling the player from atop a massive vehicle. The fact that she is in charge of a specific group might mean that she is one of several Team Star bosses you'll face.
Three new Pokémon
We also got a close look at three new Pokémon. There is Klawf, a new crab-like creature with Rock typing. Then, there were two version exclusive creatures that wear armor. Armarouge can only be obtained in Scarlet and is a Fire/Psychic type with yellow and red coloring, while Ceruledge is only in Violet and is predominantly purple with Fire/Ghost typing. If you like the look of one more than the other than you might want to buy the version it belongs to.
We also got to see several returning Pokémon that had not been confirmed yet. I've been keeping track of all of the Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet by scouring every trailer and so far I've counted 148 creatures total. It's very likely that Gen 9 will take after Sword and Shield's Dex and have roughly 400 Pokémon initially but imight introduce even more with DLC.
Paths and the return of Alphas?
It had been previously confirmed that players will make their way through three distinct paths in Scarlet and Violet. Now we know that one of these paths is called Path of Legends. Here, players seek out something called legendary "Herba Mystica" while interacting with the talented cook and upperclassman, Arven. Players will also have the chance to take on the "Stony Cliff Titan Klawf," which is larger than average and might be something like the Alpha Pokémon we originally saw in Legends: Arceus. If nothing else, it looks like it will present a unique challenge for players to face.
Exploration and brand new Auto Battles
After watching the trailer, I went on the Pokémon website and discovered a page that went into detail on some information we didn't see in the trailers. For example, you can apparently command a Pokémon following you to go and pick something up in the distance.
But more intriguing still, you can even tell your following Pokémon to participate in Auto Battles while you go off and do something else. This means they can fight independently of your instructions and gain EXP without needing your input. This is a brand new mechanic that we've never seen in a core game before. The question now is, how easy is it for a Pokémon to faint while Auto Battling? If they faint do you too? Finally, will walking too far away end the fight and how far can you go? I'll keep my ear to the ground and will report if I learn anything.
New Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Edition Switch OLED announced
Wednesday morning after the Pokémon trailer dropped, Nintendo announced a Switch OLED - Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Edition will release on Nov. 4. The dock is white with the Legendaries, Koraidon and Miraidon, on the front. Meanwhile, the Joy-Cons are orange and purple, and feature the two Academy logos: a shield with an orange and a shield with grapes.
On the backside, there's a fun, haphazard design intended to look like Pokémon stickers depicting the three starters and other logos. Strangely enough, Sprigatito and Fuecoco are on both of the Joy-Con halves' backsides, but Quaxly is only on the system itself, which feels a bit partial to the Grass and Fire types.
As of the time of this writing, preorders were not yet available, but that is set to change soon.
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet preorder bonuses disappoint
In similar news, Kotaku recently reported that fans were upset by Scarlet and Violet's preorder bonuses. When you see what paltry rewards are given you'll understand why.
Pre-order Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet, or Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet Double Pack, and receive a download code for an exclusive in-game Healing Set. https://t.co/l8JJPa4dB5 pic.twitter.com/DRYkofwgTrAugust 26, 2022
Preorder players receive a "Healing Set" made up of 10 potions, 10 antidotes, and three revives. In the past, preordering has netted unique clothing, special Pokémon, or other helpful items. But the Healing Set is made up of basic items that players have traditionally been able to grab early on in a game. It's no wonder that people find them so unsatisfying.
Splatoon 3 leaks ahead of successful release
Unfortunately for Nintendo, its last several big game releases have leaked early, and this proved to be the case for Splatoon 3. Physical versions of the game found their way onto retailer shelves a week before the game's release on Sept. 9.
The thing with multiplayer games getting out before release is that those who obtained copies ahead of time can't access multiplayer since dedicated servers aren't live until launch. However, images and information for the leaked single-player mode are still all over the internet. If you don't want to see these spoilers then you'll want to be extra careful when browsing.
Splatoon 3 has been received favorably overall and currently has a Metascore of 84, which is the highest Metascore any Splatoon game has received so far. Some players are upset that the game isn't different enough from the previous title.
Our own Nadine Dornieden is currently in the middle of reviewing it and she says that Splatoon 3 doesn't need to justify itself since it still offers plenty of improvements and is fun to play. You can check back next week for her full review.
It Takes Two rumored for Switch
As reported by WhatIfGaming, The Snitch leaker hinted on Discord that this Game of the Year winner will be coming to Nintendo Switch. The Snitch didn't leave written confirmation but rather a string of emojis that represent the levels found in the game surrounded by the Switch logo on either side.
As always, it's important to take this rumor with spoonfuls of salt. If this news is accurate then it's possible an announcement like this could be in the rumored September Nintendo Direct that will supposedly also include news for Wind Waker and Twilight Princess on Switch.
It Takes Two's gameplay does make sense for Switch since it's a co-op story about two parents who are turned into toys and must work together to become human again. Along the way, they deal with their issues and come to a better understanding. However, the visuals for versions that have already released on other platforms are advanced, so a Switch version would either need descaled imagery or it would need to be available through cloud streaming. We'll have to see which it is if this leak turns out to be true.
Mario Kart Tour changes things up
It's crazy to think that Mario Kart Tour is already three years old. The mobile game released back in September 2019 and since then, it's made early $300 million (thanks NintendoLife). This makes it one of its most financially successful mobile games, right up there with Pokémon Go, Diablo Immortal, and the reigning king, Fire Emblem Heroes.
However, it seems some big changes are on the horizon for this Mushroom Kingdom racer. We learned at the end of last week that a controversial gacha mechanic is getting removed. Since launch, players could pay an in-game currency of rubies to launch random rewards. Now, this gacha mechanic is getting replaced sometime in September with a new Spotlight Shop.
Here's a peek at #MarioKartTour's update coming late September! Battle mode will be added, along with a Spotlight Shop, where you can exchange rubies for drivers, karts, and gliders! Also, pipes you can fire by using rubies will be removed. See the notification for details. pic.twitter.com/brsI1tH8YDSeptember 2, 2022
Gacha mechanics and loot boxes have long been viewed critically as gambling devices that are angled at children. Many countries around the world have made them illegal. On top of that, they just make games feel cheap. So it's good to see that Mario Kart Tour is getting rid of this feature.
Switch games to play this week
If you love playing competitively online or locally with friends then you really ought to check out Splatoon 3. Unlike other shooters, the goal is not to take out opponents but to paint as much of the battle arena as you can with your color in literal turf wars. The action is silly, there are tons of weapons to play with, and there's also a solo mode.
Can't wait for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to release? Well, Temtem, a new creature collecting game, might just scratch that itch until November. You choose a Temtem creature at the start and then travel around catching more elemental creatures and defeating others. It's more challenging than typical Pokémon games with a slightly more adult tone, but not by much.
Chuhai Labs made something very special with Cursed to Golf. Players are stuck in Golf Purgatory and must strike their way through several different levels with the help of legendary golfing ghosts. The levels change each time you fail ensuring that there's something new to try each time.
Cult of the Lamb is like a mix between evil Animal Crossing and Hades. Players start off as a lamb who has been saved from death by a powerful deity. Now it wants you to start a cult and sacrifice members to it. Thus the name Cult of the Lamb. There are plenty of roguelike fighting elements as well as life-sim farming elements to enjoy.
Happy Splatoon 3 weekend!
I'll be spending the weekend running around as an Octoling and trying to spray paint as wide and far as I can. Perhaps I'll even play against one of you while engaging in the online portions of Splatoon 3. Regardless of what you play, I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear