Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have released Pokémon Scarlet and Violet on Nintendo Switch. It ushers in the ninth generation of Pokémon games, and supports local and online co-op.

Scarlet and Violet are set in the Paldea region, a new setting based on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). It’s the first game in the series to offer a full open world design, including open wilderness and urban areas (Sword and Shield and Legends: Arceus featured limited open world zones).

The plot is divided into three main storylines. The Path of Legends encourages trainers to explore Paldea and battle threateningly giant Pokémon. Starfall Street involves the villainous schemes of Team Star, a group of rebel students. And finally, Victory Road represents the traditional Pokémon path of battling gym leaders, earning badges, and becoming the very best, like no one ever was.

Another new change in the story: players are no longer forced to battle gym leaders in a certain order, nor follow a select path.

The new gameplay gimmick introduced in Gen 9 is Terastal. “Terastallizing” is when a Pokémon unleashes its hidden Tera form, changing its Type, appearance, and unlocking special moves. You won’t know what kind of type the Tera Pokémon is until it transforms for the first time.

Pre-orders and early purchases can redeem a code to receive a special Pikachu which has the Flying Tera type, and knows the move Fly. The offer is available through February 28, 2023.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is rated E for Everyone.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.