Nintendo claimed they were unaware of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s performance issues before backtracking and releasing the much-needed patch.
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As reported by Dot Esports, players of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet had taken to Reddit to complain about their experience with Nintendo support. User efnfen4 told the unofficial Pokémon subreddit on November 21st “I filed a complaint about S/V performance with Nintendo support today.”
“And I encourage anyone who has also had issues with the frame rate, clipping, game crashes, stuttering, lagging etc. to file a complaint as well,” the frustrated user continued. “The service tech said they have received no complaints about Scarlet and Violet and know of no problems with the games. They also said they have no plans to release a patch or update to address performance issues at this time.”
“Whether this service tech would know or not, that is what they told me,” efnfen4 claims. “Since they say they don’t know of any problems with the games and have received no complaints, I encourage people to let them know what problems you’ve encountered. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post links but it is support at Nintendo’s website and ‘contact us’. I was able to speak with a real person in the chat feature.”
They later added, “if you do decide to file a complaint, please be respectful to the service workers. They didn’t mess up the game and don’t deserve to be treated poorly or rudely. They are there to receive your feedback and pass along news of your issues to their bosses. Thank you.”
Dot Esports mentioned other players had also shared their experiences contacting Nintendo Support, though none achieved the attention efnfen4’s post garnered — with almost 2oo comments and over 1,800 upvotes. “Please contact Nintendo and Pokemon Company. thry [sic] do not look at reddit,” implored Hett1138.
“I have at least a bit of hope that if enough people send direct emails to support, they will at least know that people aren’t happy. I spoke with live chat today through nintendo support and the person literally said ‘please send me links to people’s issues. We have not heard of any as of yet’,” Hett1138 alleged.
At least two other users claimed they successfully got a refund via Nintendo Support.
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On November 22nd however, user NikoEatsPancakes claimed “Nintendo ‘working as quickly as possible’ to resolve performance issues in Pokemon S/V.” While that post would be removed by moderators, Google Cache reveals the content of the post.
“I had a lengthy support chat session this morning where I described the performance issues I’m having with Violet to the agent. After brief troubleshooting attempts, she said she would need to escalate the issue to get it resolved. I then received this email from Nintendo of America,” NikoEatsPancakes said.
“Regarding the trouble you are having with Pokemon Violet, I wanted to let you know that we are working as quickly as possible to resolve it,” Nintendo of America allegedly stated. “Once the issue is resolved we will send you another email to let you know. Please note that this may take several weeks. Your patience is appreciated.”
“Cautiously optimistic I guess?” NikoEatsPancakes quipped. “I don’t really have faith that they’ll fix it completely, but here’s to hoping the most obnoxious issues can be taken care of.”
Even so, NikoEatsPancakes added additional comments based on the doubts some users had. “Regarding some of the negative responses I’ve gotten to this post: yes, I understand this doesn’t necessarily mean this is 100% indicative of a fix. I am still pretty sure they’re at least doing something about it based on the response I got, but how much they’re doing is yet to be seen.”
“Regarding the doubt about whether the rep was being truthful or not, I am fairly confident that they were being truthful given that the email I received was from NOA and not from a support rep — different people were involved in the process,” NikoEatsPancakes insisted.
“At the very least, even if there is no patch, we now know that they’re stating that they’re aware of the problem, which contrasts the previous ‘there is no war in Ba Sing Se’ approach that they were taking.”
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While Dot Esports reached out to Nintendo for comment when reporting on both instances, they have received no reply at this stage. The initial claim that Nintendo was unaware of the issue is sure to be a head-scratcher, as fans have shared numerous clips on Twitter of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet showing horrific performance issues and bugs.
Compilations — like those shown in the video below — show the player clipping through the ground, getting locked in a falling animation, other players’ bodies twisting or growing gigantic, NPCs having horrifically low framerate even up close (such as in an early classroom scene), and players and NPCs wandering through the middle of battles.
Other compilations show these aren’t isolated incidents either, with the same issues playing out at different points with different characters. GameXplain showed in their video that, even with the Day 1 patch for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, there were numerous issues.
The camera can zoom ahead of you when entering a building or shoot high into the sky if you’re in an enclosed space. There are long load times (eight seconds to enter a room with a single NPC and a cutscene), Pokémon can use their low-poly models even up close, and a white line appears on the left side of the screen during certain dialogue and scenes.
Other issues currently in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet include characters losing limbs or walking in the air, Pokémon sliding down slopes in battle or spawning in impossible places, and the camera clipping into scenery and the floor.
The player’s Pokémon also vanishes if they are large or high up compared to a small opponent (the camera seemingly trying to occupy the same space as the Pokémon), the skybox vanishes, entering menus in battle can change the global lighting, it runs at less than 30FPS with lag spikes, and more.
Some of these performance issues seem to affect Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s gameplay as well. These include Pokémon being defeated during a Terra Raid battle with some HP left (as seen in the video above at around the 2:07 mark), and being able to run faster by having two Joy-Cons connected to the Switch and controlling the player with both joysticks.
In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, you can greatly increase your running speed by connecting a second controller and using both left joysticks at an angle. from NintendoSwitch
Another Reddit user, Lord-Trolldemort, shared with the unofficial VGC Competitive Subreddit “Something funny is going on with accuracy checks in S/V cartridge doubles.”
“I noticed that frost breath, a 90% accuracy move, was missing a lot so I started recording the result of every battle,” Lord-Trolldemort revealed. “A few battles in to gathering data, I noticed that frost breath would always miss if it was the first accuracy check of the match.”
“I’ve played 14 battles where frost breath was the first accuracy check since I started recording, and frost breath has missed 14 times. For those doing the math, that would be a one in 100 trillion chance if the RNG were working correctly,” Lord-Trolldemort calculated.
“I have no idea why this is happening – my best guess is that the RNG is being seeded with the same number every battle, though I have no idea how they generate the RNG seed,” the user admitted. “I also don’t know if this is specific to go stadium or double battles in general, since there are no repeatable double battles in the game.”
“I eventually started recording when it happened, so enjoy:” Sure enough, the videos show a Frosslass using Frost Breath as its first move, and missing every single time. In short, Lord-Trolldemort is accusing the game of using the same “dice role” each time- with the same outcome each time.
As shown by Twitter user @Sibuna_Switch, as long as players use Sheer Cold as their first move in battle, it will always hit. For a 30% accurate move that is a one-hit knock out, this is devastating.
“Uh oh. Pokémon Scarlet/Violet Battle Stadium currently is using the same RNG seed for every battle,” @Sibuna_Switch reveals. “This allows us to choose moves to ensure that OHKO moves such as Sheer Cold always hit!”
Pokémon Scarlet/Violet Battle Stadium currently is using the same RNG seed for every battle.
This allows us to choose moves to ensure that OHKO moves such as Sheer Cold always hit! pic.twitter.com/lSlBJr1AF6
— Anubis (@Sibuna_Switch) November 27, 2022
GameXplain even warned players how to recover save data when — not “if” — Pokémon Scarlet & Violet crashes. “PSA: Avoid losing your save data when #PokemonScarletViolet crashes!!,” warns GameXplain.
“A cheat code lets you access a secret save BACKUP. Just press X + B + Up on title screen.” Even with autosave disabled, this accesses the back up save data.
PSA: Avoid losing your save data when #PokemonScarletViolet crashes!!💀A cheat code lets you access a secret save BACKUP. Just press X + B + Up on title screen pic.twitter.com/wJ5sBXjX3L
— GameXplain (@GameXplain) November 19, 2022
In short, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet are a complete mess. So much so, one bug literally shows the world falling apart mid-battle.
*MINOR SPOILERS IN THE CLIP BELOW.*
— ポケモンSV攻略@Game8 (@pokemon_game8) November 24, 2022
While the games are still playable, players frantically trying to jump up slopes or around tight spaces may get stuck. Fans have become incensed; this being yet another controversy. Prior mainline releases were criticized for poor animations, “Dexit,” and the general poor quality of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl.
While both Scarlet and Violet are currently at 76 Metascore on Metacritic from compiled reviews, the userscore averages out to 3.15 out of 10. Across most of the 3,000+ reviews, there is additional critique of poor texture and animation quality, the bland world, few interiors to explore, a lack of clothing options, no voice acting, and little end-game content.
Unfavorable comparisons to Pokemon Legends: Arceus were often made, such as abandoning its innovations and being inferior to it.
It should also be noted it’s impossible to tell which footage is from before the day 1 update, or whether an emulator is being used to play the game. Likewise, Metacritic cannot verify which users have actually played the games users review. Nonetheless, @CentroPokemon warns players “FRAMERATE ISSUES CAN BE FIXED BY RESTARTING THE GAME.”
“For our English following, we feel this is very important. Based on our testing, the biggest issue we have, the framerate drops, appear to come from a memory leak or similar when you are near towns or cities,” the fan-account explained.
“In every test we did, when the framerate became terrible after playing for a while, saving and restarting the game fixed it and returned it to normal levels,” @CentroPokemon claimed. “We hope this can be patched soon.”
Thankfully, @CentroPokemon’s and other player’s prayers have been answered. Announced on Twitter, Nintendo of America shared that details on the Ver. 1.1.0 patch, launched December 1st.
Along with fixing some dynamic battle music tracks only playing their introduction, the patch notes only mention that “Other select bug fixes have been made,” and the launch of Season 1 of Ranked Battles. Nintendo would then go on to admit, “We are aware that players may encounter issues that affect the games’ performance.”
“Our goal is always to give players a positive experience with our games, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” Nintendo added, emphasizing, “We take the feedback from players seriously and are working on improvements to the games.”
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