The Pokémon franchise first launched in 1996 as a video game for the Nintendo Gameboy. This was a role-playing game in which players could take on the role of a trainer who sets out on a journey to become a league champion. By capturing Pokémon found in the wild, players can battle other trainers to gain experience points, level up, and evolve their partner Pokémon in their goal to be the very best.
Since 1996, this video game series has seen a multitude of releases, with numerous mainline entries and spinoff games. The latest titles gracing shelves are the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games, which is set in a Mediterranean Spain-inspired region, previously unseen in the series.
This is also the first time in the series that a game introduces a truly open world, without any borders and load screens separating the sections. The new games are set to release in November 2022, so fans might be getting jittery with anticipation. So to help satiate that need, here are five games that one can play while they wait for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinions
5 games to scratch that Pokémon itch, before Scarlet and Violet arrive
1. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
For a similar experience to the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games, players can look to the previous entry. Pokémon Legends: Arceus launched earlier this year, on January 28, for the Nintendo Switch.
Unlike past games in the series, Arceus takes place in the distant past, set in the Hisui region. Evolving from the games that came before, Arceus’s world contains Pokémon that can be physically seen by the trainer, instead of encounters only in tall grass. This game also provides players with various Hisui variants of well-known Pokémon.
However, the core gameplay remains the same, which entails players needing to catch the eponymous creatures and battle against other trainers as well as wild Pokémon. Registering information about the creatures in a prehistoric version of a Pokedex is another task that players must complete.
If anyone has ever wondered what Pokémon would look like if it ever went the MMORPG route, then they should look no further than Temtem. Available for early access on Steam and PS 5 since 2020, the game is heavily inspired from the Nintendo’s Pocket Monsters IP and is developed by Crema.
In this game, players assume the role of a Temtem Tamer, who can meet and collect various wild creatures known as Temtem, and proceed to use them in battles against other Tamers across the game world. Battles are carried out in dual fights, with each tamer using two Temtems from their selection.
Gamers start their journey on the floating islands of the Airborne Archipelago. As per the narrative revealed so far, a nefarious group known as Clan Belsoto, who plan to take over the islands, serve as the antagonist. The game is set to get a full release, as well as versions for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X/S, in September 2022.
3. Digimon World: Next Order
Digimon first started as a virtual pet toy, growing in popularity and ultimately becoming an anime series. Telling the story of Digital Monster, creatures composed fully of data who partnered up with humans to defend their world, this premise soon became a popular concept for video games.
Digimon World: Next Order was one such video game, which was originally released for the PS Vita in 2016, and then later for the PS4 in 2017. It was a role-playing game developed by B.B. Studio and published by Bandai Namco, played in third-person, where players assumed the role of a Digimon Trainer who was partnered up with two Digimon.
Set in an open-world environment, it sees players do battle with their partner Digimon, making them stronger, evolving, and bonding with them. Other Digimon can also be collected, with a total of 232 available to obtain in the western release of the game.
4. World of Final Fantasy
An RPG game developed by Tose and Square Enix, World of Final Fantasy was released in 2016 for the PS4 and PS Vita and was later brought to Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
Set in Grymoire, a world of coexisting Final Fantasy locations from different games, the story follows Lann and Reynn who possess the power to tame Mirages, the term used for the various monsters in the world.
Throughout their journey in this world, the siblings meet and befriend various Mirages, whom they employ to aid them in navigating the world or in battles. These can be in the form of riding large mirages or using them to solve puzzles. Additionally, the siblings can also change their sizes to large or minuscule forms to help them get around.
Combat utilizes the Active Time Battle system that has been employed in many Final Fantasy games before, in the form of turn-based battles. Stacking Mirages upon each other can lead to various boons as well as decreasing the number of turns for the player.
In addition to the standard Mirages, temporarily summonable special Mirages can also be collected to aid players significantly.
5. Yo-kai Watch 4
Available exclusively for Nintendo Switch and PS4, Yo-kai Watch 4 is an action RPG set in the Yo-kai Watch series of video games. Developed and published by Level-5, the game was released in 2019. Like previous games in the series, the player is in control of a protagonist who possesses a Yo-kai Watch, which allows them to perceive, befriend and call upon creatures known as Yo-kai.
Set across three different time periods, players will be playing as several different characters as they traverse the world and compete in various battles. Combat makes use of both human and Yo-kai characters, as players can form an active party, with 1 human character and up to 3 Yo-kai creatures.
Players may freely switch between human characters and Yo-kai characters in battle, utilizing the best of their abilities as seen fit. When not controlling a Yo-kai, the creature will behave according to its personality as it exists outside of combat. The game also features an explorable overworld, which is split up into different sections.
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