Fans of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are expressing disappointment over the reveal that the game’s new approach to the series’ gym challenge doesn’t appear to scale with players’ progress.
The recent showing of Pokémon Presents reaffirmed the fact that there is no set path by which you must complete all three of the game’s stories. One of those arcs is the iconic gym challenge, within which you’ll need to defeat all eight gym leaders to earn their badges. With Game Freak revealing that you’ll be able to take on gyms in any order you want as you travel through the Paldea region, some players assumed those gym leaders might climb alongside you, forming more powerful teams if you encounter them later in the game. than they could in the early hours.
Thing is, that’s not just a random quirk of the community. Many RPGs offer some degree of level scaling, and Pokemon has actually provided an in-universe solution to this exact problem. In the first episode of the Pokemon Origins miniseries (opens in a new tab) – which turns Pokémon Red and Blue into their own anime – protagonist Red arrives at the Pewter City gym to face off against leader Brock. When Brock learns that Red doesn’t have any badges yet, he agrees to fight him with two specific Pokémon, instead of his entire team. It’s just a brief, throwaway moment, but one that explains a lot about how Pokémon gyms could work outside of the context of games.
It’s also a system that probably would have worked in the new games. Show up with a team of three first stage ‘mons’, and a Gym Leader will match you up with a smaller, weaker team. Rock up with six fully evolved beasts, and the leaders would respond in kind.
Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case. As noted on Reddit (opens in a new tab), the games official website says that “there is no set path to gyms. You can purposely search for a stronger gym leader, or you can just drop by a gym that is in a city you found on your journey. .” From that, it’s pretty clear that even if the last gym you get to is the intended ‘first’ gym, it won’t be much of a challenge.
Responses on Reddit have not been particularly positive. User eden_sc2 (opens in a new tab) he suggests that “no level ladder would make the gym request completely worthless.” Elsewhere, user Kureiton (opens in a new tab) he notes that proper scaling could make things easier, “because a casual player is much more likely to get lost and accidentally end up in a more difficult gym without realizing it.” Elsewhere, one user simply described the decision as a “disappointment.”
It will be interesting to see how the game’s other two story arcs could take on a more open-ended approach rather than the traditional linear Pokemon story, but this feels like a peculiar roadblock, particularly in a series that has been criticized for its denial. to include higher difficulty options for veteran players.
review the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet PokeDex to see all creatures confirmed so far.