As the newest installments in the Pokemon franchise, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet should achieve great things due to their promotion of open-world gameplay and choose-your-own-path adventure style never before seen in the franchise. While the game lived up to below-par expectations and a plethora of glitches, many fans were divided over which version of the game was better.
Similar to previous games in the Pokemon series, the games had very few differences. Different professors and gym leaders, plus a few version-exclusive monsters, were pretty much the only changes between each $60 game. However, that didn’t stop fans from arguing whether Scarlet or Violet was superior.
In Scarlet, the trainer encounters the legendary Pokemon Koraidon, while purple players can encounter Miraidon. These two directly show the stylistic differences between the new designs chosen for each game. While Scarlet’s Area Zero grabs creatures from the past, Violet grabs creatures from the future. As someone with a full Pokedex (acquired by trading from players who own the other version) and over 100 hours in game, I can confidently say that Scarlet is superior in virtually every way.
Paradox Pokemon, an ancient Pokemon transformed into versions of its future or past self, is one of the most important things these new games offer. Hence, they are something that should be looked at highly when deciding which game is better. In violet, all future forms are metallic and share a similar shiny theme of becoming silver. Their names also have no taste for them, as they all share the “iron” theme, followed by a body part or title to describe the unique monster.
Meanwhile, Scarlet gives us a glimpse into the past (similar to the game Legends: Arceus, which introduced Hisuian forms). These earlier forms give a deeper look into how Pokémon evolved into their current versions, giving them unique names like Scream Tail and Roaring Moon. Scarlet’s forms aren’t limited like Violet, as they must revolve around technology and metal. Instead, Scarlet is able to present a design that isn’t forced to be the same as all other paradoxical Pokemon. This makes each new monster unique and different enough to provide players with eye candy rather than finding a metal version of the same Pokemon they’ve seen a thousand times.
Aside from certain characters that players encounter, the story doesn’t differ much. As such, it should be up to the Legendary Pokemon and the new Paradox forms to determine which game is superior. While Miraidon is praised for being purple, Koraidon’s design is similar to that of the Aztec Quetzalcoatl. It comes with a shiny mold that makes it look even better (compared to Miraidon, which gets the same shiny treatment as the paradoxical versions, where it just turns silver). Because of this, I believe Scarlet is better in terms of creativity and design and should be considered over Violet for people intending to play the game beyond the original storyline.