General

Are car fights a good idea?

Raid battles in Pokemon

There’s a lot to unpack from the latest trailer for Pokemon Scarlet & Violetfrom fighting giant crabs to the Mega Manlike new Pokémon until the reveal of Team Star as the primary antagonists. With three different storylines and some fascinating new Pokémon, it seems obvious Scarlet and Violet will be the game that seduces even the most cynical people pokemon fans back to the herd.


At the same time, there are points that set critics apart, no more than the new combat mechanics. Called “Let’s go!” through promotional materials, these car battles see the player send their Pokémon away to battle wild Pokémon alone. On the one hand, this seems like a fun mechanic – but does it really help the experience, or hinder it?

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Surprisingly, automatic battles are not an entirely new feature for pokemon. Back in Generation III with Pokemon Emerald, the Battle Palace left Pokémon fighting alone, as did the Battle Tent in Verdanturf. In either case, attacks would be selected based on the nature of the Pokémon, with some favoring status moves and others attacks. In theory, this was an interesting way to see how a Pokémon’s nature affected their behavior. In practice, this often resulted in a Pokémon spamming the same ineffective move until they passed out. Considering how the encryption in pokemon can often be questionable, fans are naturally suspicious of this concept. After all, what’s stopping a Pokémon with red health from picking a battle they can’t win?

There’s also the concern that, when a Pokémon is set to auto-battle, the player will still have to keep an eye on them, thwarting the target. Concerned about a weakened Pokémon fighting sideways, fans are also concerned that their Pokémon will attack and defeat a shiny one. Since such Pokémon are so rare, it’s easy to visualize this as a worst-case scenario

Perhaps the most pressing is the concern that auto-fighting is just another step in the growing oversimplification of pokemon spell. It’s no secret that the games have gotten simpler, and while some may not have the time or inclination to sink their teeth into a more complex game, the main tenet of pokemon games is the fighting itself. Fans might joke about that pokemon fights are just “press A to win”, but it still requires some attention and work. To get the main point of a . to have pokemon to actually have the game play automatically, some wonder if it makes sense to play at all.

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Admittedly, there are some positives to car battles that get fans excited. First, it gives the Pokémon itself more personality, and fans are interested in how different Pokémon will approach battle if left to their own devices. Auto battle is specifically mentioned in conjunction with raids on Team Star bases as these battles are described as wave after wave of battles until the boss comes out on the Starmobile. In this case, conducting an automated, real-time battle is simply more sensible and player-friendly than over and over with the same button-mashing battle. One is fast and keeps the player on their toes, while the other is the kind of grind old fans prefer to avoid.

Speaking of crunching, auto-fighting also makes it easier for players to level up their Pokémon, as it wouldn’t be the case with repeating the same action indefinitely in hopes of getting stronger. Instead, the player and their Pokémon would explore the overworld and do their own things, possibly building camaraderie between the player and their partners. Since next Pokémon appear to be back, this is yet another tick that will hopefully be validated in November.