Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: new Gen 9 starters including Fuecoco and Sprigatito, and Switch game release date

The next mainline Pokémon games will introduce players to ‘Generation 9’ of the popular series

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2022’s Pokémon Day live-stream wasn’t expected to carry any Earth-shattering news for fans of the monster-collecting series.

After all, fans have already received two ‘full’ games from Nintendo in the last 12 months: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

So, news as monumental as another new mainline game was the last thing players expected.

But surprisingly, that’s what we’re getting, with the live-stream culminating in the reveal of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the game that is set to introduce a brand new “generation” of Pokémon to the series.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What are Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are the next mainline instalments in the long-running Pokémon series of games.

Fans will be especially excited about the news, as it’s been revealed that they will introduce a whole new “generation” of collectable pocket monsters to the series.

When the first games in the series - Pokémon Red and Blue - were released in the mid-90s, there were just 150 of the creatures to collect.

Throughout the years, new games have introduced new characters to the roster, and there are now nearly 900 characters!

Each new generation has brought in around 100 new creatures, so expect the full library of Pokémon to be nearing or exceeding the 1,000 mark once the game is released.

Despite the introduction of a brand new ‘generation’ of Pokémon, old favourites - like Pikachu - will still be available (Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)Despite the introduction of a brand new ‘generation’ of Pokémon, old favourites - like Pikachu - will still be available (Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)
Despite the introduction of a brand new ‘generation’ of Pokémon, old favourites - like Pikachu - will still be available (Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)

Alongside the promise of new monsters, the game sounds quite exciting in a number of other ways.

“Trainers will once again embark on an epic journey of discovery and exploration,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company.

“Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet will be an adventure unlike any other, and I cannot wait to share this incredible experience with all of you.”

What’s new?

In Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet - once again developed by long-time creators Game Freak - you’ll play as a Pokémon trainer, exploring an open world where various towns with no borders blend seamlessly into the wilderness.

“Pokémon can be seen everywhere in this wide-open world,” says The Pokémon Company’s press release on the game, “in the skies, in the sea, and on the streets.”

While the series has predominantly been set in locations based on the Japanese home of its developer, early footage from the game and hints found in other titles suggest Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet may be moving their action to a Mediterranean-inspired virtual locale.

And fans will be glad to note a definite graphical upgrade between this game and the visuals of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, released just a few weeks ago at the time of writing.

While that game was praised for its reinvention of the decades old Pokémon formula, in the graphics department it didn’t fare so well.

So more varied environments and better looking characters will be of some relief to fans looking forward to the next instalment.

What are the new starter Pokémon?

With the promise of a new generation of Pokémon, that means a new set of starter Pokémon to choose from.

Starter Pokémon are the first three monsters you are offered right at the beginning of your adventure, and come in grass, water and fire-type varieties.

Usually cutesy, first evolution forms, some of the series’ starter Pokémon have gone on to become franchise icons, and it looks as if this new batch could do the same.

Trainers will choose either Sprigatito, the “Grass Cat Pokémon”, Fuecoco, the “Fire Croc Pokémon” or Quaxly, the “Duckling Pokémon” to be their first partner.

When can I play it?

A concrete release date for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has not yet been given by developers Game Freak.

However, the studio has said that the new games will launch in “late 2022” exclusively for the Nintendo Switch system.

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