Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Rotom Phone review: it’s a literal lifesaver


Because the Pokémon world becomes a bigger, richer place full of an ever-growing variety of new monsters, the pokédexes trainers obtain firstly of their journeys have equally developed with the discharge of every new Pokémon sport. At first, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new Rotom Phone won’t seem like a serious step up from the first-gen mannequin launched in Pokémon Sword and Shield or appear in any respect novel in comparison with Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ deific Arc Phone. However the Paldea region’s hottest smartphone options numerous helpful updates to basic apps, UI modifications, and new lifesaving security options that make utilizing it really feel like a very new expertise.

Although pokédexes have an extended historical past of taking design cues from Nintendo’s handheld consoles, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet mark the return of Era VIII’s Rotom Telephone — an in any other case odd smartphone that turns into supercharged after being possessed by a Rotom. Whereas the bounce from Era VII’s Rotom Dex to the unique Rotom Telephone noticed the system undergo a drastic redesign to enhance pocketability, the Era IX Rotom Telephone is extra of an incremental {hardware} replace meant to make the cellphone extra helpful for adventuring. Other than a brand new second digicam module and a skinny built-in ring gentle round again, Scarlet and Violet’s Paldean Rotom Telephone appears to be like kind of precisely like final technology’s mannequin and is available in a well-known fiery red-orange however will also be personalized with a wide range of instances.

Two boys standing in a well-lit room as their levitating smartphones change information in front of them.Two boys standing in a well-lit room as their levitating smartphones change information in front of them.

Arven’s one of many many Paldean pokémon trainers who’ve personalized their Rotom Telephone.
Picture: Nintendo

Whereas it’s good to see the implementation of a dual-camera system on this 12 months’s Rotom Telephone, the addition of a second lens doesn’t appear to have executed all that a lot for the cellphone when it comes to its photo-taking capabilities. Other than 11 filters (none of that are something to jot down dwelling about), the brand new Rotom Telephone gives little in the best way of options meant to reinforce images or movies you’re taking, and the dearth of any zoom performance makes it particularly onerous to snap pictures of Paldea’s wild pokémon with out getting attacked within the course of. That being stated, the brand new Rotom Telephone’s front-facing digicam is leaps and bounds higher than its predecessor’s, largely because of the truth that it really works and is accessible somewhat than merely being a black dot on the system implying the existence of a digicam.

The shortage of a zoom makes it onerous to snap pics of untamed pokémon with out getting attacked

Some earlier Rotom-possessed items of package have been identified for being overly talkative and mentioning the apparent when all you’re making an attempt to do is work out the place sure pokémon like to hang around. However the Era IX Rotom Telephone stays pleasantly quiet as you’re utilizing its map, pokédex, and profile functions — the three most helpful instruments constructed into the system, which all chronicle your progress as each a coach and as a pupil at both Naranja or Uva Academy.

As a result of Paldea’s so large and its cities are sometimes linked by overwhelmed paths somewhat than paved roads or well-defined routes, the brand new pokédex’s map performance is essential to navigating the land and getting a grasp on how issues are located in relation to at least one one other. Along with massive cities like Mesagoza, the brand new Rotom Telephone’s map mechanically spotlights Tera crystal coordinates the place Tera Raid Battles could be undertaken, the areas of assorted fitness center leaders, and the locations the place particularly highly effective titan pokémon are identified to dwell. Although the map app’s zoomed-out view typically feels a bit unwieldy, while you’re zoomed in, it proves to be surprisingly helpful, each as a navigation help and as a light-weight detector for no matter pokémon occur to be in your instant neighborhood.


A zoomed-in view of the Rotom Telephone’s Map software.

With there being a lot to do in Paldea, and also you having the liberty to go to cities in whichever order you’d like, the Rotom Telephone’s skill to set waypoints which might be then mirrored in your minimap is invaluable when you set out on both your Koraidon or Miraidon. However there’s a specific amount of finickiness with the map as you’re zooming between totally different views of Paldea that sometimes makes leaping out and in of the appliance extra of a problem than it ought to be. That is very true contemplating how a lot of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is about exploration.

Every pokédex entry includes a distinctive, detailed wildlife photograph

Although the brand new Rotom Telephone’s map will inform you when sure wild pokémon are close by, getting extra detailed details about the totally different creatures would require you to fireplace up the brand new pokédex software developed by Naranja / Uva Academy biology teacher Jacq. Like earlier pokédexes, the Era IX iteration mechanically registers and shows vital stats and descriptions of pokémon after you’ve caught them or battled them. However somewhat than presenting all of its information as a simplified vertical listing that includes totally different sprites, the brand new Rotom Telephone’s pokédex app is styled extra like a horizontal, skeuomorphic bookshelf lined with dozens of books that every signify a distinct pokémon’s entry.

In contrast to the traditional pokédexes of outdated that needed to be stuffed out by hand, the brand new Rotom Telephone comes loaded with particulars about their common habitats and the precise sorts of locations inside these habitats that they wish to frequent — each of which turn into out there after you encounter a pokémon within the wild. Typically talking, the quantity of data the brand new ‘dex gives you with is kind of the identical in comparison with earlier generations, as are their descriptions of many basic pokémon. However the best way every pokédex entry includes a distinctive, detailed wildlife photograph of that specific pokémon is a welcome change that makes filling out the digital encyclopedia a delight (and a reminder of how restricted the Rotom Telephone’s digicam is).


Quaxly’s pokédex photograph.
Picture: Nintendo

As fairly as the brand new entries are, nevertheless, scrolling by means of the brand new Rotom Telephone’s pokédex will also be an train in frustration as a result of approach that pokémon sprites take a number of seconds to load while you’re paging by means of the app at excessive velocity. Hopefully that little bit of roughness could be smoothed out in future updates, however in its present state, it’s positively one thing concerning the pokédex that leaves a lot to be desired.

The identical can be true of the brand new Rotom Telephone’s profile software, which adorns a selfie of your selection with details about what number of badges you’ve collected, what number of pokémon you’ve caught, what number of sandwich recipes you’ve collected, and what number of shiny pokémon you’ve battled. Although it’s good to have the ability to see while you first enrolled at Naranja / Uva Academy, how a lot money you’ve bought readily available, and what fitness center badge results apply to you, the profile software feels just like the least fleshed-out a part of the Rotom Telephone. Had been that each one there may be to the brand new Rotom Telephone, one could be hard-pressed to actually perceive why upgrading the Paldean mannequin’s value it. However all it takes to actually respect the brand new Rotom Telephone’s coolest function is so that you can have it in your individual whereas falling from a harmful top that may significantly injure or kill somebody.

Trainers conversant in the Hisui area perceive effectively how dangerous it can be to wander out into the wilderness seeking highly effective pokémon who are likely to desire dwelling in distant areas that aren’t precisely secure for people. The Paldea’s pokémon aren’t fairly as aggressive as their Hisuian ancestors, however the area’s mountainous terrain is usually each bit as harmful as Hisui’s because of its myriad steep cliffs which might be past simple to slide from. Much like the best way that Apple’s most recent generation of iPhones and Apple Watches are outfitted with Emergency SOS options to assist people regardless of where they are in the world, the brand new Rotom Telephone can detect while you’ve fallen from an incredible top and can spring into motion to just remember to don’t plummet to your premature loss of life.

A boy falling off a cliff and being saved by his levitating cell phone, which flies out to break his fall just as he’s about to hit the ground.A boy falling off a cliff and being saved by his levitating cell phone, which flies out to break his fall just as he’s about to hit the ground.

A pokémon coach’s Rotom Telephone saving him from a steep fall.
Picture: Nintendo

Whereas the Rotom dwelling inside every Rotom Telephone doesn’t seem like all that taken with your well-being in regular conditions, throughout falling emergencies, it can take management of the system and use its skill to levitate to maintain you from crashing to the bottom as long as the cellphone’s in your palms. Together with saving your life, the brand new Rotom Telephone can even supply to fly you again up from the purpose you fell from as a result of it understands that when you most likely don’t imply to tumble from lighthouses or off rock faces, you do presumably imply to be up in these locations for one factor or one other.

Pokédexes (or the units containing them) are seldom essentially the most fascinating issues about exploring new areas of the Pokémon world, and the Paldean Rotom Telephone isn’t any exception. The brand new cellphone positively appears like a bit of {hardware} that understands the essential function it’s meant to play in your subsequent nice journey, and somewhat than making an attempt to pack in a bunch of little options right here and there that you just’ll by no means use, it’s centered on doing a few issues very effectively.

It might need been good to see the brand new Rotom Telephone outfitted with a extra sturdy set of photo-taking capabilities akin to New Pokémon Snap’s research camera, and the dearth of a serious aesthetic overhaul could disappoint some. However the truth that the brand new Rotom Telephone will actually save your life in conditions the place your life is in peril makes it a must have for any and all trainers trying to make their approach by means of Paldea.


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