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Pokémon Scarlet And Violet Leaks Point To A Controversial Return

The recent "Pokémon Presents" livestream revealed a ton of new information about "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet," including the Double Pack that bundles both games and some extra special goodies. It also revealed that gyms can be beaten in any order, a new concept that has "Pokémon" fans pretty excited. However, a recent leak about the new games has deflated a bit of that hype, revealing the return of something that many hardcore fans really don't like. On Twitter, noted Pokémon YouTuber and leaker Blaines shared a screenshot from "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet" showing a post-battle screen that apparently depicts two Pokémon getting EXP. Blaines said that EXP Share is back and may not be toggled off in "Scarlet" and "Violet."

In the original games, only Pokémon that participated in battle got EXP, meaning players had to grind to get their entire party to the appropriate level. EXP Share was originally an item that would grant EXP to the single Pokémon holding it. Starting in "Pokémon X" and "Y," it became a key item that gave the entire party EXP after battle, but could be turned off if players so chose. 

In later games, including the recent "Pokémon Sword and Shield" and "Pokémon Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl," EXP Share became a default mechanic that could not be turned off, meaning every single battle would give an inordinate amount of EXP to Pokémon who didn't even participate. This resulted in an experience that felt entirely too easy for some players, and many hardcore fans aren't happy to see its potential return in the newest game.

Hardcore Pokémon fans want to option to turn off EXP Share

Some "Pokémon" fans were hoping the option to turn off EXP Share might return in "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet." As one user on Reddit wrote, "Really bummed out they are hellbent too on not making the Exp. Share All optional ever again. There was literally no justification for taking that player choice away."

In the Twitter replies to the leaked information, one person laid out the case as to why people want to turn off EXP Share. They said that with EXP Share, they always end up with an over-leveled Pokémon team, sometimes reaching five to 10 levels higher than their opponents. This would trivialize the combat in the game, making it feel mindless or boring for the rest of the experience. While having the entire party gain EXP after battle is common for a number of turn-based RPGs, it seems like Game Freak hasn't managed to find a balance in the recent Pokémon games that makes fans happy. It also seems like Game Freak doesn't intend on bringing back the option to not use EXP Share anytime soon. If the comments below Blaines' post are any indication, this continues to be an unpopular design choice.