Developed By: GAME FREAK Published By: Nintendo Category: RPG Release Date: 11.18.22 (Game) 9.13.23 (TTM) 12.14.23 (TID) Price: $59.99 (Game) $34.99 (DLC)
A little more than a year ago, GAME FREAK released Pokemon Scarlet and Violet for the Nintendo Switch, this year two DLC packs were released for the games. These DLC’s are called The Teal Mask and The Indigo Disk and together make up The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero. But before we can talk about the DLC’s, let’s first provide a brief review of the base games of Scarlet and Violet.
Scarlet and Violet are the first installments in the ninth generation of Pokémon but upon release, the games got a mixed reception from fans and critics due to performance issues and the game looking unfinished. It’s unfortunate that most players felt this way about Scarlet and Violet. As for me; however, I thought the game’s story, Pokemon designs and models, gameplay, character development, open world formula, and musical score were amazing and beautifully executed.
The three story paths are wonderfully told and flawlessly connect to the overall story of Scarlet and Violet. As for the performance issues, I don’t think that they were really that bad of an issue. Remember, the Switch came out six years ago, so I can forgive GAME FREAK for trying to develop a game that’s so far ahead of the Switch’s technical specs. But, that’s just my humble opinion.
If I had to say one bad thing about the game, it would have to be the lack of voice acting during the cinematic cutscenes. Don’t turn down this game just because of some performance issues, it’s still a fun and overall great experience and I have to praise GAME FREAK for finally giving fans what they wanted, an open world Pokemon game. But the complete Scarlet and Violet experience is so much more than the base games, now it’s time to talk about the DLC packs.
THE TEAL MASK
The Teal Mask is the first part of an overarching story that plays out over the entire DLC. To me, It sure felt like a part one because much of the story was a bit predictable when you’re finding out the truth about the local legend of the island village Kitakami. However, I must praise the character development within the story, especially towards Carmine and I did have a lot of fun playing the Ogre Outstin’ mini game.
The controls for this mini game are easy to understand and it’s a great way for friends to hang out together and have fun doing it. The returning Pokemon, including the Sinnoh Starters, are always such as a pleasure, while adding a few new Pokemon is a plus too. Overall, the Teal Mask was fun to explore; however, the story can be a bit predictable at times.
THE INDIGO DISK
Pack your backpacks because we’re going back to Unova in the second part of the DLC, called The Indigo Disk. For this DLC, the story is a bit improved and it resolved the conflict between Kieran and the player that began back in The Teal Mask, while also improving the character development between the characters that were introduced in the Teal Mask. The Indigo Disk provides a lot more post-game content than the actual base game and it is such a fun experience.
I especially loved the BBQ’s (Blueberry Quests) where you obtain BP’s while completing several different quests. You can also do these quests with your friends, which provides a great way for friends to come together and grind out BBQ’s. With these BPs, you can actually get all the starters, from every generation, to spawn in the wilds of the Terrarium within the Blueberry Academy. If I’m being honest, I spent most of my BPs on the Item Printer located in the League Club Room.
The Item Printer is such an awesome addition to the game. It lets you exchange the Pokemon materials you have gathered for some random useful items, such as Bottle Caps, which help hyper train your Pokemon. At times, it can also print out useful Pokeballs, including the Master Ball. With the BPs, you’ll be spending most of them on the Item Printer or inviting the Paldean Gym Leaders, teachers, and Elite Four trainers to the academy for challenging rematches.
Regarding the battles in this DLC, it’s recommended that you complete the base game and The Teal Mask’s stories first before coming to Blueberry Academy because the battles here are some of the most challenging fights in all of the games. This is especially true considering the majority of these battles are double battles. Regardless, you’ll have fun developing combinations with your Pokemon in these exciting battles.
Another added feature that I had fun with was the Synchro Machine, which is an item that lets you become your Pokemon. I had a blast flying around as my Charizard in the Terrarium. Overall, the Indigo Disk provides an excellent continuation of The Teal Mask’s story, adding returning and new Pokemon, and fun new mechanics to the gameplay.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet along with their DLC’s are such an amazing and wonderful action packed experience that it’s easy to ignore the performance issues that most players would complain about. It’s better for you and your friends to experience what Scarlet and Violet have to offer and not get discouraged from all the negatively surrounding the games. The stories are wonderfully executed and the Pokemon designs and model look better than ever. So get out there and find your treasure in GAME FREAK’s Pokemon Scarlet and Violet!