The release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet sparked mixed reactions in the community. Fans had diverse opinions, with some expressing concerns about bugs and technical problems, while others embraced the new mechanics and open-world features. Over time, the community has cooled off, and long-term players, especially competitive ones, have delved into the meta. Despite technical issues, The Teal Mask, the first DLC, brings new elements to the series, enhancing the competitive side and offering a promising start to a larger expansion.
Story and Setting:
The Teal Mask takes players on a class field trip to Kitakami, a new region inspired by rural Japan. The narrative revolves around exploring Kitakami, uncovering the tale of the legendary Loyal Three and the fearsome ogre. The region’s cultural richness sets it apart, providing a captivating backdrop for the storyline.
The DLC introduces two standout characters, Carmine and Keiran, siblings from Kitakami. Their perspectives add depth to the narrative, with Keiran’s struggle for acceptance paralleling the story of the Loyal Three and the Ogre. The touching story unfolds over approximately four to five hours, offering a refreshing departure from traditional Pokemon tropes.
Gameplay and Exploration:
The Teal Mask maintains the core Pokemon gameplay, encouraging players to explore Kitakami, catch new Pokemon, and complete the Kitakami Pokedex. After completing the main story, there are still secrets to discover and a powerful new Pokemon to catch. The DLC introduces new and returning Pokemon, such as Dipplin, Sinistcha, and the Loyal Three, along with fan favorites like Milotic and Chandelure.
For competitive players, The Teal Mask introduces new TMs, moves, and quality-of-life changes. Notable additions include Grassy Glide, Syrup Bomb, and Matcha Gotcha, potentially impacting the competitive scene. The DLC addresses the absence of certain moves like Scald and Toxic, making them available again. The Ogre Oustin’ minigame enhances EV training, making it easier for players to prepare their Pokemon for battles.
While online functionality is decent, the absence of a Battle Tower or similar endgame content limits the opportunities for testing strategies and builds. The DLC hints at the possibility of such content in the second expansion, but for now, Scarlet and Violet feel incomplete in terms of the endgame experience.
A significant drawback of The Teal Mask, similar to Scarlet and Violet, is the technical performance. The new region suffers from low frame rates, poor textures, and visual bugs. Despite minor fixes in update 2.0.1, the technical issues persist, affecting the overall gaming experience.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, along with The Teal Mask DLC, offer a compelling mix of new experiences and challenges. While technical issues continue to be a concern, the DLC contributes positively to the competitive side of the series. The captivating story, diverse Pokemon additions, and promising groundwork for future expansions make The Teal Mask an exciting addition for both competitive players and Pokemon enthusiasts eager to explore more of the Pokemon world.