Pokémon Scarlet and Violet rekindled the sense of wonder that had been somewhat lost in the franchise since the days of the early Gameboy and 3DS games.
It feels like it’s been a long time since it came out but finally, the DLC is here!
As the first instalment of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet expansion pass, “The Teal Mask” brilliantly delves into this rich lore and world-building. It expands the scope and adventure of the base game while offering a focused and cohesive standalone experience.
“The Teal Mask” transports players to Kitakami, a mountainous region inspired by traditional Japanese countryside, in stark contrast to the bustling Paldea. Here, rice farms and apple orchards replace towns and fuel stations, offering a serene setting where you can continually discover new Pokémon and a few familiar faces from Pokemon past like my number one favourite Squirtle.
The core narrative revolves around your participation in a school trip to Kitakami in collaboration with Blueberry Academy. Your mission is to explore three signboards across Kitakami, uncovering a local folktale featuring a grass type “Ogerpon” and the Loyal Three. Ogerpon, believed to have tormented Kitakami, and the Loyal Three, the region’s protectors who pushed Ogerpon into hiding, form the heart of this intriguing tale.
However, not everything is as it appears, and as you progress through the main story of “The Teal Mask,” you’ll uncover the true nature of Ogerpon and the Loyal Three. Alongside you are Kieran and Carmine, two students from Blueberry Academy who offer their unique perspectives on Kitakami and its legendary folktale.
“The Teal Mask” balances its role as the first part of a larger narrative with its ability to tell a compelling standalone story. It delivers a satisfying conclusion for its characters and broader plot while teasing what’s to come in “The Indigo Disc.” It also cleverly explores themes like bullying, exclusion, and the spread of rumours, tying back to the brilliant base games.
Gameplay-wise, “The Teal Mask” retains much of the base game’s mechanics players will still enjoy catching Pokémon, engaging in trainer battles, and exploring the overworld. Kitakami is also dotted with Tera Raid Battles featuring returning Pokémon that are new to Scarlet and Violet, the Kitakami Pokédex features 200 entries, making it a substantial addition to your collection.
New systems like Ogre Oustin’ and the photography minigame add fun diversions while post-game content includes the challenge of capturing the Loyal Three and completing all Pokédex entries, providing incentives to explore Kitakami further. The level scaling offers a suitable difficulty curve, ensuring an engaging experience for players with higher-level teams.
This DLC expansion for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet successfully immerses players in a serene and captivating world, bolstered by an engaging storyline and new Pokémon. The game retains the new-look charm and enjoyment of the base game and grows on it with a promising setup for the next part, “The Indigo Disc,” fans have much to look forward to in the evolving world of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.