The first wave of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s DLC is out in the form of The Teal Mask as we explore the Kitakami region on a school trip. The Pokédex has expanded with more wild pokémon to catch, several new pokémon, and a cute, albeit short, story to work your way through. Will this drag you back into the world of Pokémon or are you waiting for both waves of the DLC to be released beforehand?
The story is quick to finish, especially if you prioritise it over pokémon hunting. It is a cute experience that covers misunderstandings from the long history and how stories can get corrupted from different perspectives. You’re offered the chance to go to the Kitakami region on a student trip with one of the teachers wanting to go to find out why there are terrastilisation signals coming from the area. This is all leading up to the second wave of DLC which completes the story being told.
Your rival character is a treat to encounter, initially being rude and not liking any outsiders entering her home eventually warms up to the player while still holding her competitive nature. The rival’s brother starts off as shy and awkward around you but due to misunderstandings becomes jealous and impulsive, which causes actions that end up progressing the plot. Then there are the new pokémon who are one note and lacking creative personality, but it’s nice to see pokémon really being used as part of the story with their own personalities.
- Cute story
- Pleasant change of characters
- More pokémon
As fun as catching pokémon and experiencing the story are, there is a serious struggle when it comes to the expansion’s performance. I had the game freeze by entering a cutscene from the wrong direction because I’d decided to climb my way over. On top of that, pokémon take a while to load in when exploring wild areas, and there are times where you will move at what feels like five frames per second. It feels like the overall performance from Scarlet & Violet has just gotten worse in the DLC and a performance patch really needs to be looked at.
The Kitakami region visually just looks so much like the Paldea region that it was hard to tell I was in a different area of the world at the time. While not expecting the Kitakami region to be as large as the Paldea region, it just feels small overall with not a lot to explore. It doesn’t help that most of the map feels like it is a mountain and you spend a lot of time climbing it.
- Performance issues
- Area doesn’t look distinct and is small
Final Score: 7/10
The Teal Mask is an interesting addition to Pokémon: Scarlet & Violet that at the moment doesn’t feel worth the cost of entry. However, with the addition of another set of DLC which looks to be larger and continues the story from both base game and wave one, the initial investment may hold up yet. The story and character really carry the DLC however, the performance struggles to hold up and the map just feels lacklustre. In the end, we can’t wait to see what the entire DLC package brings to the game.
Thank you for checking out our Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask DLC Switch review, thank you to Nintendo AU/NZ for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: