When I checked out Pokémon Scarlett I was in love.
The game’s story was better than expected but running around the open world was fun as hell. Annoyingly the bugs and performance issues held the enjoyment back from being the amazing game it should have been. Well now the first of 2 parts of a DLC package have dropped so I was ready to jump back in and see how much the game has improved.
The DLC kicks off with you jumping back into the world and getting a call to return to the Academy’s Entrance Hall. Here you meet Miss Briar from the Blueberry Academy in the Unova region. It turns out you have been chosen to go on an exchange program, so it is time to venture off to a new land.
Well new to Juliana, we saw Unove in Black and White. And don’t get too amped that you’ll be going back to this old school map either, it is just a small area based on that continent.
Anyway, back to the game. The storyline is not too long, so I won’t spoil too much, but the big mystery is a local legend about a legendary Pokémon and 3 others that protect the land from it. You investigate, learn more, and well…. Fight some Pokémon. On the whole the story is nice and light, and enjoyable enough for a Pokémon game.
Fortunately the DLC isn’t just this short story. There are some new Pokémon to catch, both from history and some brand newbies, and heaps of additional side quests to tuck into. I spent easily 6 hours fluffing around in the DLC, which is pretty dang solid. You get a new Pokédex to fill up, but you get a head start with any you caught in the base game.
As for bugs, they aren’t gone yet. Within minutes of being in the new area it was really struggling to play the game. It was chugging and the framerate dropped like crazy. I didn’t hit any hard crashes this time, which might be luck, but still, either this game isn’t optimized for the Switch hardware, or the Switch needs a beefy upgrade. It wasn’t enough to stop me enjoying the game, but it was bloody rough at times.
On the whole, The Teal Mask was a fun as hell bit of DLC.
The light hearted story, new Pokémon and just general fun is all there. I just hope the game runs smoother by the time the second part of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC releases. I’m not optimistic.
Released: September 2023
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Game Freak