In the first expansion for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, titled The Teal Mask, Game Freak attempts to continue the open-world pivot that began with the Isle of Armor DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield. However, this new expansion falls short in addressing the technical issues and uninspired world design that plagued the base games.
The Teal Mask takes players on a self-guided adventure in a small open world known as Kitakami. The story revolves around a charming tale of a shy, misunderstood Pokémon and its journey to find acceptance. This theme offers a heartfelt exploration of emotions through the colorful monster characters.
Unfortunately, the quests in The Teal Mask feel dull and repetitive. Players are tasked with finding signposts, battling the same trainers multiple times, and participating in a berry-collecting mini-game. While there are returning monsters and a few new designs, it lacks the engaging gameplay and variety of activities that were present in the Isle of Armor DLC.
Furthermore, Kitakami, the new world introduced in The Teal Mask, is uninspired and lacks the same level of detail and variety as the Isle of Armor. The landscapes and assets feel familiar and rearranged, failing to provide a truly immersive experience.
Moreover, the technical issues that plagued Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are even more apparent in The Teal Mask. Flashing assets, frame rate slowdowns, and muddy textures persist, highlighting the need for optimization in future Pokémon games. While the Nintendo Switch is a capable platform, it seems that Game Freak has not made significant improvements since the base games’ release.
Overall, The Teal Mask fails to address the major problems of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Its repetitive quests, uninspired world, and technical issues prevent it from delivering a satisfying expansion. It is evident that Game Freak needs to make significant changes for future Pokémon games to fully capitalize on the potential of an open-world experience.
– Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask article