Review: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet – The Teal Mask – DLC That Offers More, But Not Enough

Matcha the mood.

As a series, Pokémon is one that has held onto tradition pretty firmly. In the 25+ years since Red & Blue’s release, the fundamentals of the game haven’t really changed – you explore a world, you fight Pokémon, you catch Pokémon. Last year’s Pokémon Scarlet & Violet was the mainline series’ first big attempt to change things up a bit, expanding exploration to an open-world setting and letting you progress in your own way. But fundamentally it was still Pokémon, warts and all.

It’s perhaps fitting, then, that the first part of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, The Teal Mask, is set in a land besotted with tradition. The people tell folk tales, new native Pokémon are steeped in history, and with the Kitakami region’s clear Japanese inspirations, it feels like a throwback to the older days. This does mean that while The Teal Mask is a fun time that builds on Scarlet & Violet’s strengths, it also exposes the base game’s – and the series’ – weaknesses that much more.

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