Pokemon Scarlet and Violet from Game Freak, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company launched almost one year ago on Nintendo Switch. If you’ve not gotten it yet, read my Pokemon Violet review here. About a week ago, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero – Part 1 The Teal Mask DLC went live alongside a major update. When I played Pokemon Violet, I liked a lot of the new generation of Pokemon, but it had abysmal performance and technical issues. I was hoping to see improvements on that front, and also curious how the DLC would feel as the first part of the expansion pass. In my Pokemon Violet The Teal Mask Switch review, I’m going to cover this part of the DLC, the state of the game now, and whether you should buy it now, or wait for both parts to release.
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC is priced at $34.99. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC includes The Teal Mask as Part 1 (available now) and The Indigo Disk as Part 2 (coming this winter). These two parts are not sold separately. If you own both Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, you need to buy the complete DLC for each game just like with Sword and Shield. There’s also an early purchase bonus for the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC.
Before loading up the DLC on my main save, I was curious how soon you would be able to access the DLC on a new save. After just a few hours of playing and once you initiate the Treasure Hunt in the base, you get a call on your phone with a prompt that the DLC will be available to access in the school. Talking to Briar in the hall will let you start the DLC and head over the land of Kitakami which has a gorgeous aesthetic. You head to this land as a collaboration between the main academy in Paldea and a new school in Kitakami. The new Pokemon found here are very good as well.
Since this is the first time I played any DLC for a Pokemon game, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of story and overall time to finish it. There’s also the fact that The Teal Mask is just Part 1 of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC. Expect to get about six or so hours out of this part of the DLC unless you aim to complete everything it has to offer. The highlight, barring the aesthetic of Kitakami, is how the story and characters develop in The Teal Mask. It feels like a bigger focus on story has gone into these games, and I appreciate that. Speaking of the story, you run into the siblings Carmine and Kieran right from the start, and their banter is excellent.
I kept thinking of The Teal Mask as a more-dense and homely version of what I liked in Pokemon Violet. A new location for the main game if you may. Just be prepared for the finale because this is Part 1 of 2 after all. The Teal Mask’s story does a good job of setting things up for what I hope to see in The Indigo Disk. One other aspect worth highlighting is in the game’s cosmetics. The new customization options and outfits included with the DLC are excellent.
I mentioned liking the aesthetic, but it all comes together even better thanks to the great music. I ended up liking the music in The Teal Mask more than the base game which already had a strong soundtrack. These two aspects give me hope for The Indigo Disk and hopefully the next Pokemon games. While nothing in Violet or The Teal Mask has blown me away like Pokemon Legends: Arceus that remains my favorite game in the series from the ones I’ve played, this new generation of Pokemon has a lot of great ideas that need to be retained for future games.
With new DLC and a new update, how is Pokemon Violet itself to play? Well, there is good news and bad news, but more of the latter. The good news is some much-needed quality of life improvements like being able to fix the mini-map direction, camera improvements, some camera settings, and more. The bad news is that performance is not great. Given how dense and linear parts of Kitakami are, some of the technical issues feel more pronounced. I opted to play it more handheld on my OLED model because I was not happy with how it felt on my monitor.
Pokemon Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero – Part 1 The Teal Mask is a nice addition to the base game for everyone who enjoyed this generation of Pokemon so far with a new location, some quality of life features, and its new content. It is however let down by a plethora of technical issues still plaguing the experience. Hopefully The Indigo Disk is a larger-scale DLC because The Teal Mask feels like a fun appetizer for now. I hope this ends up being like other Nintendo game DLC where the second part is the real draw for an expansion pass.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are out now worldwide on Nintendo Switch. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero Part 1 – The Teal Mask is now available with The Indigo Disk releasing in the future.