Review: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet – The Teal mask explained to parents

Pokemon Teal Mask Featured ecran partage

Your kids loved Pokémon Scarlet and/or Purple, and they tell you they’d love to play the Teal Mask expansion? But you wonder what exactly is the teal mask, and above all, if it is worth the cost?

We played it and we answer all these questions for you.

Pokemon Teal Mask Image 1 Shared Screen
Pokemon Teal Mask Image 1 Shared Screen

What is Pokémon Scarlet/Purple – The Teal Mask?

This is downloadable content for the base game, Pokémon Scarlet and Purple (note: you may see the term DLC, Downloadable Content, used).

This DLC adds a new optional chapter to the base game. In this chapter, students from Paldeau’s Academy are sent on student exchange to Septentria (Kitakami), a rural area inspired by northern Japan.

In this region, players discover new Pokémon as well as local legends. The teal mask adds 102 Pokémon from previous games, as well as a dozen new Pokémon, including the legendary Ogerpon.

During the story of The Teal Mask, players also encounter new characters, including the sister-brother duo Roseille and Kassis, with whom they will experience the events of this chapter.

How much does the Teal mask cost?

You cannot buy The Teal Mask alone. The content is part of a content duo called The Buried Treasure of Zone Zero. The other content in this set, The Indigo Record, should be available in winter 2023, we are promised.

In short, by purchasing The Buried Treasure of Zone Zero, you will have access to The Teal Mask as well as The Indigo Disc when it is available. The cost of this set is $44.99 CAD or €34.99. It is possible to buy this set online on the Switch eShop, or in store (you will then be given a card with a code to enter on the eShop).

Careful: You need to make sure you buy the version for the appropriate game. If you purchase the content for Pokémon Scarlet and own Pokémon Purple, it simply won’t work.

Nintendo also announced the release of a physical edition of Pokémon Scarlet and Purple that will include the base game and downloadable content in the same box. This edition will be available from November 3, but its price has not been announced at the time of writing.

How to access The Teal mask?

Once you have purchased the downloadable content and updated your game, you will need to restart the game.

Professor Jacq will call you immediately to invite you to join him at the Academy. Once there, you will have to talk to the new character waiting for you in the entrance of the institution.

It is not necessary to have completed the main quest of the game. The level of Septentria’s Pokémon will be adjusted based on your progress.

Pokemon Teal Mask Image 2 Shared Screen
Pokemon Teal Mask Image 2 Shared Screen

Is the Teal mask worth the cost?

Hard to say. Your appreciation of this additional content will largely depend on your appreciation of the base game.

Upon its release, Pokémon Scarlet/Purple received a lot of criticism from the public and journalists, criticism deserved in our opinion. The game has been criticized for its poor technical performance; animations are choppy, textures appear out of nowhere, environments are not very detailed, the Pokémon themselves have little animation.

In addition, the frame rate is unstable; Slowdowns are not uncommon.

But underneath this most disappointing technical performance was still a Pokémon game that innovated on several levels, with its open mode design that allows players to explore the world at their leisure.

These problems are not small. The author of these lines knows several people who disposed of their copy after a few hours of play because they could not stand the significant technical shortcomings of this edition of Pokémon.

Unfortunately, downloadable content doesn’t solve any of these already well-known issues. The number of frames / second is still unstable, the resolution is still as low, in short, the improvements, if there are improvements, are minimal.

Some will criticize Game Freak, the development studio, for putting its resources on paid content before fixing the important problems of the base game, and we can not blame them for doing so.

Now, if you are able to ignore these technical flaws (still not negligible), is the experience offered by The Teal Mask worth it?

In our view, yes. Kassis is a much more interesting and nuanced character than those usually encountered in Pokémon adventures. Without revealing too much about the story, he alone made us want to know more.

It’s also always fun to explore environments in search of missing Pokémon from our collection, or rare chromatic Pokémon.

In this regard, however, we can make a new criticism to Game Freaks, developers of the Pokémon series. Before Pokémon Sword and Shield, the previous generation of Pokémon, it was expected that all Pokémon would be technically accessible in each new game. After all, the franchise’s slogan has long been “Catch them all!”

But now, only a limited number of Pokémon are available in the base game, and we have to buy downloadable content like The Teal Mask to be able to add some of the missing creatures to our collection. It is a rather transparent sales technique that must be emphasized.

That being said, it is still possible to access these Pokémon without purchasing the downloadable content if you trade with someone who bought it, but with a hundred Pokémon reintroduced in The Teal Mask alone, it seems unlikely.

Did we have fun with this downloadable content for Pokémon Scarlet/Purple? Yes, a lot.

Is that enough to make us forget the poor technical state of this episode of Pokémon? Let’s say that at $45 CAD, the pill is hard to swallow.

Note: a code has been given to us by the publisher for criticism purposes.