For a time, the Indigo Disk DLC has been some of the better post-game content in the series. The Indigo Disk is the appropriate sequel to the primary game’s events, if the Teal Mask had a side tale you could explore at your leisure. More character development, more systems, more combat, and a substantial expansion of the franchise’s lore are all included. Although I got the opportunity to play a portion of the game a few weeks ago, does the last installment of this DLC pack enhance the overall Pokémon Scarlet and Violet experience now that I’ve had some time to sit down and give it some serious thought?
That is to say, neither the performance nor the visual quality are enhanced! First things first: the game still performs fairly poorly, especially when compared to other Nintendo Switch titles that have been released in the last month. I’m disappointed that one of the most well-known game franchises in the world was handled in this way, but I’ve pretty much given up on the idea that this game will receive any big updates or additions that will enhance it visually or in terms of performance. It’s likely that the Teal Mask performs slightly worse, but it also doesn’t significantly better. The game’s frame rate still falters at thirty, the draw distance is appalling—with Pokémon appearing in the frame mere moments before you encounter them—collision detection is erratic, and textures occasionally load in at random both during gameplay and cutscenes. With its energetic tracks and remixes, the music manages to maintain its quality despite the heated atmosphere.
Since we’re dealing with a far broader area than The Teal Mask, perhaps this is usual, but that’s not a good enough reason in my opinion. Blueberry Academy, a school perched on a Terarium in the middle of the ocean, is the setting for The Indigo Disk. It is possible to raise dozens of new Pokémon in its specially constructed environment. This is how the developer introduced more classic Pokémon to the series, and similar to The Teal Mask, I thought GAME FREAK’s choices was excellent. Naturally, I cannot promise that your beloved Pokémon will make a comeback. Still, both returning casual and competitive fans will be pleased with every starting from every generation including some notable heavyweights like Metagross. You should also try out the Pokémon in this DLC since the combat AI in the game has been noticeably improved.
Nearly every encounter in Blueberry Academy is a double battle, which is one of the key gimmicks. Double battles are the norm for competitive Pokémon play, for those who are unaware. It appeared that GAME FREAK made a special effort to guarantee that a large number of NPCs use competitive tactics. Nothing particularly revolutionary here; you can get around certain patterns if you are aware of them. But I can assure you that unless you’ve invested a lot of time in leveling up and planning, you won’t be able to just push through everything by force. Berries and concentrate sashes are among the goods that NPCs use to tank hits and build up plans. Many Pokémon may use their hidden talents, which, in the correct circumstances, provide them considerable benefits. A few teams are created specifically to focus on a particular gimmick, such as the move trick room or the weather. Even though I’ve developed competitive Pokémon teams and spent over three hundred hours playing this game, some of the trainers are still capable of eliminating half of my Pokémon at times.
Considering that you can’t access The Indigo Disk until you’ve defeated The Teal Mask and the main game, this difficulty increase makes sense. This is truly post-game material, and I’m excited to see GAME FREAK increase the difficulty level in the future. If nothing else, it demonstrates that they are considering the ways in which players engage with their games. But The Indigo Disk does follow up on previously established plot beats and themes, so the difficulty increase isn’t the sole clue that this is post-game content.
The Indigo Disk tale is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on introducing yourself as a new student at Blueberry Academy and how Kieran, your opponent, becomes agitated by your introduction. Beginning with a straightforward misunderstanding, Kieran’s journey in The Teal Mask exposed many of his deepest fears and motivated him to grow. The character arc where Kieran travels so far in the opposite direction to prove himself that he ends up severely hurting everyone around him is continued in The Indigo Disk. You kind of feel bad for the kid because of his tendency to overwork himself in an attempt to improve even slightly over his previous performance. However, when he begins venting his resentment on others, the opponent and player are compelled to step in. It’s amusing how much they force Kieran to relapse before he finally learns his lesson, and his storyline may have been a little over the top in certain aspects. Nonetheless, I believe that uncertain apprehension is somewhat justified in this kind of game.
The Terastal phenomena is the subject of the story’s second section. Not to give too much away, but it was interesting to see several story points from The Indigo Disk return. Although I felt that The Teal Mask’s storytelling was mediocre, The Indigo Disk’s storyline is stronger and more in line with what we saw in the main game, with just the proper amount of foreshadowing to contribute to the worldbuilding of the game. The amount of knowledge surrounding Terastalization on the Indigo Disk made me think a little bit of Pokémon X and Y. The way it all comes together while leaving just enough room for fans to speculate about possible future installments was satisfying.
If you speed through everything, you could probably finish The Indigo Disk’s tale in around six hours, but the amount of side stuff will make it take a little longer. You must perform Blueberry Buests, often known as BBQs (funny guys), around the Terarium to earn points that can be redeemed for goods or used to unlock other tasks, according to Blueberry Academy. This game offers a far wider range of tasks than The Teal Mask, ranging from freeform flight to even controlling and exploring the area as a Pokémon! Specifically, the latter feels like a prototype mode that GAME FREAK is testing for a possible game in the future. It’s a time-sink enough to run about and watch the various Pokémon animations, so hopefully that’s the case. Regretfully, not every BBQ challenge is enjoyable. Once you reach a certain stage in the game, the sheer range of options available to you makes it possible to earn points passively by engaging in other activities while paying attention. Some of the options are incredibly mindless, while others are really boring.
All things considered, I believe that purchasing The Indigo Disk alone is worth the cost of admission for the two DLC components. I’ll always be annoyed by the fact that it still doesn’t look fantastic, especially when I have to give these games a critical evaluation. However, most Pokémon enthusiasts will be satisfied with the quantity of stuff here. Both recreational and competitive players will find plenty to ponder about here, and it’s entertaining—if a little slow—to see Kieran’s story come to a close. As this generation draws to a close, it’s difficult to predict what the Pokémon franchise will look like in the future. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next, but there will still be new Pokémon events and an entertaining competitive environment over the next few months.