Highlights The Teal Mask DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet adds a solid number of returning critters to address the lack of a complete Pokedex, but fails to improve on the poor performance of the base games. The DLC offers over 100 new and returning critters, new moves, and a new land to explore, but these features are overshadowed by the low frame rates and rendering issues that plague the games. While there are some slight improvements in the DLC’s performance, such as improved loading times and more detailed textures, they are not enough to outweigh the numerous other performance issues present in the games.
The Teal Mask DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet addresses one of the major concerns about the base game’s lack of a complete Pokedex by adding a solid number of returning mons previously unavailable. While these additions are great news for fans looking to add some of their favorite critters to their Pokedex, the DLC still fails to improve upon one major flaw with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. For as much new content as The Teal Mask offers players, it doesn’t do much to improve the poor performance that has plagued the base games since launch.
There are plenty of welcome additions to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to be found in The Teal Mask DLC including over 100 new and returning critters, new moves via TMs, and a brand-new land to discover. However, some of these features feel a little disappointing when trying to look past the myriad of performance issues that are still present in the games. The release of the DLC would have been the perfect chance for Game Freak to try and address some of the more concerning performance-related issues, but it seems like there is little change to the problems of the base games.Performance Issues Still Plague Pokemon Scarlet and Violet in The Teal Mask
One of the biggest critiques Pokemon Scarlet and Violet received at launch was the rough state the games’ performance was in, even by Switch standards. While other open-world games like Breath of the Wild were able to run decently on the Switch, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet had consistent problems with frame drops, pop-ins, and rendering bugs despite having a relatively sparse world. Despite a few updates to the games, Game Freak never truly managed to solve these performance issues, which now seem to have carried over into The Teal Mask DLC.
Jumping into the DLC, players will notice low frame rates for distant NPCs and mons as well as regular frame drops and game freezes which are similar to the bugs and performance of the base Pokemon Scarlet and Violet games at launch. Some players may be able to look past these issues and enjoy the DLC’s content, but for others it’s a disappointing distraction that is reminiscent of the struggles players faced at the games’ launch. Given the length of time between initial release and the launch of the DLC, it would seem like improving the games’ performance would have been a priority for delivering the best possible experience to players in the DLC.
It seems like there have been a few small improvements made to the games’ performance, such as improved loading times for critter icons in the storage boxes. Additionally, some areas contain more detailed textured such as on the goods for sale outside the shop in Kitakami’s Mossui Town, or in the rice fields just outside of town. However, despite a few attempts to improve the games’ visual appeal, these changes are only slight improvements and don’t offset the dozens of other performance issues still present in the games.
There is still a chance that these performance issues will be improved with the release of The Indigo Disk later this winter, but things are not looking good based on the trend established by Pokemon Scarlet and Violet so far. The continued performances issues that plague Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are not a good look for the series, and not improving them by a noticeable amount in The Teal Mask DLC does not bode well for the series’ future. There is still a lot of enjoyable content in this DLC, but it largely feels held back by an underwhelming performance on an already underpowered console like the Switch.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available for Nintendo Switch. The Teal Mask DLC is also available now.