Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask review

by on September 15, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

September 13, 2023.


In total I’ve put well over 100+ hours into the Pokemon Scarlet, and so I’ve grown used to some of the performance issues the base game brings you to experience. However, for whatever reason despite Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask’s location Kitakami being far smaller than the region of the base game, the DLC seems to have made performance actually worse. I’ve experienced frame drops so bad as for the game to actually freeze while playing because of a water shimmer, and you just have to wonder what the actual problem is. It isn’t as if its loading things in earlier, which could’ve been the case for the freezing, and the pop-in effect still exists. So its performance really is lacklustre and should be much better than it is, considering there’s been almost a year since the initial release of the base game.

Performance aside though, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask actually excels thanks to whip-sharp writing and its portrayal of the characters. The two main characters you are introduced to as the player are two siblings who couldn’t be more different from one another: Carmine and Kieran. Carmine is a hyperactive, protective, but easily angered big sister to the point where when you first enter Kitakami, you’re told by her that she doesn’t like newcomers and battles you.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask

Compared to Kieran, a shy type who is shown as being a lot more lonely as a result of his big sister’s actions. Kieran is the main vessel for the story here, showing how he feels excluded and “like the ogre” throughout the developing story. It’s great to see actual fleshed out story and characters still, rather than having some characters just for the sake of delivering new Pokemon, or simply for the point of pushing you along a story.

The theme of exclusion doesn’t just resonate with Kieran, it also does link into “the ogre” or Ogerpon. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask’s story is the obvious headline to the expansion and “The Teal Mask” is actually its own possession. Having it portrayed in its origin story as an ogre, when it actually is kind of adorable, is a testament to the theme due to its story of coming from outside Kitakami. Having its unique point being changing type by the mask, though, feels almost a bit cheap as the entire unique selling point to this generation is Terastalization. Regardless, it’s still pretty cool seeing the different masks. Other than Ogerpon the three “loyal ones” are all given personality too, to the point of being almost egotistical,. Once again, this matches the theme which given its consistency in the DLC is truly lovely.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask

In itself it does feel like it’s a starter when going out for a meal, waiting for the main course of “Indigo Disk ” where we are likely going to meet Terapagos. This is often the way with expansions for Nintendo titles, it seems, as Splatoon 3 has done similar, and in fairness, the two come as a pack, so owning this first part means you also own the second part, due in Winter. Despite that feeling, the story really is well done. The lower-level conflicts between the two siblings do really bond the story and character types all together in a gift-wrapped basket. The ending of the expansion does tease the “Indigo Disk,” which depending on your perspective, is either going to leave you on a disappointing cliff-hanger, or hotly anticipating that winter expansion.

Still though, the performance of it really brings down the experience. Having the “Teal Mask” drop the performance this much is truly disappointing, the same issues with NPCs popping in and out before your eyes. We all know that Scarlet and Violet aren’t great when it comes to these issues, but to have it get seemingly worse is worrisome.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask

Elsewhere, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask does reintroduce some new Pokemon like Dipplin; the candy apple evolution of Applin. It also brings back some that not many are crazy about like Geodude, and not even an entirely new Pokedex for the different area despite it being an entirely different region.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask is good, excelling in its storytelling. The character design is stellar too, with some areas that would look superb if not for the performance issues. If you can look past these issues, feel free to consider the score at the bottom of this review a bit higher, but it really does damage what would be an otherwise stellar piece of new content.


Excellent characters and storytelling
More of a good thing
Full of personality


Dreadful performance issues
Pretty short
Ends on a cliffhanger

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask is good, excelling in its storytelling, but the performance issues really do damage what would be an otherwise stellar piece of new content.