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The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

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Pokémon DLC “The Teal Mask” fails to improve gameplay 

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After nearly a year since the release of “Pokémon Scarlet” and “Pokémon Violet”, the first of a two-part downloadable content (DLC) bundle has been released to accompany it. This expansion, “The Teal Mask”, focuses on a separate cast and setting from the base games. 

Undoubtedly the best part of this DLC is the new legendary Pokémon Ogerpon. Her backstory of being exiled by the town and having to overcome the fear of rejection is a much more fitting analogy for overcoming adversity than the main game offered with Team Star. Having to gradually earn her affection is a rewarding way to introduce players to her, and Ogerpon thus feels less like a tacked-on selling point and more like a standalone character. 

The aesthetic of the DLC’s setting, Kitakami, is unique and feels less like an extension of the base game. Its revised soundtrack and traditional northern-Japanese inspiration contrast well with the Spain-inspired base content, despite the similarities in textures and landscapes.

Other than providing an entirely new setting for players to explore, “The Teal Mask” features no major graphical or gameplay improvements. The frame rate drops significantly during cutscenes, battles are often plagued with long delays, and the Pokémon themselves have a tendency to warp through their surroundings and become submerged in the floor. 

Aside from these technical drawbacks, “The Teal Mask” presents a fun and engaging story. Rather than rehashing characters from the base game, this DLC instead focuses on two new characters that are introduced when the player wins a raffle for a limited-capacity school trip. Both characters are admirable and have their own character arcs, which are set up to continue in the second part of the DLC, which has a set release date for this winter.

Albeit entertaining, “The Teal Mask” suffers from its briefness; even an in-depth playthrough only takes a few hours at most, and the plot suffers from it. The dialogue has a tendency to feel rushed and unnatural, and the rushed conflict leading towards the conclusion feels forced. I was immediately hit with a pang of disappointment when it ended in such an abrupt manner, but the promise of continuity has fans such as myself in high hopes.

“The Teal Mask” brings about mixed feelings; the potential is high, yet the lack of content and technical drawbacks will likely hold less-devoted fans back. Nonetheless, less picky fans such as I will find it to be a pleasurable experience, and I would thus give part one of the DLC three out of five stars.

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Holly Winiars
Holly Winiars, Copy Editor
Salutations! The name is Holly Winiars, and this year I'm dead-set on eliminating (most of) the grammatical errors from The Fielder. When I'm not doing that, I'll probably be in your face bragging about my dogs.

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