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Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Indigo Disk review

The Indigo Disk DLC for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has plenty for fans to enjoy

When the Teal Mask came out earlier in the year, it felt like it was holding something back – in the same way that many DLCs do when they’re the first of multiple. Now Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has got its second and final DLC in the form of the Indigo Disk, it turns out what was being held back was everything we wanted.

The Indigo Disk gives answers to some of the game’s biggest mysteries, a bunch of cool new Pokémon, a well-designed environment to explore, and puts the focus on a style of gameplay that can be a proper challenge at times – it even throws a sneaky little link to the anime in there, but that’s a secret you’ll have to find yourself.

Pokemon SV DLC Terapagos

The Blueberry Academy and its massive Terarium is a great concept that makes for an environment that – while a bit simplistic – is plenty of fun to scour while looking for returning Pokémon, with more twists and turns than you may realize at first, especially when you start diving into caves.

It also rewards long-time fans of the series with little nods and easter eggs that only someone who really knows their stuff could appreciate. It was a wonderful moment when I first recognized that the wild battle theme is a remix of the one from Black & White, and I soon realized that most of the soundtrack utilized Gen 5’s motifs in fun and unique ways.

The story focus from the main game is still there, although I wouldn’t say it’s quite as strong this time around. The plot follows on from the Teal Mask with Kieran having a descent into madness after constantly losing to you, except it happens mostly off-screen. We cut from him being a bit moody at the end of Teal Mask to him being an outright jerk in Indigo Disk, which makes it harder to truly invest as we didn’t see a crucial part of the journey – it also doesn’t help that his big sister never gets any comeuppance for causing it and being generally dismissive of him.

Lacey's Quiz in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet The Indigo Disk DLC

Similarly, his turn back to the light happens very suddenly right at the end, and it was rather anticlimactic when he joined me in fighting the final boss only for his AI to do absolutely nothing helpful. That said, the secondary cast is pretty strong this time around, with the Blueberry Elite Four all being fun characters that carry the bulk of your adventure around the Terarium.

The gameplay focuses on double battles this time around, with even random trainer encounters all being in 2v2 format. It immediately becomes clear how much more interesting this format can be than singles, and it played a big part in making the major battles in the Indigo Disk a fun challenge to play.

I still wouldn’t say it was actually hard – I never lost a battle my entire playthrough – but I certainly had to think about things more than usual, with the Elite Four all having high-level teams of six Pokémon that had at least some semblance of competitive strategy built into them. That may not be an especially high bar, but it’s one that no mainline Pokémon game has ever cleared before now. It’s a big improvement.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Indigo Disk

The upgrades stop there, however. If you were hoping that this DLC would bring performance improvements then you’re going to be disappointed. The main Paldea map does fare a little bit better now, but it’s not like the frame drops and stutters are gone – especially in the DLC areas. Kitakami still chugs just as much as it did when it was first released, and the new Blueberry Academy zones are no better than the main map was at launch.

The performance issues have become a simple fact of life in Scarlet & Violet by this point, and it yet again hampers the game from truly being the greatest Pokémon game of all time – something it absolutely could be if these issues weren’t so overwhelming.

It’s safe to say that this DLC will please just about any Pokémon fan. There’s so much to do, and all of it is way more engaging than usual, packaged in all of the best aspects of the main game. It may not fix the game’s biggest flaws, but it’s clear that the team at Game Freak knows what the fans want. If they can just get their technology in order and stick to the ideas pushed in this DLC, the next mainline Pokémon game could be something truly incredible.

Score: 8/10

Version tested: Nintendo Switch

  • Visuals: 7/10
  • Audio: 9/10
  • Gameplay: 9/10
  • Story: 7/10
  • Performance: 6/10