Note: This review contains some mild spoilers for the story of The Indigo Disk. Although no specific details will be discussed, overall impressions are given.
For better or worse, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have steered away from some of the traditional elements of the franchise. These titles mark the first foray into a fully open world, featuring three intertwining storylines leading to a climactic confrontation within Area Zero. The Hidden Treasures of Area Zero DLC expansion promised to deepen this narrative in two parts.
While the first episode, The Teal Mask, set the stage with new characters and hints of a more conclusive ending, it left some questions unanswered. Let’s delve into the second half of the story, the Indigo Disk, to see if it lives up to expectations and addresses the concerns raised in our review of the first part.
The Indigo Disk resumes after the events of Scarlet and Violet, requiring players to complete both the main story and The Teal Mask. As an exchange student at Blueberry Academy in the Unova region, you embark on a quest to challenge the Blueberry League, facing the Elite Four in their unique biomes before confronting Kieran, the newly-crowned champion.
Regrettably, the narrative takes a backseat in The Indigo Disk. Characters from the main game are absent, and Kieran, who played a significant role in The Teal Mask, has a disappointingly minor presence. The second part of the story feels rushed, lasting less than an hour. This brevity leaves the narrative feeling like an afterthought, making The Indigo Disk weaker in this aspect than its predecessors. The recently announced epilogue may address this, but players expecting a satisfying conclusion may find it lacking.
The focus of The Indigo Disk shifts to battles against the Blueberry Elite Four, delivering a surprisingly robust challenge. With high-level Pokemon and strategic movesets, the Elite Four demand both skill and preparation. The game strikes a balance between challenge and accessibility, catering to both veteran and novice players.
Before challenging each Elite Four member, players explore the Terarium, a new open world divided into four biomes. Although lacking hidden secrets, the Terarium offers a variety of Pokemon and nods to the Unova region, pleasing long-time fans. New features like the Synchro Machine, allowing direct control of Pokemon during exploration, and Blueberry Quests (BBQs) add variety to the gameplay.
However, the emphasis on BP (Battle Points) in The Indigo Disk becomes a drawback. BP is required for various tasks, and the grind for it feels tedious, especially for solo players. Performance issues persist, with inconsistent visuals and framerates around 30 FPS, although not worsening from the base game.
The main story lasts around 5 hours, concluding Carmine and Kieran’s tale and explaining the origins of Area Zero and Terastalization. Unfortunately, insufficient time is devoted to these narrative elements, leaving them unsatisfying. The Indigo Disk extends playtime with additional content, including a postgame subplot with Perrin, but much hinges on BP grinding.
In conclusion, The Indigo Disk excels in challenging gameplay but falls short as a conclusion to The Hidden Treasures of Area Zero. Sparse character development and a rushed narrative disappoint, and the grind for BP detracts from the overall experience. While it addresses some issues from The Teal Mask, missed potential and execution flaws prevent it from reaching its full enjoyment potential.
Disclaimer: A copy of Pokemon Violet – The Hidden Treasures of Area Zero Part Two: The Indigo Disk was provided by Nintendo UK for the purpose of this review.