GamesPokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask Review - New Content, Old...

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask Review – New Content, Old Problems

In terms of content, there’s little to complain about in the first DLC for Pokémon Crimson and Crimson, but the technology is still terrible.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but it doesn’t seem like Game Freak has learned anything from the criticism of Pokémon Crimson and Crimson from a technical perspective. Then again the question arises to what extent improvements are possible at all given the basic framework. This is difficult to answer from the outside. In any case, the fact is that the first DLC, The Turquoise-Green Mask, presents itself as expected with a number of new contents, but at the same time brings with it old problems.

And that’s frustrating. It feels like, despite the smaller region you’re in in the DLC, nothing has changed for the better. The frame rate fluctuates in places like a drunk on the way home, characters, Pokémon, objects and so on pop up in the environment and from a certain distance animations are played slowly.

Technically frustrating

In short: just don’t expect any major improvements from a technical perspective over the main game. Considering other big titles on the Nintendo Switch – just look at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in comparison – this is a tragedy. In this respect, if you were already disappointed with the main game, there is no reason to return.

Technology is still the biggest weak point.

Everyone else – whether you don’t care about the technology or you grudgingly come to terms with it – gets the usual new content. In The Turquoise Green Mask you end up in the Kitakami region, where tradition plays a big role. This could also be applied to the Pokémon games, in both a positive and a negative way. You are traveling to Kitakami as part of a school trip, but you can switch between this region and Paldea at any time later. You don’t have to have completed the main story of the base game, you can start right after the prologue in which you come to the academy.

The DLC runs the well-known program

In the end, the content of the DLC isn’t really surprising. The Kitakami region is inspired by Japan and features the usual mix of familiar Pokémon that you can catch for the first time in Crimson and Crimson, as well as brand new Pokémon. Of course, this includes new legendary Pokémon. And your ultimate goal is to complete the Pokédex. With some coaching battles in between and so on. You know it.

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask Review - New Content, Old Problems

A school trip takes you to the new Kitakami region.

Similar to the story in the base games, you will be sent across the island with various tasks. Roughly speaking, it’s about exploring the Kitakami region and learning more about the culture and history. It’s all implemented quite well and the world feels a bit more alive overall. That’s just because of the design. More variety in the buildings and regions, more NPCs, more verticality. Everything could be so beautiful if it weren’t for the technical problems mentioned at the beginning, which put a damper on everything.

Even in terms of gameplay, not everything is perfect. There are some nice side quests, although the new “Oni Expulsion Game” is a bit difficult if you’re alone. And that leads us to an important point: the game balance. This isn’t entirely on point if you play the Oni expulsion game alone, and the same applies to the rest of the DLC. At least if you have finished crimson or purple and are heading to the Kitakami region with a fully powered team. Your opponents’ levels aren’t really aligned and in most cases, unless you’re being stupid, you should wipe the floor with everyone. The fights continue to be a bit tough. They could expire much faster than they do in this form. The arguments drag on, especially when dealing with opponents with the maximum number of Pokémon.

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask Review - New Content, Old Problems

The new region is beautifully designed and varied.

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask – Conclusion

We can actually keep it relatively short. On the one hand, The Turquoise Green Mask offers what fans expect. New Pokémon, old Pokémon, new Legendaries, more to explore, catch and battle. It does this quite sensibly and there is hardly any reason to complain about the content, only the Oni expulsion game should perhaps be readjusted again.

At the same time, it would be nice if these positive aspects stood out. But they don’t do that. The technical deficiencies that already plagued Pokémon Crimson and Crimson have by no means been resolved. Depending on where you are, frame rate drops are not uncommon. The entire technical framework leaves a fragile impression. And apparently not much work was done on it. Yes, it’s playable, although the same annoyances as the main game are still present. Things cannot continue like this in the future. It’s hard to imagine Game Freak not having higher standards. It would be time to prove otherwise.

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask
  • Beautiful new environment to explore
  • Well-executed story that tells you more about the region
  • Some nice new Pokémon
  • Familiar gameplay loop of fighting and catching
  • Technical problems still exist
  • No big surprises with the content
  • Fights are still quite tough
  • Oni expulsion game is too difficult alone
  • Game balance is not perfectly balanced

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson: The Turquoise Mask Review - New Content, Old Problems

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