Pokemon Scarlet & Violet – Indigo Disk Preview: New biomes are a breath of fresh air

The final installment of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC is imminent, and The Indido Disk is set to take players to Blueberry Academy. With new challenges, returning characters, and exciting new biomes, here’s what we thought.

Pokémon fans are all set for one last adventure with Generation Nine, with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet The Indigo Disk DLC coming this December. Following the first DLC expansion, The Indigo Disk takes players on a journey to the exotic Blueberry Academy.

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In anticipation of one last trip with our Paldean friends, we recently tested out The Indigo Disk, playing just over an hour of gameplay while exploring the regions surrounding Blueberry Academy and fighting fierce Pokémon battles.

With some interesting story developments, as well as a slew of returning Pocket Monsters, The Indigo Disk is set to give returning Pokémon Scarlet and Violet players plenty to do over the holidays. Here are our thoughts.

The Indigo Disc brings interesting story developments and a condensed but diverse world

Fans who have already explored The Teal Mask and the Kitikami region may have an idea of ​​what to expect, as The Indigo Disk follows a similar format, adding a whole new region to the map. The region is based around the Blueberry Academy, a place for students eager to test their combat skills, and which is home to several distinct biomes offering a wide variety of creatures to catch.

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One thing to note is that The Indigo Disk is a direct sequel to The Teal Mask, and players must complete both the main Pokemon Scarlet and Violet campaign and then The Teal Mask DLC before they can access this latest chapter. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to do so, and the story seems best served by being a direct continuation.

The most obvious thing when exploring the Indigo Disc is that the region is divided into four distinct biomes: Savanna, Coast, Canyon, and Polar. They all feature very different layouts, weather, and Pokémon and the separate zones are very reminiscent of the zones in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, but being able to travel across the entire map as one world is a blast.

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With such a big difference between the region’s four biomes, the contrast both visually and geographically is stark, and it’s fun to be able to slide off the edge of a frozen cliff and eventually trudge your way into a swamp distant. Even with only four distinct biomes, there is a lot to discover and many interesting sites to explore.

Enthusiastic players of Pokémon Scarlet and Purple will also enjoy the selection of returning Pokémon, which roam the world at significantly higher levels than in previous regions. The trailers revealed the addition of Starter Pokémon to the region (now called First Partner Pokémon), but during our travels we spotted old favorites like Vulpix and Alolan Exeggutor, and also had some challenging battles with elevated strays like Metang and Rhydon.

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Smaller in size but wider in reach

Game Freak/The Pokémon Company

The game’s visuals are on par with the existing title, however, as in The Teal Mask, the condensation of different types of foliage and biodiversity benefits the world, often appearing more inviting than the sometimes barren plains of Paldea.

Performance was notably similar to the base game, providing a smooth and immersive experience. On top of that, the area surrounding Blueberry Academy seems similar in size to The Teal Mask, although perhaps a bit larger, and despite the different types of wildlife, the game didn’t have any glaring difficulties during our exploration.

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Perhaps the biggest changes were to the shape of battles and the challenges that awaited players. While returning characters Carmine and Kieran are already revealed for the DLC, we also got to face a member of the Elite Four from Blueberry Academy.

To reach new trainer Amarys, players must complete an Elite Four challenge, using the trusty Koriadon or Miraidon to fly through a series of rings. Only when this task is completed will players be able to truly challenge Amarys. We don’t know what the other Elite Four challenges will be yet, but given that Amarys’ flight challenge seemed a bit simple, we’re hoping the next ones will add a greater challenge and a bit of variety.

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Speaking of challenge, the highlight of our preview was a fierce battle against Amarys. It’s clear that Game Freak puts trainers to the test, as Amarys’ team is a surprisingly clever spread of different types, moves, and even items. Our first encounter with the Blueberry Academy Elite Four gives us hope for a real challenge that longtime fans will enjoy.

Elite Four trainer Amarys holds a Poke Ball in her handGame Freak/The Pokémon Company

Even the trainers scattered across the many biomes provide a decent challenge, as all potential opponents have high-level creatures at their disposal and there is more emphasis on dual battles. The Indigo Disc seems like a great opportunity to introduce mid- or high-level Pokémon (maybe not your level 100 Mewtwo), and for fans to give themselves the challenge that so many demand.

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The greater emphasis on challenge is also apparent in some of the new moves. The all-new attack Psychic Noise deals damage and also prevents the opponent from healing, while the new move Upper Hand hits first if the opponent uses a priority move like Bullet Punch.

We certainly hope the rest of The Indigo Disk enjoys it, and frankly, we’d love to see something akin to Battle Frontier so fans can fight to their heart’s content. For now, the new moves and increased challenge bode well, and we’ve enjoyed the real threat of imminent defeat. There was at least one wipeout during our session, and our Elite Four battle was a very close victory.

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The Pokémon Rhydon roars as it enters battleGame Freak/The Pokémon Company

Other fun additions include the new Blueberry Academy tasks, as players can explore the world, catch Pokémon, and use other ways to interact with the world to earn rewards. These break up exploration well, and the decision to encourage capture and travel is appreciated.

Ultimately, there’s still a lot to learn about The Indigo Disk, but we’re optimistic. The opening moments seem to sow the seeds of interesting character development, and Blueberry Academy is a joy to explore thanks to some genuinely challenging battles, as well as the greatest variety of biodiversity in a good-sized region. With so much to see, we can’t wait to learn more about the many other secrets that are clearly lying in wait for us.

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Since our exploration of Blueberry Academy, Pokémon fans are in for a treat this holiday, and Pokémon Scarlet and Purple may become many players’ favorite games.

For now, if you’re getting ready to dive back into Pokémon Scarlet and Purple, be sure to check out our excellent guides below.

Where to find Noibat & Noivern in Scarlet & Violet | Where to find Spiritomb in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet | Where to find Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff and Paradox Form in Scarlet & Violet | How to get Misreavus, Mismagius and Flutter Mane | How to get the Delibird and Iron bundle | How to get Makuhita, Hariyama and Iron Hands | How to get Basculin and Basculegion | Where to find Swablu & Altaria in Scarlet & Violet | Where to find Sneasel, Weavile and Sneasler | Where to find Orthworm | Where to find Mimikyu in Scarlet & Violet | Where to find Ditto in Scarlet & Violet | How to Get Eevee and Eeveelutions in Scarlet & Violet | Where to find Fidough & Dachsbun | How to get all starters in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

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