Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Indigo Disk is nearly here, and with it will (presumably) come the end of Pokemon’s 9th generation. That said, judging from the final trailer for the DLC that launched today, it appears Game Freak is hoping to end these contentious games with a bang.
There’s a lot to unpack in this four minute long trailer. It opens by returning to Area Zero, the namesake of the DLC bundle and the highlight of the core games. But rather than get into any plot details of what this abyss of Paradox Pokemon contains, we instead get a montage showing both returning gym leaders and new faces alike. Additionally, the trailer shows a lot of legendary Pokemon from previous generations. Like a lot. We got the legendary birds. We got the legendary dogs/cats/gerbils. There are even some horses. Just a whole group of world-ending animals.
Here comes the BBQ
Beyond these teases, the trailer shows off The Indigo Disk‘s new systems. The big headliner here is the Blueberry Quests system, which the game abbreviates to “BBQs”. I swear I’m not making that up. The official Pokemon Scarlet & Violet website clarifies that BBQs are a Battle Pass-style quest system that rewards a unique currency called BP.
With BP, you can buy new things at your school’s store and cafeteria. You can even customize the Academy a bit with them. There are also some group quests that you can do with friends, which should hopefully reinvigorate the underutilized Union Circle system. It looks you’ll need BP to encounter those aforementioned legendary Pokemon too, so I hope you’re hungry for BBQs.
Control Pokemon with the Synchro Machine
We also see a bit of the new Synchro Machine in action, which lets players play as their Pokemon. That’s right, you can now achieve your dream of a Pokemon game in which Lechonk is the main character. I don’t want to hype this feature too much, since we don’t know much about this system just yet. You can indeed fight other Pokemon and play with friends in this form, but we still don’t know if this is just a gimmick feature or not.
I think kids will love this, though. I hope the Synchro Machine is at least polished enough to make my niece smile.
You can fly in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet now
The wrap things up, we see the final major feature of The Indigo Disk: flight. In the base games, Koraidon and Miraidon could eventually glide, but you could only stay airborne for so long. However, exploring the world of The Indigo Disk will unlock full-on flight, letting you see Paldea in a new light. The trailer specifically shows a flying minigame that tasks players with soaring through rings, clearly an homage to the legendary classic Superman 64.
I do have to say that flying makes me a bit nervous. I mean, airplanes do make me nervous, but I’m talking in-game. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet aren’t… uh… very technically sound, so I don’t know how useful this feature is with the current state of the game’s draw distance. Also, after players figured out how to go to space in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, flying just doesn’t excite me as much as it might have. I’ll certainly reserve judgement for the final product though.
A more promising DLC than the first pack.
Overall, it looks like The Indigo Disk is shaping up to be a decent final chapter for Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. I was underwhelmed by The Teal Mask, which was a sentiment shared by our own Chris “Daft Punk” Carter in his review. However, The Indigo Disk already looks way more interesting than what its predecessor offered. This is probably why they bundled the two packs together, much like the approach Sword & Shield took.
I’ve learned to be more skeptical than not when it comes to Pokemon these days, especially with the ridiculously rapid release cycle these games are caught in. But I can’t say I haven’t had fun with Pokemon Scarlet & Violet either, numerous warts and all. Here’s hoping for a triumphant conclusion for Generation 9, and hopefully a more sound start for Generation 10 when it’s inevitably announced.
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Indigo Disk launches on December 14. In the meantime, you can grab an array of new event Pokemon today to celebrate the DLC’s launch.