“It’s very loseable.” This is how the Nintendo representatives sitting next to me described my encounter with Amaris, one of the elite four members of Blueberry Academy. Naturally, she decided to test her susceptibility to losing. I was already managing an unfamiliar team, but I took it a step further. I also made a few moves that I knew had type flaws, just to see how punitive the response would be. They weren’t kidding. She lost, only taking out four of her six Pokémon, despite her Ace appearing. This wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for, but I was impressed by how hard the fight was and how Amaris’ team and decisions put the “elite” in the Elite Four. I may have lost, but as any coach worth his salt will tell you, there’s always a fall back, and I look forward to it when the puck drops.
Indigo Disk is the second DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Unlike The Teal Mask, you cannot play it before completing the base game. This is downloadable content (DLC) for the endgame; You’ll need to complete the main story of Scarlet, Violet, and The Teal Mask to gain access to it. Once you do this, you’ll travel to a whole new area, Blueberry Academy, a sister school to Naranja Academy. There, you’ll reunite with some old friends, meet exciting new trainers, and battle them. Oh, and there are some new (and old) Pokémon you can catch, too. It’s all Pokemon-like, in the best ways.
Screenshots from the Pokemon Indigo disc
My time with The Indigo Disk may have ended with a battle against Amarys, but it began with a trip to Blueberry Academy’s Terarium, a massive facility that recreates many distinct environments, from tropical beaches to frozen tundra. Naturally, the Terrarium is inhabited by Pokémon native to that environment. Part of the appeal is the sheer amount of Pokemon here. Every starter from previous generations makes an appearance, providing an excellent opportunity to fill out your Pokedex and see how these Pokémon behave in the wild. It doesn’t just come from Poke Balls given out by friendly professors. Who knows?
Of course, the Terarium isn’t just a place to catch Pokemon, although you can certainly spend a lot of time doing so if you want. Not only does the Indigo Disk add some new evolutions like Archuladon, which evolved from Duraludon, and new Paradox Pokemon like Raging Bolt and Iron Crown; It also brings back a host of returning Pokémon that go far beyond the return of older starters. I can’t give exact numbers without being banished to Area Zero, but suffice it to say it’s a big number, and catching them all will take some time.
However, I think the real attraction for many is the Terarium itself. It’s so huge and full of detail, I had a great time exploring it. I can’t talk about many cool details at the time of this writing, but there’s a lot here, and I’m excited to spend some time exploring the Terarium when I have the chance.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games at Blueberry Academy. This is a school, which means there are classes you can take, and from what I’ve seen, they seem to be very practical. The one I stopped at was being held captive in the Terarium and they assigned me to catch an Alolan Pokemon and bring it back. I managed to get the Alolan Grimer and Alolan Exeggutor before returning, leaving everyone with homework. Sorry.
And then, of course, there are the fights. Blueberry Academy places a heavy emphasis on dual battles, which adds an extra layer to your tactical and team-building decisions, so you’d better be ready to throw a couple of Poke Balls whenever you encounter a rival Trainer. I’ve played only a few battles in my time with The Indigo Disk, but each battle was a memorable battle and challenged me to manage my team, script matches, and choose moves.
Once I felt more or less comfortable, it was the fourth elite time. As with the Gym Leaders in the base game, you’ll need to complete a task known as the Elite Trial before you can actually challenge individual Elite Four members and face them in a Pokémon-on-Pokémon fight. In the case of Amarys, this means racing either Koraidon or Miraidon through a series of airborne rings, which often reminds me of one of the obstacle courses in Spyro the Dragon. Oh, did I mention that Corydon and Merydon can fly now? They can fly now, and you can use that to move around the Terrarium in cool ways. Amarys’ Elite Trial wasn’t particularly difficult, but it was a nice change of pace from the traditional Pokemon game and gives you something fun to do before you take on one of the Elite Four members.
I didn’t win that battle against Amarys, but it made me even more excited to return to The Indigo Disk. With over 230 new and returning Pokémon to see and catch, an exciting environment to explore, and powerful trainers to battle, Indigo Disk looks to add all the post-game content a Pokémon fan could want. I personally couldn’t wait, which is why I played my copy of Pokemon Scarlet as soon as I got home. I have a rematch to train for.
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