Palworld Sakurajima Review

9
Beebom Score
Palworld Sakurajima DLC is a free-to-play update that will bring back all the players who love adventure. The new Pals and subspecies will give players something more to add in their collections. But the key selling point of this update is the PVP Arena mode and it will make players grind the game to become the ultimate Pal master. Despite a short campaign content, the DLC gives a little bit of everything for everyone.
Pros
Beautiful looking island
New Arena Mode brings PvP action
Better Loot system for newbies and veterans
Cons
Lackluster Campaign content
Buy Palworld ‎($29.99) Right Arrow

To this day, Pocketpair remains one of the few indie developers who have cracked the formula for a monster hunter game with exceptional gameplay. Yeah, I’m talking about Palworld, the company’s big success from earlier this year. However, as days went by, gamers wanted more, which led to the game dropping off from the charts. Well, Pocketpair heard our requests and delivered with its new Sakurajima update.

While the Palworld Sakurajima update might look like just another island update, it is much more than that. Thanks to a copy provided by Pocketpair, I had the chance to fight Croajiro and Prixters, get thrashed by the new boss, and explore the junkyards and oil rigs ahead of release. With all that said and done, here’s what I think of the Palworld Sakurajima DLC update.

More Pals and More Beauty: What Else Do You Need?

While the first thing on my mind was more Pals, the new Palworld update had me stop in my tracks and be amazed by how beautiful the new island looked. The update’s name Sakurajima is ideal as the northern and central areas of the island are covered in Sakura trees. Furthermore, an ancient Japanese temple resides right near the new tower boss.

However, the eastern part was a different story altogether. A plethora of small ponds and mushrooms made the place look exceptional. Something we did not have in Palworld before.

Green Quivern in Palworld

Obviously, with the island came countless new Pals I was excited to encounter. However, before I encountered new ones, I ran into the subspecies of my favorite Pals, especially a pink Chillet and green Quivern. There were many more of them as every Pal had their variant depending on their biomes. With that done, it was time to seek some new Pals out.

I entered from the island’s shroom territory which led me to go first-hand with Croajiro and Shroomer. While the Shroomer is a friendly Pal and is least bothered by your existence, Croajiro was fierce and made me use my Jetragon to erase it.

Yes, it seems not all Pals are friendly on the new island. The more north I went, the more I encountered Pals like Yakumo, Dogen, Dazemu, Mimog, Kitkit, Lullu, and in the nighttime Prixters. Careful of those nasty night Pals, they come in hordes to bully you out of your world.

But was finding Pals my only goal in the Sakurajima island? Nope. There was a whole lot more.

Saya and Selyne Are There to Welcome You

While the Sakurajima update gave all the tower bosses on the map a significant difficulty boost, I was desperate to take on the latest one. If I was not already harassed by “The Moonflowers” faction pointing a katana towards me whenever I was nearby, Saya did the rest inside the tower.

All Selyne had to do to destroy my low-level Pals was to throw around some abilities. I stepped back and realized it was time for me to rethink my strategy.

Saya and Slyne new tower boss Palworld Sakurajima DLC

The Sakurajima update is an addition to the original game, which means my old progress was there. This made me go back to my base, grab a rocket launcher, and go for round, well, 100? Luckily, a couple of my rocket launcher shots were strong enough to destroy this 261,000-health boss.

But it made me realize that beating it in hard difficulty was going to be much more challenging. For that, at least I can now use the increased level cap of 55 for just added stats.

Sakurajima Update Will Fuel New Adventurers

To be fair, I remember the absolute grind it took me to get to my level. But what about someone who has just begun? The Palworld Sakurajima DLC makes sure newbies do not feel left out. Starting with the junkyards was a huge loot advantage.

If you’re new in the game and want to fast-forward your looting progress, this update will add tons of resources in random junkyards scattered across the island. Despite being a veteran, I was just looking through all of them just to find what new things I could get my hands on.

Palworld Sakurajima DLC Junkyard

Well, the looting doesn’t stop there. I can now make a lockpick to unlock high-level treasure chests. For once, the never-ending search for high-rarity items goes out the window! However, do note you’ll have to play a little mini-game to open them. But that’s every game, right?

However, with all due respect to these looting systems, nothing comes close to the Meteorite event. Just like in Apex Legends or PUBG, you will notice a drop nearing the ground. It will be marked on your map once it lands.

But beware as there will be guards protecting the stuff coming with the Meteor. In all my Meteorite encounters, I found valuable resources like the new Dog Coin and Crude Oil in the supply crate. You can exchange the Dog Coin with a Coin Merchant. Maybe capture the Merchant instead?

Supply Crate in Palworld

More Things to Do with Friends or Foes!

While a majority of these things revolve around a single-player exploration, Palworld is meant to be played with friends or against enemies. With the Sakurajima DLC update, there are a few additions that will make you call your friends for backup.

The new Oil Rig joining the map is a source of tons of resources including Crude Oil. But heavy Rayne Syndicate army is patrolling it all the time. So, call up your friends and wreak havoc on the Oil Rig.

Oil Rig Fight Palworld

Although you can make Crude Oil extractors and find oil reserves around the map, who wants that simple life right? You can also take on the “Monster Nests” event with your friends and grab a lot of eggs from the nest. Well, only if you can survive the horde of wild Pals.

Palworld Arena Battle

With friends with you, take on the Blazamut Ryu raid boss and find out your strength. Don’t worry, the time of fighting only CPU-generated Pals and Bosses is gone. The Sakurajima update also brings Arenas.

“…with the new PVP mode coming in, I think if the co-op events are the soul of the game, then PVP can be the heart of it.”

And trust me, you must have the strongest Pals and equipment to fight against other Players. I am sure I will go back for more rounds in the Desiccated Desert. If I talk about Palworld’s combat, especially with the new PVP mode coming in, I think if the co-op events are the soul of the game, then PVP can be the heart of it.

Graphics and Performance

Well, no new update is fun if it doesn’t perform. I tested out the new Palworld Sakurajima DLC update on my system on High settings. Before jumping into my specs, let me remind you that servers in Palworld also use PC resources and that is why I had some High settings set to medium for balanced performance and resource usage.

Palworld is already a smooth enough game with not many stuttering issues. Here is the Setup that I used to play Palworld:

Test Setup CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1650 Super
RAM: 8×2 DDR4 RAM @3200MHz
SSD: Adata XPG 500GB
Monitor: 1080p@165Hz

Kudos to PocketPair for making a smooth addition of new content with zero performance changes. Right when I loaded up the game with the new update, I realized the game performing similarly to how it did during the first one.

Outside Arena Image Palworld

At High settings with no tweaks for resource usage, I got around 90-100 FPS on average. When I tried getting it up to the max settings, It still remained near 45-55 FPS. This means the performance is constant no matter what new is added to the game.

Overall, the performance of resource usage depends on your server load too. So, when I joined a multiplayer server or hosted one on my own, it seemed the resources were used more and the FPS was dropping heavily. I would recommend medium settings if you play the game with your friends for balanced performance and quality.

The pre-play copy provided by PocketPair was free of any major issues. My CPU usage and GPU usage both were optimal like any other high-quality game with lots to load up. There were minor graphical glitches for the new island and Arena areas but it did not impact the gameplay at all.

Verdict: A Little Bit of Everything All at Once

With a whole new island, new Pals, new tower and raid bosses, and PVP, the Palworld Sakurajima DLC adds a little bit of everything for everyone. You get new Pal skins that give your Pals a fresh look while new items like Ring of Freight let you carry more items. A mysterious accessories box enables you to add one more accessory to your player inventory while different remedies allow you to strengthen your stats.

The Sakurajima update also brings several new weapons that are fun to use such as Laser Rifles, Flamethrowers, Gatling Gun, Grenade launchers, Guided Missile Launcher, Multi Guided Missile Launcher, and Meteor Launcher.

A lot of these new additions make the life of an adventurer better. However, as a veteran, it doesn’t seem enough for me. Especially, when I could complete the new boss within a few days with my old Pals and equipment. The only thing that is extremely exciting is the new Arena mode and how it turns out among the players. While the campaign had plenty of new things, there’s still some to be desired.

After playing the Palworld Sakurajima DLC for a few days, I feel there is a little bit of everything here to hook players back into a game that is a shell of itself now.

Will this content be enough for everyone? Only time will tell. Despite this, one thing is for sure, Pocketpair is more about quality over quantity when it comes to creating experience and Sakurajima seems no exception.

Beebom Score
9
Palworld Sakurajima DLC is a free-to-play update that will bring back all the players who love adventure. The new Pals and subspecies will give players something more to add in their collections. But the key selling point of this update is the PVP Arena mode and it will make players grind the game to become the ultimate Pal master. Despite a short campaign content, the DLC gives a little bit of everything for everyone.
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