Game Review – Pokkén Tournament

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Pokkén tournament.

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Hey, have you heard of Pokkén Tournament?

That Pokémon x Tekken game?

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Yeah, it has realistic fighting compare to the main Pokémon games.
Pokkén?

Look at that HD fur!
It’s like a dream come true!

POKKEN! POKKEN! POKKEN! POKKEN!

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Welcome! Welcome! To the ever hype Pokkén Tournament! While there are many aspects to cover, gameplay is the seller of the game. Let’s jump right into it!

 

The Aesthetics and tunes

The technological user interface really screams ‘Future of Pokémon, heir of 20 years’. I felt it hit home as I enjoyed Pokémon Sapphire and Pokémon Pinball during my childhood. Seeing the change, the EVOLUTION of the franchise. As I watch the intro of the game for the first time and I see the Lucario’s fur, it’s just pure eye candy for me.

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I also have to mention the character create mode because people love that stuff, so much they spend more time there than playing the actual game. The biggest plus to this one compared to most other character creates, is the heavy anime look. From my memory most don’t have an anime look.

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The audio found in this game are pretty top-notch other than the fact that during story mode, Nia (your advisor that gives you advice way too often) always talks in a monotone voice, even when the world is about to end. The soundtrack is quite diverse ranging from strings galore to techno rave to tribal drumming. I would recommend checking out Haunted House, Magikarp Festival, and Diggersby Land.

 

The Gameplay

This first concept you’ll need to learn about is Phase Shifting.

There are two phases that dictate how you control your character. You start in Field Phase, where the name of the game is hitting your opponent with a stray move. You can move freely in the 3D environment during this phase. However, Duel Phase is more strict as it’s follow a 2D Plane. You can move toward and away from your opponent using the left or right button. I believe that Phase Shifting is what makes it stand out from the rest of the fighting games, as well as the appeal of being a Pokémon game.

pokken-tournament-suicune-blast-gameplay-screenshot PT-Gameplay

The Attack Triangle is the second concept.

Pretty self-explanatory from the image below. This rock-paper-scissors concept really drives simplicity as The Pokémon Company likes to keep everything kid-friendly. What I recently found out is that if your opponent throws out a paper and you throw out a scissor, not only will you beat him, you’ll also deal extra damage. I find that the biggest occurrence is when a pokémon is getting up from the ground. Because my friends often get up and attack, I’ll beat out their move by counter attacking. This lead to many mind games you play with your opponent; you just have to pray that you called right like rock-paper-scissors

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Synergy Burst is basically your comeback mode.

There is a meter that you can activate once fully charged. This makes your pokémon stronger and if using the right character, mega evolves. During the state, you can take the damage from weak attacks without it cancelling your actions. A Burst Move is a powerful attack that can only be used once during Burst Mode. When landed, causes a flashy cut scene to occur. I’m not a fan of it because I don’t always understand what to do against it, but that just mean I gotta learn more.

 

Support Pokémon are also a special factor in the game.

You pick a pair of pokémon before the match starts and they assist you, whether it’d be dealing damage, applying status effects, or even put up a wall to fend off attacks. They can influence the flow of the battle quite heavily. Players can even pick a pair that is strong specifically for one opponent. I think that supports are neat, but most of it is hidden by the extreme strong ones that stand out like the legendaries.

pokkentournament-supportpokemon

 

I’d also like to mention that most combos in this game are performed by spamming a button.  I have attempted timing the button presses, but spamming yields a greater success rate. It IS a children-friendly game. It also made for those not really into the fight game genre. While everything supposed to be simple, there is just so much in this game, that it’s become as intricate as a spider’s web.

 

Afterwords

While I have cover some of the concepts, the game still has much more depth to it. Personally the game has brought me closer to some of my friends and I can’t complain about that. Now to answer the big question: Should you pick up Pokkén Tournament for the Wii U?

Are you:

  • a Nintendo/Pokémon Fan.
  • a Fighting Game Enthusiast.
  • Interested in trying something new.

If you said yes to any of these statements then go for it! While single-player mode is a little lacking, there is still plenty here. Gorgeous graphics, adrenaline inducing songs, and gameplay as deep as mariana’s trench, you’ll spend hours playing all the characters, learn combos, and getting good.

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