Pokken Tournament

After playing Pokken Tournament it’s going to be hard to play a turn based Pokémon RPG ever again

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Mar 2016

For long time fans of the traditional turn based RPG games Pokken Tournament gives players complete control over their Pokémon. The diverse cast of characters, deep combat mechanics, and incredible animations make this one of the most intense fighting games today. It does suffer from a lack of content or proper story mode but it is one of the best games to own on the Wii U.

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Pokken Tournament combines the notoriety of the Pokémon franchise and combines it with the deep combat mechanics of the Tekken series. Combat is split into two phases, 2D Tekken style combat and open-field 3D battles. Depending on the attack you use will determine whether a phase shift is triggered.  Effectively knowingly when to take advantage of these phases are important since 2D fights to tend focus on close-quarter attacks and 3D phases allow for long-rage tactics. 

Combat also borrows from the rock-paper-scissors mechanics from the RPG Pokémon franchise, here it’s called the Attack Triangle. Countering, aerial attacks and grapples all have a counter and determining which to use can either leave you open to attack or send your opponent flying. Combos are generally easy to pull off and terrific animation sells each attack, it’s clear that the developers took the time to not only design each Pokémon but the moves as well. 

Synergy Burst allows your Pokémon to access an alternate state. For Pokémon without Mega Evolutionary forms they simply emit a glowing aura. In this state players not only deal more damage but are harder to stun and knockdown, and when triggered again can inflict massive damage with a powerful finishing move. Like the basic attacks the developers made incredible effort to highlight each Pokémon’s special attack.

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The roster contains 16 fighters and 19 stages, with an additional 30 support Pokémon. There are 15 pre-determined sets of support Pokémon, each with distinct abilities such as anti-aerial attacks, buffing, debuffing, and defensive shields. As you fight your support Pokémon’s gauge fills and when fighting in a 3D phase items appear on the arena that will further boost your support Pokémon’s meter. Just like the Attack Triangle knowing when to call in your support Pokémon is paramount in fights.

With a selection of over 720 characters to choose from having less than 20 Pokémon in the roster is criminal. What’s makes this all the more vexing is that your two-dimensional anime avatar has such an expansive array of customizable options, from clothes to titles. Choosing to omit these 2D avatars for more Pokémon shifting more cosmetic options for roster wouldn’t been made gathering all these fictional money worth something.

The single-player mode also falls short. Opponents are separated into leagues, as you progress player’s face increasingly more difficult Pokémon Trainers while at the same time trying to stop Shadow Mewtwo. It’s a shallow story and the core of the league is to face one opponent after another. Due to the lack of playable Pokémon you’ll grow bored facing the same adversaries over and over again. Pacing is terrific with opponents growing gradually more challenging as you climb the ranks but without a proper roster battles become tedious.

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Online multiplayer is efficient, since release I’ve yet to experience any lag or lack of opponents in Ranked and Friendly modes. What’s strange is that is an opponent isn’t found within 10 seconds you’re placed into a match with a low level CPU. What’s confuses me further is why the developers didn’t include a spectator mode or a tournament option. 

Pokken Tournament is a excellent fighter that suffers from a lack of content. The developers should be commended for putting such love and care into not only the design of each Pokémon but their attacks. The lack of Pokémon is upsetting but once you get into the flow of combat it’ll be harder to ignore all the strengths Pokken Tournament delivers. After playing Pokken Tournament it’s going to be hard to play a turn based Pokémon RPG ever again.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Wii U
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Bandai Namco
Genres: Fighting,RPG,
Themes: Pokemon
Release Date: 2016-03-18

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