reviews\ Mar 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Pokken Tournament Review

I wanna be, the very best

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Pokken Tournament Review

The Positives

  • Pokken Tournament has some really interesting ideas regarding its core gameplay mechanics, that stem from a constantly shifting viewpoint. Basically, the game starts you off moving in 3D, but execute a certain combo, and the view changes to 2D. Not only does this constant shift keep things interesting from a visual standpoint, it also switches it up gameplay wise, since each Pokemon's moveset changes depending on which view you're in.

  • There are no specific arrow inputs to perform special moves, but rather work similarly to Super Smash Bros. where pressing a button executes a move, and then pressing that same button along with a direction executes a different one. The game does a pretty good job at still remaining technical despite this, as you can pull off some impressive combos if your timing is right.

  • While there are no elemental weaknesses, which would in all honesty make the fighting game a bit unfair, there is still a rock-paper-scissors mechanic in place. The three main move types, grabs, normal attacks and blocks are susceptible to one another. Knowing when to use one to take advantage of your opponent to do incredible damage or get yourself out of a dangerous situation, is certainly one of the highlights during each match.

  • The animations for each Pokemon are spectacular, and each attack is fully realized with complete fluidity. The ultimate attacks look spectacular as well.

  • Multiplayer works flawlessly online, at least in my time with it, though be aware that I am basing that off of pre-release servers.

  • Local Multiplayer is handled in a relatively interesting way, where one player needs to use the Gamepad, since a single screen couldn't simulate two shifting perspectives at once.

  • There are a lot of supporting Pokemon, which can certainly add some more strategy to your gameplay. Add that they have specializations like healing, boosting your damage, or straight up perform an attack, there are a lot of different combinations you could choose from.

  • It's a gorgeous game. Seriously, all the Pokemon, environments and attacks not only look stunning, but they're extremely faithful to the franchise.

  • Tons of customization options for your trainer to collect. Each battle awards you with money, which you can spend on various outfits or accessories to adorn your trainer with. This look then also goes with you whenever you play online, adding a bit more personality to your profile.

The Negatives

  • Both the Pokemon count, as well as the Pokemon chosen are a bit of a letdown. Sure, Pokemon like Machamp, Charizard, Lucario and even Mewtwo make a whole lot of sense, but then you have Pokemon like Chandelure which make absolutely no sense. Furthermore, you also have two Pikachus and Two Mewtwos. Add that to the fact that the game only has 16 fighters in total, the complete roster becomes a huge letdown.

  • The campaign is extremely repetitive. I initially liked the idea of rising through the ranks and eventually becoming champion, but each rank forces you to do more battles, than the previous one. This wouldn't be a huge problem is the Pokemon variety was bigger, but since there are only 16 Pokemon, you'll be facing off to the same enemies quite frequently.

  • The trainer who initially helps you with all the tutorials, still sticks around through the rest of the game, and often cheers you on as you fight, and constantly reminds you of opportunities to strike, among other things. While that may sound helpful, it becomes incredibly annoying over time. Thankfully, you can turn this off completely, and I would certainly advise to do so.

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Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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