A Pokemon fighting game is a dream come true for many hardcore Pokemon fans. So is it any good? The answer is yes it’s really, really good…
If you love fighting games in general you probably already own this game. If Tekken and Pokemon had a baby Pokken Tournament would be the results. The gameplay in this game is fantastic. Each Pokemon plays a different way. Chandelure is a great ranged fighter and can punish you before the fight even begins. Machamp is probably the hardest hitting Pokemon in the game and you can’t interrupt his combos the way you can with other Pokemon. He’ll just power right through them and knock you on your ass. Pikachu is fast and hit’s moderately hard.
Pokken Tournament is much slower then most fighting games that I’m used to playing and it took me awhile to get used it, but once I did I was pulling off combos with Gengar with ease and I powered through the whole game with him.
I don’t know if Pokemon has ever looked better then it does here in Pokken Tournament. You can make the argument for Super Smash Bros, but you don’t see as many Pokemon in that game as you do in this one. Gengar’s mega evolution looks fantastic and fucking scary at the same time. Charizard looks, and most likely will, like he’ll beat the living crap out of you while Machamp looks like a overconfident bodybuilder.
If Pokemon were real I would imagine them looking like they do in Pokken Tournament over the handheld games.
Unfortunately there aren’t many Pokemon to choose from. I’m still pissed off that Primeape, and Hitmonchan aren’t in the game, but what we have here is a great little roster of Pokemon to choose from. If you want a speedy fighter go with Pikachu, or Weavile. If you’re looking for pure power go with Garchomp, or Machamp. Mewtwo can also be unlocked after you complete the crappy little story mode that’s in the game. If you’re good a fighting games you can power through the story in a few hours.
The voice acting from the human npcs is the worst I’ve heard all year long, but the Pokemon in the game sound fantastic. Especially Gengar, and Pikachu. Going through the story was a pain because of how bad the voice acting in the game is and it made me take frequent breaks. The Pokemon moves, voices, and finishing moves all sound really great though and it really helped push the sounds up from bad to good. The soundtrack isn’t all that bad too, but it’s nothing really memorable.
During battle there are two phases. You have your field phase that works sort of like the DBZ/Naruto games and your Duel Phase which works like your classic Tekken/Street Fighter games. Each Pokemon has strengths and weaknesses. Some Pokemon, like Chandelure, fight really well in the field phase while Pokemon like Machamp will struggle in it. And then you have your balance Pokemon like Pikachu that excels at both phases.
Phase shifting can be used to your advantage in battle. If you’re losing a battle changing phases can probably turn the tides of battle in your favor depending on the Pokemon that you choose to fight with.
The Final Boss Fight:
Mewtwo is your boss fights in this game. You fight him a few times before your last fight with him. The first few times you fight him he’ll have 1k hp. That’s a lot considering my Gengar only had about 550, but at the end of the game Mewtwo has a a huge health pool of about 3k. It took me three tries to beat him with Gengar, but that’s simply because he hits harder then every other Pokemon in the game. One hit takes half of my health away and it was just a unfair fight from start to finish and you have to beat him in two rounds to win instead of just the one round that was previously required.
The Roster of Pokemon Is Way Too Small:
There is no planned DLC for this game and that makes it really hard for me to keep coming back to this game over Super Smash because it simply doesn’t have enough characters in it. There are so many Pokemon that could have been in this game and it’s really disappointing that there most likely won’t be any additional characters added to the game.
I would love to play as Dragonite, Hitmonchan, Hitmontop, Primeape, and Feraligatr. If you want more recent Pokemon how’s Pumpkaboo, Chestnaught, and Brelom sound? I’ll even settle for choosing Torkoal over another Pikachu because that was incredibly lazy in my opinion.
This is probably my biggest criticism about the game at the moment right next to the voice acting.
Lack of Game Modes:
There are only two modes you’ll most likely spend the majority of your time with in Pokken Tournament and that’s the online vs mode, and the Farron League. There’s a single battle mode and vs mode for playing against someone else in the same room with you, but that’s it. This game is lacking in game modes. It would have been nice to have a tournament in my home with all of my friends choosing their Pokemon, but we can only choose one at a time because there is no tournament mode for vs mode.
There are only single battles. How cool would double battles have been in this game? It’s a major feature in every Pokemon game, but it’s missing here.
There some customization options for us to choose from while we play Pokemon, but it makes no sense to me. You only see your character at the beginning of every match and the outfits that they have for him/her aren’t very good looking in my opinion. I have over 7 million pokedollars, or whatever they’re called, and I have no interest in buying any of the accessories that’s in the game.
You can change your advisor’s outfit, but what’s the point. She’s easily the most annoying character in the game and I wish I could permanently mute her.
I would have loved to customize my Pokemon to make them feel more like “my” starter Pokemon instead of just a Pokemon in a fighting game, but this is really just a small complaint and won’t have any real impact on this review.
Pokken Tournament is a really great game even with the lack of characters in the game. It’s fun and is a unique blend of many fighting games that I’ve played in the past. The voice acting will undoubtedly make you cringe, but the gameplay is what ultimately carries this game and if there is ever a sequel hopefully it’ll have some additional game modes for us to have some fun with.
Despite all of the negatives that I mentioned above this is still a fantastic game. Most of the negatives are small little things that I don’t like about game. If you’re a fighting game fan get Pokken Tournament. If you love Pokemon get this game.