Pokkén Tournament Review – When Pokémon Battles go Epic

Think about the Naruto Ninja Storm franchise but with Pokémon, that’s Pokkén Tournament. Simply put, it’s an arcade fighting game wherein you pit two Pokémon together in a circular arena. While most Pokémon games require you to catch as many as possible then battle them out with other cartoonish creatures in the same realm, the former aspect has been chucked out the window. In other words, all you’re going to get in this particular game is the fighting element.

Pokkén Tournament Review - When Pokémon Battles go Epic

Pokkén Tournament Only Brings the Fighting and None of the Catching

In Pokkén Tournament, gamers will have maneuver their chosen Pokémon in real time rather than selecting an attack and relying on an agility stat to gain the upper hand in battle. Here, to miss an opponent’s attack, you really have to move your behind, or rather your Pokémon’s, so that you won’t take as much damage as you would hope.

Why the strange name? There are many Tekken series tropes that can be seen within the game, and diehard fans of this particular fighting game franchise can spot them easily. For instance, before a battle, some Pokémon will perform a signature taunt. Pokémon such as Machamp and Charizard will make grunts and groans after taking a hit. These sound effects are also similar to the audible effects that are found by Tekken’s mainstay characters Paul Phoenix and Jack. Still in comparison with Tekken, in Pokkén, it is also difficult to break away from an opponent once they start pummeling with jabs, kicks, combos, fire blasts, psychic shockwaves, and other attacks.

While there are many things to compare with Tekken, combos aren’t that complex in this Pokémon brawler. This is due to the fact that many of the moves and combos draw from the actual attacks found in the traditional Pokémon game playstyle. For example, playing as Braixen will let users tap a button while moving forward to initiate “Fire Spin.” Fans of the highly popular Nintendo title will also see very familiar attacks being portrayed in real time such as Seismic Toss, Aura Sphere, Psybeam, and Magic Leaf.

Perhaps the best parts of the battles are the most damaging, and they’re also the most visually appealing. These are the burst attacks, which are akin to special moves in other fighting titles.

While Pokémon fans can definitely try something new when playing Pokkén Tournament, there is one caveat that cannot be hidden easily – the character roster. Pokémon games are known for their huge amount of creatures to catch, but in this game you only get a handful of fighters to choose from.


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