Okay so last time we did something different where I had a massive rant involving out-of-the-loop parents and Undertale. So to balance out the saltiness that is #SaltySpencer we will review a game I have been dying to review for a while.
Yep. Before we begin I did a top 15 Pokemon for Pokken Tournament list. NOT A SINGLE ONE GOT IN. And the roster consists of 16 characters, two of which are the same species as another just with different move sets. That is sad on one front because I basically made an awesome list that you should TOTALLY go read anyway, for not. It's understandable on another front, since there is exactly 721 (722 counting the leaked robot Pokemon Magiania) Pokemon now.
Now on with the review.
At it's core Pokken Tournament is a fighting game (OBVIOUSLY). And it's surprisingly deep.
You see, the concept of Pokken is that the entire game takes place in the Ferrum Region, where Pokemon battles are fast paced. To make it more fair, type advantages are completely ignored. So don't worry, Charizard fans! He won't get one shot by Stealth Rock anymore.
BUT, there is a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. You can use normal attacks, grabs, and counters. Counters give you super armor (for the uninitiated, super armor is the term us competitive gamers use to describe the brief time frame where you are invincible after taking damage, only in this game you can use super armor manually at any time) and auto-block normal attacks. However, counters can be canceled by a grab, so if you see your opponent setting up a counter, do a grab! Finally, normal attacks, which make up most of your Pokemon's attacks, cancel out grabs, but like I said, counters auto-block normal attacks.
GET DUNKED ON MACHAMP!!!
Furthermore, normal attacks are divided into three types. Weak/Projectile (depending on phase, more on that later), Strong/Homing (again, depending on phase) and finally Special. Special attacks are triggered by pressing the A button (or the equivalent) followed by a directional input (A+Up or A+Down for example). Making the fighting system even MORE sophisticated is the phase shifts
Fights in Pokken are in two phases that switch periodically. Field Phase (pictured above) is when the game is in 3D. Here every fighter has at least one projectile.
And then there is Dual Phase, where the match becomes 2D, and both Pokemon lose almost all their projectiles which get replaced with melee attacks. Here you can do all sorts of crazy combos. Keep in mind that some characters like Chandelure and Suicune actually keep their projectiles while in this phase.
And the final mechanic to this fighter's gameplay is Burst Mode. While inflicting damage on the opponent you will fill up a Burst Gauge. When it's full you can go into Burst Mode (I guess you could say your Pokemon is BURSTING AT THE SEAMS!!! :P ). While In Burst Mode you gain a massive boost in damage output and defense, and you can perform a Burst Attack, which is a really powerful attack that takes like half the opponent's health in one go. The Burst Attacks themselves range from visually impressive (Shadow Mewtwo dropping a FREAKING BLACK HOLE ON YOUR HEAD!!!), to adorable (Braixen blowing you up with fireworks) to downright terrifying (Gengar stealing your soul while LAUGHING MANIACALLY)
Some Pokemon transform into Mega Pokemon upon Bursting. Others just get a particle effect.
Also, I like how no two characters play alike. Even the two *Pikachus in the game have completely different fighting styles (one's a grappler while the other is a rusher). So there is guaranteed to be a Pokemon that fits you to a Tee. Example, I like fast moving characters with absurdly long combos so Weavile is my personal favorite. Speaking of playable Pokemon...
Why are Zelda and Gardevoir in the EXACT SAME
And that covers it for the main attraction of this game, the fights. Now onto the story
Sadly, the story is nowhere NEAR as good as the gameplay, but let's face it. Nobody plays a Pokemon game for a good story. They play Pokemon because they want to see Pokemon fight in GLORIOUS HD. I can literally summarize the entire plot in one sentence. That's how bare bones it is. So if you want spoilers, I will give you spoilers.
You enter a Pokemon sort-of martial arts tournament with a woman named Nia as your coach, while rumors of a black-skinned Mewtwo running amok arise, eventually forcing a confrontation between your Pokemon of choice and "Shadow Mewtwo". There. The entire story is right there. Also I called it!!! I freaking called it!!! Mewtwo is indeed the final boss of the story mode. BOOM!!! *insert extremely loud "WOOOOAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!" sound here* Now Nintendo owes me a cookie! =P
Now you better brace yourself since I shall talk about arguably the most controversial character in the entire game. And that is Nia. Why is she the most controversial character in the entire game? Because everybody, and I do mean EVERYBODY, hates this woman because of her voice acting. I've seen people play the game on mute because they can't stand the sound of her voice. Which is a shame since this is actually the first Pokemon game EVER to feature voice acting at all. However there is the option to set the language to Japanese if you like that voice better.
Braixen! AKA Every female anime protagonist ever!
And finally, we have the music and graphics. The music is actually surprisingly good, when you stop to listen to it. Given the fast paced nature of the game you rarely have anytime to think about anything besides the match.
As for the graphics, this game is surprisingly pretty. I like how all the Pokemon look slightly more realistic, like how Charizard looks like he has scales or how Pikachu Libre's costume looks like it's made of actual fabric.
Overall, this is a really fun game. The story is meh, but the gameplay is where it shines. I give it a 8/10. Also, please convince Bandai Namco to turn my entire top 15 list into DLC for this game. All of them need it. :(
*Before you yell at me, I know that the plural of Pikachu is still Pikachu. I just think that "s" just makes the word look more "complete" if that makes any sense.