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I could've sworn that we had a thread about this game, but apparently we don't? Regardless, I played it pretty extensively for the last couple of weeks, and it's actually awesome!
Pokken Tournament is quite a unique take on the fighting genre, with actual 3D movement, two battle modes, and a different perspective for each character in Versus mode, thanks to the Gamepad screen. When racing through the tutorials, the game almost seemed overly complicated, but the inputs are fairly similar across the different characters. After playing for a while, the controls became fairly intuitive.
Fights start in a 'field mode', where characters can move around freely in 3D and lob attacks at each other or bring the pain more directly, which pushes the action into the higher-stakes 'duel mode', which is more like a standard 1v1 fighting game. After one player receives enough damage in duel mode, it changes back into field mode, and so on, until one of the Pokemon faints or time runs out. Like Fire Emblem, there's a basic triangle of move priority at the core of the gameplay. Strikes beat Throws, Counters beat Strikes, and Throws beat Counters. Most attacks can be blocked, but blocking characters can be thrown. When the Synergy Gauge fills up, you can cash it in to perform a highly damaging Synergy Burst super-move. And there are also selectable Support Pokemon with different effects, which can be used when the Support Gauge is full. The mindgames which emerge from the combination of these simple, interconnected systems are incredibly fun. Particularly when the Synergy Gauge is full, since the lethality of the Synergy Burst is similar to that of a Smash Ball power.
And the presentation is amazing, as well. The graphics are really nice and detailed (which gives kind of a surreal atmosphere to the game, since they're still weird, unearthly creatures), and the Pokemon setting really gives the game a unique flair, with a crazy variety of character types and move types. The supers also look great, and are super-satisfying to pull off.
So, yeah. I was pleasantly surprised at how pleasantly surprised I was by Pokken Tournament. I think that it's actually one of my favorite fighting games of all time. Like Smash, it's a fresh, accessible, atypical fighting game that's tons of fun in a competitive setting. Grab a pal and try it out!
I thought we had a discussion thread as well. WEIRD.
I tried to get into this game, but I too often found myself mashing the buttons like crazy. I know the inputs are pretty streamlined, but I can't seem to think quickly enough to remember what does what and when.
I should just pick one Pokemon and try to learn the poop out of it.
@ploot One of my initial concerns with the controls was whether Throw and Counter should be relegated to button combos. But I got used to it soon enough.
Are you comfortable switching between attacks, throws, counters, and blocks? That's most of what you need, at a base level. And then you can work on projectile attacks, homing attacks, etc., since they are pretty similar between characters. But the nature and range of the moves can vary pretty wildly. Also, as far as combos, it seems that they're somewhat simplified. Like, as long as you hit with the first Y attack, just tapping Y pretty much guarantees that you will finish the combo. And you can mix in the occasional alternate attack button. So it's not like you have to jam on them all the time. And, if you're defending against a combo, just wait until the combo ends or one of the attacks whiffs for the opportunity to counter or strike back. Or you can interrupt it with a Support Pokemon or Synergy Burst.
If my 7-year-old nephew can get the hang of it, I'm confident that you can, as well!
@GameDadGrant I would be totally down for that, but, embarrassingly enough, I don't actually own the game. I had borrowed it from the library.
That said, I definitely enjoyed it enough to pick it up. The only thing stopping me is the certainty that a more stacked sequel will appear on the NX. Which I would totally grab, day one.
I really like it! It's a fun fighter. Not all that deep, but what's there works well and the whole "field" and "duel" modes of battling are a unique twist on the genre. And one I think only Pokémon would have been able to pull off. It's cool.
I wonder if there will ever be a sequel. Hopefully this wasn't just a one-time thing between Nintendo and Namco, but for some reason I feel like it is. But then again, it's not like Pokémon isn't known for sequels (on TOP of sequels!) so maybe it will happen!
@GameDadGrant I think that a sequel is pretty much guaranteed. On the anemic Wii U user base, it's already sold at least 1 million copies. The potential for growth is huge. And the design document for an NX sequel pretty much writes itself. Also, it's a very accessible fighting game entry point for Pokemon fans. It even convinced my nephews to buckle down and learn the mechanics of a fighting game!
I'm glad that I waited on the "NX" version, too. I will 100% pick it up at or near release.
Speaking of which, I was a bit concerned about the local multiplayer mode of this game, since the splitscreen mode seems to use less than half of the screen to preserve the single-player field of view. BUT, according to a Youtuber (Non Comms), in addition to the online multiplayer, LAN multiplayer, and splitscreen multiplayer, there is a FULLSCREEN multiplayer mode, sort of like a traditional fighter. Specifically, the Duel Mode plays like a traditional fighting game, and the Field Mode shows both characters in a shared 3D view. With 60fps throughout! (Gamepad vs. TV multiplayer was 30fps on the Wii U.)
It might be a bit difficult to handle a shared Field Mode, but I'm so glad that the option exists! Can't wait to Share the Pain.
I wonder if even the splitscreen variant goes singlescreen during Duel Mode...