Saturday, March 19, 2016

Initial Pokkénalysis

So yesterday, Pokkén Tournament was released for the WiiU. We picked up our copy around dinnertime. My older son and I played a couple of matches before either of us knew what we were doing, and then my older son went through a bunch of the single player material to get an understanding of the battle system. Here's the character roster, with a few comments here and there where applicable.

  • Blaziken - Blaziken is a tall, powerful fire/fighting type Pokemon. He reminds me of a big furry rooster. He is able to break through an opponent's defenses with normal moves, but he has a few moves that cause recoil damage (damage to your own character) if they miss.
  • Braixen - Braixen is a fire type who looks like a fox carrying around a flaming cotton swab. Braixen has a lot of projectiles, but not as many as the next character.
  • Chandelure - Chandelure is a ghost/fire type that looks like a chandelier, and a lot of people's early choice in this game because of its ridiculous ability to churn out projectile after projectile. (My older son says he's "spammy".) Tekken games didn't involve projectiles very often, and some of the ones that did were very slow startup. It should prove confusing at first for most opponents in Pokkén to deal with all of these projectiles until more of the metagame is developed.
  • Charizard - A lot of people probably know Charizard because of his inclusion in Smash Bros. While he looks like a big orange dragon, so far his strength in Pokken has more to do with shutting down his opponent's attacks than being directly aggressive.
  • Garchomp - Garchomp is literally a land shark.
  • Gardevoir - We haven't played as this fairy/psychic character yet, but we can say that the computer is not that good at living up to the name. It wasn't guarding nearly enough of our attacks in the single player mode.
  • Gengar - Gengar has some creepy attacks. What do you expect? He's a ghost type.
  • Lucario - Another fan favorite from the Smash games series, Lucario seems well-balanced, but I only used him once.
  • Machamp - Machamp is a large four-armed fighting type. He only has a few ranged attacks, but is able to power through his opponent's ranged attacks easily to get in close where he can do more damage.
  • Mewtwo - Mewtwo needs unlocking first.
  • Pikachu - Pikachu is another popular choice in this game, both because of pure popularity and because he seems to genuinely be a solid character with a balanced moveset.
  • Pikachu Libre - At first I though this was a pretty silly choice, but my Pokémon knowledge is not quite as deep as my older son's. There are hundreds of Pokémon, and while Pikachu is rather popular, I wasn't sure why they had to build a second character variation, when it seemed like they could just have additional costumes for the characters to pick from. I mean, wasn't there Pikachu cosplay in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire? Then, when you go and look it up, it turns out that Cosplay Pikachu is a different subspecies, and is only female.  The tip of the tail is black and heart-shaped, unlike a male Pikachu's pointy yellow-only tail, and a female Pikachu's yellow heart-shaped tail. My older son also reminded me that if they specifically wanted a luchador, in keeping with Tekken's inclusion of King, they could have picked the somewhat less popular Hawlucha. Pikachu Libre has a very strong (cheap?) "Double Team" move that makes it temporarily unhittable.
  • Sceptile - Sceptile is a grass type that looks like a tall lizard with a plant for a tail. We haven't quite figured out exactly what he's good at.
  • Shadow Mewtwo - Shadow Mewtwo is the character that you can unlock early with the amiibo card, but is also unlockable normally if you complete all of the Ferrum League. He's the boss of the game.
  • Suicune -Suicune, a dog-like creature with two tails, seems to have a lot of ranged moves which may prove difficult to get past.
  • Weavile - A dark/ice character, Weavile is fast and grumpy looking. Don't get clawed!

  • We haven't played everybody yet, but a few things seem pretty clear. The Tekken system of the buttons corresponding to limbs does not apply at all here. The only thing that seems to be the same as Tekken is the round fixed size arena and the sidestep and throw commands.

    We were worried that two-player was going to be somewhat choppy, because of the system having to render two instances of the game but we didn't really feel it.

    There are still a lot of other Pokémon in the game as support characters, but we don't have all of them unlocked yet, so maybe we will have to save that for another time. I'm sure that we will discover even more about the game after playing it for a while.

    Also - there's a Splatoon Splatfest today, so if you're not busy playing Pokkén, get out there and ink some stuff! (Don't let my older son catch you standing around at the spawn AFK, either!)

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