After the release of Pokkén Tournament for Wii U back in March of 2016, I was really excited to play this unique 2D/3D-style of fighting game featuring my favorite intellectual property, Pokémon! This remained the case for about half a year. What really took me away from everything though was that it lacked much in the way of on-going support or any sign of a port or sequel. This all changed with the announcement of Pokkén Tournament DX.
For those who don’t know, Pokkén Tournament was originally announced and released as a Japanese arcade game, which later came to Wii U. The game was developed by the team behind the Tekken fighting-game series using Pokémon characters. When a round starts, the arena is 3D. Every time a fighter is hit with a large enough attack or combo, a “phase-shift” occurs and the perspective switches between 3D and 2D.
The game also has fighting mechanics similar to other fighting games, such as weak-attacks, strong-attacks, you get the idea. They also put in a gauge called Synergy, both used for a new form and attack for your fighter. Support Pokémon can even be chosen and summoned once the player’s Support Gauge is full. As with most fighting games these days, each Game is best-of-3-rounds, and each Set (when in a tournament setting) is best-of-3-games or best-of-5-games in some cases.
Even though the Pokkén Tournament Championship Series (a series of tournaments) was formed, I could only attend one of these events. Being the first event in its own series, the STL Showdown in St. Louis, there weren’t many people at all, with only 35 or so competing in the Pokkén Master’s Division. I had a lot of fun there and had wished there were more events that I could attend. I even worked with a friend of mine to bring a tournament-format setup to our school one day.
Something still felt as though it was missing. This ended up being more game updates, more tournaments, and the addition of the four characters added only to the arcade version of Pokkén Tournament. After seeing the Nintendo Switch, I thought the system would be perfect for the game. When there was later an announcement for a Pokémon Direct (video presentation) in June, I had my hopes up and was not disappointed.
With the announcement of Pokkén Tournament DX, I realized that I was being given everything that I felt was missing and more. With new modes, new characters, a tournament announced (and now completed), and even the ability to play in more places (thanks to the Nintendo Switch), I felt better in that 8 minutes than I’d felt in any recent 8 minutes.
I also had the chance to play quite a bit of Pokkén Tournament DX at one of the Nintendo Summer of Play events. I had the chance to try out the five new characters (Darkrai, Scizor, Croagunk, Empoleon, and Decidueye) and the new support set (Litten and Popplio), which were all a lot of fun to use. I must’ve played at least 10 games of Pokkén while I was there, beat everyone I faced, and had quite a good time.
Now I hope that Nintendo (@NintendoVS on Twitter in this context), The Pokémon Company international, and any partnered tournament hosts bring the tournament scene back. If they do this, everybody wins.
The featured image can be located on the Pokémon website, it is not mine.