Pokkén Tournament, the highly anticipated Pokémon-inspired fighting game has announced two new additions to their ever-growing list of playable characters. Minute long trailers for both Charizard and Weavile were released on their YouTube channel, teasing their in-game skill-sets:
Charizard’s trailer marvelously revealed his ability to Mega Evolve, a concept introduced during the Pokémon X and Y iteration of the handheld games. Essentially being a massive boost of one’s base stats, achieving a Mega Evolution (at least for characters that are capable of doing so) during battle could be comparable to a Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. or to a lesser degree, Fatalities in Mortal Kombat.
What’s interesting to note as well is the usage of a dynamic camera throughout the trailer. Pokkén Tournament seems like it desires to stray away from a fixed side-scrolling camera (as used in games such as Dead or Alive and Street Fighter), and hopes to achieve a more holistic approach to fights. I for one welcome this change simply because it adds another layer of depth to the game’s mechanics; forcing the player to not just step back and forth to avoid/inflict damage, but laterally as well. Looking back at the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, the ability to roam wherever you please allowed more diverse game tactics to translate effectively into battles – like my classic strategy of running away in fear. In all seriousness though, Pokémon as a franchise prides itself in having grandiose moves and abilities, and this change may be the one thing to propel the game into being more than just a spin-off.
Speaking of which, this isn’t the first time the series has attempted to crossover into other genres. In 2012, the game Pokémon Conquest was developed alongside Tecmo Koei, which hoped to combine the characters from the Pokémon series and the real-time strategy of the Nobunaga’s Ambition video games and was met with a very positive reception. This time around they join forces with Bandai Namco Entertainment, who has cemented their identity in the fighting scene, being the creators of both the Tekken and Soulcalibur franchises. All signs point to a good game if you ask me.
Unfortunately for foreign fans, no international release has been announced, as the game is only scheduled for a Japanese release. To make matters worse, Nintendo plans for it to only be released as an arcade game with no confirmation of porting it to the Wii U in the future. The one saving grace in all this however is the fact that the machine the game is being played on doesn’t utilize a standard joystick box, but ironically uses a controller that you would expect to see on console systems. The controller in question bears a strong resemblance to a PlayStation controller sans the two analog sticks, and makes me more perplexed than impressed. Just how ‘difficult’ can this game be if all you need is a D-pad for movement? And if Nintendo planned on using an external controller, why not just release it on the Wii U from the get-go? Hopefully we’ll hear more news leading up to its July 16th release. In the meantime, I’ll just keep replaying the opening cinematic until then.
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