Finally we get to see Pikachu smash the shit out of Charizard.
20 years in the making, Nintendo have finally loosened their hold on the Pokémon franchise, allowing Bandai Namco to produce a fighting game based on the Tekken engine, for the Wii U. How do Pikachu and co stack up when put toe to toe with other fighting games, and each other?
Pokkén Tournament has attempted to break into the fighting game genre with a bang, and it has done just that. It brings freshness and new life to a notoriously stale genre that’s difficult to develop, whilst stripping out the unnecessarily complex controls that have plagued many games before it.
Pokkén Tournament doesn’t quite know where to hang its hat – accessible fighter for kids, or serious online brawler – but somehow it manages to pull both off. Spectacular combat, beloved characters, and fun gameplay make for a fighter that anyone can enjoy.
What a delight it is to witness Nintendo’s iconic Pokemon unshackled, free to leap around and trade blows up close.
Pokkén Tournament takes a lot of what we know from old fighting gaming favorites and sticks them into a blender, delivering a unique take on both Pokémon and on fighting games in general.
If you’re looking for a fun, solo, Pokemon-shaped distraction for 8-10 hours, then Pokken will happily scratch that itch. If you want more of a challenge against your fellow trainers then you’ll be left wanting.
God is a Geek 7.5
Despite its disappointing lack of challenge during offline play, outlandish roster and feeble attempt at a story, Pokkén still offers wonderfully fluid combat and a firm fighting-game foundation to build upon.
Not a completely convincing two round perfect then, Pokkén Tournament does stand its ground however, and can deliver a devastating water attack to the face if you let your guard slip. One for fighting game fans put off by the complexity of Street Fighter’s legacy, it seems.