Welcome to “Anything Goes”, where my opinion articles on a wide variety of topics will be featured. Along with “Anything Goes”, The Fluffiest Whimsicott will also be posting her thoughts on the same topics in her column, “The Fluff”!
For me, video gaming has typically been a hobby where I lock into a few key series and play them to their fullest extent. This is why I own a copy of every single main series Pokémon game. And Professor Layton game. And Mario Kart Game. There was a point where I owned every Soul Calibur game, including all 3 versions (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) of Soul Calibur 2. Needless to say, once I get into a game series, I lock onto it and play it a lot.
There is another video game series that I have also delved into deeply. Twelve-year-old Snag went down to the arcade one day when he was at the mall with his mom and she let him have a dollar to go play a game. For some reason, a fighting game caught his eyes. He dropped the coins in and started playing. Before he knew it, he was locked in battle with an opponent. Massive punches were being thrown, devastating kicks landed, and it seemed as though a ball of energy was released when the best of these attacks landed. It was amazing. This was Tekken 3 and to this day, I still want a Tekken 3 machine in my eventual game room. Like other video game series, I played these games quite a bit.
With all of this being said, when it was announced that there would be a Pokémon fighting game developed by the makers of Tekken, you would expect that I would be super excited. Unfortunately, I’m not! There are several reasons for this that I will try to describe here.
The first reason is that I don’t think styles of the two games mesh very well. In the game footage that I have seen for Pokkén, there is something about it that seems distinctly not Pokémon. Obviously, when there is a crossover between games or genres, there will be stylistic choices that are necessary. This was at its best in the game Pokémon Conquest. This game, though, doesn’t mesh well with the Pokémon style, in my opinion.
The second reason that I am not very excited for this is the battle style seems out of place. Obviously, going from a turn-based RPG to a fighting game will have a stark difference in game style but when I imagine Pokémon fighting, this is not what I envision. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks really nice as a 3D fighting game and the fact that the characters can easily move in 3-dimensions is awesome, but these battles don’t seem organic. The battle style almost seems like there are fighting game characters wearing Pokémon costumes (I can only imagine Law putting on a Blaziken costume and Paul Phoenix donning Machamp attire).
The third reason that I will discuss here is the cast of characters that was chosen, thus far. At this point, Lucario, Machamp, Suicune, Gardevoir, Pikachu (and Pikachu Libre), Gengar, Charizard, Weavile and Blaziken have been announced. Seriously, I know it is the series mascot, but what is Pikachu doing in a fighting game? It seems as though some major game favorites have been chosen, but there seems to be little to no harmony between them. This is probably the hardest part to describe, but these characters don’t seem to be ones I would have chosen for the game. In a similar manner, the places in which they are fighting seems really weird (although, fighting in obscure places tends to be a hallmark of most fighting games). Where are the trainers? Are these wild Pokémon fighting (a wild Machamp, not likely)? Why are there other random Pokémon just hanging out in the background?
Ultimately, it seems like the entire game was very forced. I don’t think this kind of fighting game is a good match for Pokémon. What should have been done instead? Since the early days of both franchises, I have thought a crossover with Smash Bros would have been amazing (a Pokémon exclusive Smash Bros game if you will). They have some Pokémon ready to go, models made for others with at least one attack, the art style and gameplay are much more in line with what I envision a Pokémon battle to be. This is the fighting game Pokémon deserves. That or a true battle simulator like Thatch’s Stadium 3 (which I think would be really cool). What do I think this means for the franchise? To be perfectly honest, considering the last console Pokémon game was a Pokémon Rumble title, now followed up by this, I think this could be the end of the few console games we actually get for the series.
Don’t forget to check out the article written by The Fluffiest Whimsicott, also on the topic of Pokkén Tournament and as always, you can find this and other Pokémon related articles on my blog: http://snagspokemonblog.blogspot.com/
Smell ya later!