When Pokken Tournament was announced, I had pretty minimal interest. For one thing, I still wasn't QUITE sold on the Wii U yet. And I wasn't as big of a Pokemon fan as I am now. And as far as fighting games go, Tekken is pretty low on my list.
A year later it was re-released on the Switch and people were going gaga over it. I didn't really get it. I assumed that it was mostly because the Switch was new, and there weren't a ton of games yet to choose from. And three years later, I assumed I was right because now there's a million games on Switch and nobody ever talks about Pokken Tournament anymore.
But I ended up with a copy of the Wii U release on my shelves, from a Gamestop B2G2 sale after the holidays. At the time I was pretty heavily collecting Wii U games, and would just grab anything I didn't own if it was cheap enough.
I decided to give the game a go this week to mix things up. I've been playing a lot of RPG's lately and Overwatch and I don't know, just wanted to play something different; something outside my comfort zone. A decade ago I was huge into fighting games, but less so nowadays. I'll be honest: I'm pretty bad at them now. Out of practice anyway.
To my surprise and joy, Pokken is actually damn good. I had always just assumed it was a Tekken game reskinned to include Pokemon in it. Not the case. Not at all. It's actually very unique and fun. For instance, matches are constantly changing perspective between being a Power Stone kind of 3D fighter and a more traditional Tekken 2D fighter. This makes things interesting.
The matches are fast and flashy. And there's a leveling system that makes you feel like there's actual progression instead of just y'know... fighting a bunch of dudes over and over again.
The tutorial was fun and actually quite useful. There's a lot to learn here from basic moves to grabs, blocks, powered up moves, assists and so on. All of it was introduced at a decent pace. I'm using Pikachu as my main because there's no Squirtle, sadly.
The real meat of the game is the League, which is basically the single player story mode. You enter a League (Green is the first) and play matches to rank up, and once you're eligible for a tournament you do that and if you win, you can qualify for the next League. So far I've spent about two hours between the tutorial and ranking up, and now qualify for the green tournament. So again, there's a sense of track-able progress in each play session.
This is good stuff. I'm glad I gave it a try.