Pokken Tournament DX was one of the games that we assumed would end up coming to the Nintendo Switch, as the title had continued to receive new characters for recreation after its release on Wii U. A fighting game featuring these mythical creatures, so that Switch was presented as the perfect platform to give us a new opportunity, especially if we take the success of Switch’s increasingly attractive catalog and portable possibilities into account.
So finally we get Pokkén Tournament DX for the new Nintendo console, which becomes the complete and improved version of the game. Therefore, the first thing to be clear is that this is not a sequel, but a revision of the same title that we enjoyed last year on Wii U, only with more content and new possibilities.
What’s new in Pokkén Tournament DX
Summing up quickly, Pokkén Tournament is a three-dimensional fighting game starring the iconic creatures created by Game Freak, so here we will take direct control of one of the more than 20 Pokémon available to fight one against another and try to reduce their health to zero.
DX’s main differentiating element is that now the battles have two different phases that are alternating in real time according to what we are doing, like finalizing a complete combo or executing a grip. During the beginning of the battle, we will be able to move with total freedom on the stage at all directions, while in the Duel stages the camera is positioned to the side, as if it were a 2D fighting game of life, leaving our mobility limited to this fixed angle.
As you can imagine, in the open phases the projectile attacks and long distance attacks predominate our rivals, while the duels are also especially important so that we can practice our techniques and combos using the melee attack. In fact, the movements and attacks of our fighter will change completely depending on the phase in which we are.
Moreover, Pokken Tournament DX present a very simple and accessible gameplay where all the combos are very automated and hardly gives the player creativity so that he can elaborate your own combinations of combos, so the really important thing here is to know to move, to manage our resources and read the movements of our rival to know what type of attack to counter.
The bad thing is that this system ends up tiring quickly for how much it limits us at all times, leaving us with the feeling that the game mechanics are pretty shallow, since learning to master a character is relatively simple and not take too much training to learn the rest.
This problem was inherent with the Wii U version, yet it has not been corrected for the occasion, so if that did not completely convince you, know that this new edition does nothing to try to change your mind.
Also, the stages are almost same without many improvements, most of the new additions come in the form of content. To begin with, the most important and relevant thing that comes with this review we have five new fighters: Darkrai, Scizor, Croagunk, Empoleon, and Decidueye.
Like all other fighters, they all offer very distinct and unique fighting styles that demonstrate the anime with which they have been treated and recreated, so that each contributes something to the roster, helping to give more variety to the game.
For example, Darkrai is a fearsome fighter over long distances, while Scizor has the ability to air his rival to chase after them and perform devastating aerial combos. Decidueye is a very complete and balanced fighter who defends very well in all sorts of situations and executes a series of combos in which combine normal blows with grabs, which usually caught enemies by surprise if they are not attentive.
As far as Empoleon is concerned, we have a Pokémon capable of constantly suppressing the opponent, while Croagunk has a quick way of moving that makes it somewhat unpredictable.
As you see, the new characters are good additions, and they give wealth to the establishment, although 21 playable characters still seem very few for a franchise that has almost 800 monsters to choose from. Of course, at least this time we have all unlocked from the beginning, so we will not be forced to play again the tedious Chroma League to be able to control the two Mewtwo (normal and dark) since we will have them from the beginning.
Another important addition is the team battles mode which is similar to The King of Fighters. In this mode, we can create our group of three Pokémon so that they will fight one after another against the rival, if we are victorious, in the following round we regenerate a small amount of life. It is a fun way to play, and we liked it a lot, as it brings a slight touch of strategy to have to decide the order in which we are using our monsters.
Continuing with the new contents, we have the addition of a new mode where they offer us a daily challenge that if we fulfill the game rewards us with extra skill points for some of our pocket creatures. These are quite varied and interesting since they propose us to fight with specific characters in predetermined conditions to complete these challenges. The bad thing is that this good idea is tarnished by the weak enemy AI (another of the defects that dragged from the Wii U version), the reason why it almost takes no effort to pass these challenges.
Obviously, the online has also been improved, including the ability to save replays and watch the other players to learn from them, as we also display the commands that are made at all times. In addition, we have the option to create game groups with a lot of parameters and customizable rules, which gives much more variety and life to an online that works really well in terms of network code. Of course, not being on sale yet we cannot talk too much about your pairing system since it has cost us enough to find rivals with almost no one playing.
As mentioned earlier we have the same game, with the same modes that we could enjoy on Wii U , as the Chrome League (a kind of easy History Mode where you will have to fight a huge amount of combat to ascend in the different leagues) Tutorial and Versus against AI, as well as the possibility to customize and edit the avatar of our coach with many clothes and accessories that we can buy in the game store with the money we earn by winning matches.
Graphically there are not too many improvements, although the resolution has been increased to 1280 x 720(compared to 960 x 720 last year’s edition) and this has managed to improve the image quality and make it sharper compared to Wii U. In addition, the textures look a little better and is much more stable as far as performance is concerned. Unfortunately, the jagged edges are very present at all times, which affects the product more than you would expect.
Despite this, the modeling and finishing of the Pokémon are really good, as well as their animations. The bad news is that the scenes are still as irregular, with some very inspired and full of details and other more empty and with somewhat lack of graphic elements.
The soundtrack is very good and successful, tunes arranged nicely and match correctly to set the battles. The sound effects are quite good and varied, and they used the original voices of actors for each creature. Important to mention for the rest of the characters we are given the possibility to choose between Japanese and English, as well as the option to deactivate the comments of our assistant.
Pokkén Tournament DX is an entertaining and original fighting game that fulfills its purpose without too much challenge, it presents an easy to learn control mechanics for these iconic creatures. Despite this, it continues to drag many of the main problems that were on Wii U version, such as an alarming lack of playable depth and lack of more graphical enhancements, although the new features that have been introduced in this latest version, in general, very successful, making this version the best and most complete of all.
We have performed this review on a Nintendo Switch with a download code provided by Nintendo.