Pokkén Tournament has returned on Nintendo Switch! The Pokémon fighting game that had surprised everyone is now re-released with new updates and new characters in hopes to find new life on the hybrid console. Developed greatly the team at Bandai Namco, Pokkén Tournament DX is one of the few titles that were beloved on its grim predecessor, the Wii U. Although the game had died on the Wii U, it continued to see upgrades in the Arcade version which is exclusively in Japan. Now, we get to partake in these updates in this definitive edition. However, how far is this version an upgrade? Let us find out!
In similar fashion, Pokkén Tournament DX begins generally the same way it originally did on the Wii U save for some key details. The game doesn’t waste your time with needless mandatory tutorials. Your player account serves as your passport in the Ferrum region, where these battles take place. Select your favorite fighter to be your Partner Pokemon and get ready to prove your worth on the battlefield.
In the Ferrum region, Pokémon battles are quite different from what we are used to. You team up with a single Partner Pokémon and a pair of Support Pokémon to help your partner fight. The fighting mechanic in Pokken Tournament has always been unique. Blending the tastes of 2D and 3D game spaces, the fight will transition between the two, also known as a Phase Shift. Some Pokémon will prefer the 3D environment while others will want to pin their opponents in a deadly head-to-head. Strategy and mastery of your Partner Pokémon will heavily influence your capabilities as a player.
Right off the bat, the game does look better on Nintendo Switch than it did back on Wii U; this is true if you are docked or not. The best part is the retaining of the 60 frames per second that gives this game the fluidity it needs. It is indeed the game Pokkén Tournament DX should have evolved to become to give players the complete experience they had expected from a fighting game.
A Complete Package
The game has added quite a bit of content. The original content from the Wii U version is still there. The game simply added more things to do and play with. Ultimately, this only gives more incentive to play besides kicking Pokemon butt online. This includes brand new modes as well as more characters and supports.
The game’s main mode, the Ferrum League, has returned and it is time to once again climb our way to the top. There have some additions to the game mode such as an extensive line of sidequests that ask you to perform certain actions in order to unlock new artworks of the Pokemon featured in the game. This increases the need to play the different leagues a lot more while still advancing through the story and leveling up you Skill Level as you go.
There is also another new mode that appears on the world map for the first: Daily Challenges. Every day you are greeted with mail when you first open the game. This is a challenge in which you are given a Pokémon to use and must complete the given challenge. This gives more incentive to players to really try out the different fighters available.
Not only does the game provide all the package the Wii U version did, but it includes the new faces we haven’t been able to enjoy all this time. Introducing the four added characters in the Arcade version: Darkrai, Scizor, Croagunk and Empoleon. Finally, the DX version introduces a brand-new face: Decidueye. His addition shows us what it’s like to have a Pokemon from the Sun & Moon generation in this epic mixture of fighters.
Being on the Nintendo Switch, Pokkén Tournament DX does indeed have a smoother solution for multiplayer. No longer do we need two separate Wii U consoles to connect via LAN network just to play a 1-on-1 in smooth 60 fps. This time, there are three choices. 2 players can still enjoy them on the same screen by utilizing split-screen which is a nice solution considering this will most probably be used mostly on the big TV screen. If you have two Switch consoles each with their own copies of Pokkén Tournament DX, you can connect via local wireless and that solves a lot of issues for players to play together.
Of course, the online competitive mode makes a return with ranked and casual play. It is great to see the potential of the game reach greater heights by simply being ported to a much more capable platform.
Overall, Pokkén Tournament DX is a great reiteration of what the game can do. It always felt like it lost its chance to shine. This port allows the game to possibly find a better home on the Nintendo Switch. Furthermore, this version facilitates the use of its competitive elements and may prove to be more appealing to players this time around. Great additions and smooth upgrades all make this game what it is supposed to be.