Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Pokken Tournament DX" Review

Having learned its lessons the hard way in the software deserts it created for the Wii and Wii U in their rookie years, Nintendo has pumped out a steady stream of head-turning games for its fledgling Switch.

Since launch, each month has yielded yet another must-have title for a rotating subset of fans. With a healthy sprinkling of new titles and heavy subsidy of Wii U remakes, Nintendo's first-party lineup has dwarfed those of its rivals in 2017. In October, it's Pokemon devotees' time in the sun.

"Pokken Tournament" is an odd bird even by Pokemon standards, and manages to stand out from among the rest of the franchise with its emphasis on kinetic, real-time battles and boss battle-esque graphics. This is all about rounding up Pokemon lineups and pitting them against opponents, both online and off, in relentless slugfests. Without having to worry about exploring, collecting or trading, the horse blinders are on attacks, counters and strategic tuneups.

Falling in line with "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and "Splatoon 2," "Pokken Tournament DX" embraces the base of what came before and tops it off with some compelling new features that probably always should have been there. The main draw is the new battle Pokemon Decidueye. Also included are four battle Pokemon that only appeared in the arcade version, running the total number of battlers available to 20. There are also several new support Pokemon in the mix, as well as the option for three-on-three team tangles.

A plausible entrypoint into the fray for casual fans who get lost amid the minutiae in mainline Pokemon games, "Pokken Tournament DX" is strong offering to sate Switch gamers as they inch closer to the holidays. Both on the couch and on the go, this Pokemon-themed slugfest rocks its chosen arena.

Publisher provided review code.

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