Pokkén Tournament DX Review

Nintendo Switch it is definitely the console of the moment, constantly under the spotlight and the main theme of the various "flames" on social networks and forums. The new Nintendo console, however, also seems to be a "safe place", where some of the hit titles that have trod the scenes on Wii U, here they find a second youth. While we are still waiting for the official release of a version "for Switch"of Super Smash Bros., just a handful of months ago we saw the eighth chapter of Mario Kart in its Deluxe version, while in a few days, to be precise September 22nd, it will be the turn of Pokkén Tournament, fighting game based on Pokémon developed by Bandai Namco e Katsuhiro Harada, producer and director of the Tekken series.

But let's find out together what awaits us again in Pokkén Tournament DX in our review.

To learn more:
Pokkén Tournament
Gotta fight'em all
pokkén tournament is renewed by bringing new fighters, new challenges and various balances to the game

A little over a year ago we found ourselves praising the work born between the partnership between Nintendo e Bandai Namco Entertainment, a product that had managed to pleasantly surprise us under various aspects, including not being a trivial fighting game, and in particular a simple reskin of Tekken with Pokémon, so much so that it also earned a prominent place within theEvo 2016, the most important event dedicated to beat'em'up in the world. Awarded not only by critics but also by numbers, despite the small base of consoles installed, in his debut on the Wii U he was able to stand up to a sacred monster like Street Fighter. In short, a winning title in many respects, and it does not surprise us at all to see it return these days on the Switch, in a definitive version, and which goes to put a patch on some of the most evident defects in its original incarnation.

The structure at the base of Pokkén Tournament DX remains the same that we have already had the opportunity to discover in its time. From the main menu we will be introduced to the various modes and immediately dragged into the full-bodied single player mode, which will serve to learn the fundamentals of the fight with the very complete tutorial and to participate in the Ferrum League, a tournament where coaches compete with Pokémon "strokes" upon entering in resonance with them in order to exploit their full fighting potential. We will not dwell too much on the combat system and its bases, of which we have already spoken extensively either in our preview of the Japanese cabinet both in the review of ours Filippo of the Wii U version.

In this article we will instead focus more on all the new features of the Switch version, trying to find out if it will be worthwhile to throw yourself back into the world of Pokkén Tournament, especially if you have already spent time and resources in its “smooth” edition.


Pokkén Tournament DX - Nintendo Switch
On amazon: € 49,99 buy Between a fight and another, while we will face the various classes of Ferrum League, between qualifications, tournaments and direct challenges, it will be possible to complete secondary quests through a mission panel, which will ask us to win a certain number of fights, use a certain support character over another or perform Ultra Resonances, the special moves of the pokémon, so as to unlock new items of clothing to customize your avatar, titles for the player card or money to buy new items. In addition to this we will also be able to dedicate ourselves to some Daily Challenges, which will offer us thematic matches to be faced respecting the rules imposed for completion, such as winning total rounds with a certain character or with a preset team in exchange for Skill Points with which to enhance the stats of the Pokémon and improve their performance in battle.

Pokkén Torunrament DX is updated by introducing, as you have just read, the Team Battles. This type of encounter will make you choose up to a maximum of 3 pokémon, which will compete in turn until one of the two players eliminates the opposing team, making the clashes even more tactical than Pokkén's dynamics of the fight, as the focus, especially from a competitive perspective, will be to build a team capable of facing any situation. Remaining in the competitive sphere, alongside the basic and team fights we have the Extras, where inside the arena mysterious spheres will appear that will release some bonuses (Blue - resonance increase, Green - HP recovery, Red - buff status) or malus, and collecting them will allow us to gain an advantage (or disadvantage in the negative case) than the opponent. This variant is the most unpredictable and capable of overturning the results of a game that seems already written, and in the road test, even the most fun to play with friends, especially with those not accustomed to fighting games, where these modifiers can bridge the gap between players.

Steel Pokéball
The multiplayer has been completely revised to fit the possibilities offered by switch

Losing the second Wii U screen, the multiplayer mode has been revised with the introduction of different solutions to spend time with friends and which enhance the "social" qualities of the new Nintendo console. Dealing with a hybrid machine that combines the home world with the portable one, the options multiply in relation to the dual nature of the console, with a local mode, a wireless one and the inevitable online. By choosing the local one, we will use Switch in both dock and portable versions to play with a friend, using the normal video setting with the two fighters simultaneously on the screen, with the same display present in the single (therefore with the second player who will control the character in the part higher than you) or decide to challenge each other via split-screen. Both solutions have strengths and weaknesses. Opting for full screen will make it easier for two to play in portable mode, as the image will occupy the whole screen, although the second player is put in difficulty due to the camera placed behind the fighters during the panoramic phase ( or the one with the 3D movement in the arena). On the other hand in split-screen each player will view the stage from their own point of view, but to maintain a decent video ratio much of the video will be resized to accommodate the two screens. This solution works well on the TV, while it gets chaotic when viewing it on the Switch. To this we must also consider the drastic reduction of the frame rate, a mandatory cut in order to manage the split-screen in a decent way just like in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it is positive to see a certain commitment in offering different solutions that cover various alternatives for every type of possible experience. The same can also be applied to the choice of the pad to use for playing. Joy-Con in controller version, used individually keeping them horizontal, Pad Pro and even the dedicated controller produced by Hori which takes the shape of the one used in the Arcade cabinet (and made available via an update), Pokkén Tournament DX allows you to play as you like and in the best way. Precisely in the variant with the two horizontal Joy-con, although not exactly convenient as a solution, allows you to play "on-the-fly" thanks to the simplicity of the control system, which using a few inputs, adapts perfectly despite its small size, for quick and improvised games with friends (which can be made more comfortable, perhaps by purchasing the official Battery Packs).

Shut up and take my money!


The local battles are accompanied by the Wireless mode, available using 2 Switch consoles and two copies of the game (and here it would be appropriate to start brushing up the download play, to challenge even those who do not own the game) and the Online Fights. As was the case on Wii U, even here we will be able to dedicate ourselves to ranked fights that will take into account an online rank that will increase (or decrease) based on the games won or lost, or the Friendly Matches, which as the name suggests, allow you to challenge other fighters. without too much pressure. In this deluxe version, a new Group mode debuts, which allows you to create lobbies in which to enter and challenge the players present, with the possibility of viewing an internal ranking that keeps track of the results of the group. It will also be possible to save the best replays (not only your own but also those of other players) to be reviewed at a later time and for example study fighting strategies, perhaps to improve your combos or learn new techniques. At the time of writing the Pokkén Tournament DX online is still desolate, limited to a few early users or press officers. However, the few games we managed to play showed a good netcode, devoid of strange latencies and able to offer us playable matches, probably taking advantage of the already good infrastructure seen on Wii U.

One of the biggest criticisms addressed to the first Pokkén was related to the roster, in particular to the number of fighters present. In this deluxe version, in addition to the 4 from the Japanese Arcade released last year (Darkrai, Croagunk, Empoleon and Scizor) is also added to the cast a new entry directly from Pokémon Sun and Moon, Decidueye, ready to challenge opponents with his powerful Z-Move and feathered bow.

The addition of the new fighters brings the choice to 21 in total, a good number able to offer variety and different fighting styles, able to adapt to the various tastes of the players. Even the ranks of the Support, the characters that can be used during the battles as assists, expand and see the entry of new faces such as Litten e Poplio, and thus increasing the number of selectable combinations before a match. The stages are also updated, with the arrival of a new arena, the Thalia Beach, which brings to the screen all the sunshine of Alola and Generation VII Pokémon.

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Switch: the post-social console that doesn't need to challenge iPad

I have my fists in the Mantine
This new edition also improves the game from a technical point of view.

The passage of the console has also allowed an upgrade as regards the graphics sector, which not only sees an increase in the resolution of the game but also in the frame rate, now more stable and close to 60 fps, managing to guarantee a good fluidity during each fight. In general it is possible to notice an overall improvement, from the rendering of the backdrops, to the Pokémon models and in particular to the textures used to "dress them", certainly more defined, even if a marked aliasing effect remains visible, especially if played on TV rather than on the move. As we mentioned in the multiplayer paragraph, by playing in split-screen the frame rate will drop drastically to 30 fps, a compromise necessary to be able to manage everything without problems.
Nothing new in terms of sound, which as in the past does its job very well, with the possibility of choosing dual eng / jap audio for the spoken parts of the single player.



Verdict 8.5 / 10 Don't call it Pokémon Tekken. Or at least do it only in Germany Comment Pokkén Tournament DX is a return that is not surprising. Given the success of the first release, this new version looks like the typical complete edition we have been used to after years of Street Fighter and co. New usable characters, modes, stages and various tweaks here and there between balances and patches, finally make it a complex all-round fighting game. This second youth on Switch takes full advantage of all the possibilities offered by the Nintendo console relating to mobility and "on-the-go" multiplayer, applying as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the perfect title to pull out with friends everywhere and improvise some tournament or challenge. Despite all the new content and the general increase in quality, this is the revival of a title released just over a year ago, and seeing it today at full price can be a brake for old owners, who may not be tempted to make this generational shift (a must if you are still playing the Wii U version). We hope that in this price choice there is the desire to support the game in the coming months, perhaps choosing the path of free updates to Splatoon and Arms, and why not receive some new Pokémon to use or game modes. Those who approach Pokkén Tournament for the first time, on the other hand, will find themselves in front of a title that is not at all predictable, profound on the technical side of the gameplay and capable of giving various satisfactions if played at competitive levels. For those hesitant, however, the demo on the e-Shop should be able to clarify any doubts. Pros and cons New characters, stages and modes
Technically improved
Several options for multiplayer x High price for a Deluxe version
x Older owners may not be attracted despite the news

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