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Pokken Tournament Arcade Demo Review (Full Rundown)

Posted February 9, 2015 by Kenesu in Editorials

So…. I’m pretty sure you guys/gals know about the Pokemon fighting game being developed by Harada that’s called Pokken Tournament (you SHOULD know about it already). If not, just know it’s a kick-butt Pokemon Fighting Game that’s being developed by the makers of the Tekken/Soul Calibur Series and it is turning out to be one hell of a game so far.

New screenshots of the game, as well as a Mini Pokken Tournament that aired through a Live Feed on NicoNico, were released on January 23rd. That gave us a little more info on the game and what it’s shaping up to look like. So far, the arcade demo that they have only has 5 playable characters, though six have been confirmed….Pikachu, Gardevoir, Suicune, Lucario, Machamp,and Blaziken – being the one only not playable in the demo but was officially confirmed. Lucario and Machamp were already seen in the 1st trailer that was released on August 26th through Nintendo Direct. Seeing Pikachu added to the roster was DEFINITELY a no-brainer, while Suicune and Gardevoir were Pokes that kind of came out of left field for me. Though I’m sure if they’re putting them in the game, they must have some kick-butt fighting mechanics prepared for them.

From the character select screen you can see that when you hover over the characters, their names and stats are shown. Then once you select your characters it brings you to a little face-off screen that shows off your win/loss record. One interesting thing I noticed was that the actual trainer is in the background as well. I’m not sure if you’re able to select what trainer you’re going to be able to use, or if the trainers are just there as a default. It would be pretty awesome if you could customize your trainer to give you a sense of unique feel to yourself within the game, especially since there’s going to be online play.

Just like in all fighting games, each character has there own set of moves and their own style of play. Here’s a quick break down of how I’ve come to notice the characters to play on the game so far:

Pikachu – Definitely will be a crowd favorite in my eyes. Seems really quick with very powerful electric attacks that can be thrown from the ground or in the air.

Gardevoir – If you ever had the privilege of playing Final Fantasy Dissidia and played with Kefka then you’ll feel right at home with Gardevoir. She seems very fun to use but a terror to play against as she’s a technical range character that uses a ton of flashy trickster moves to close her opponents off and pummel them from a far. Though once you get in close on her, it’s pretty much a wrap for the Embrace Pokemon.

Lucario – Very balanced character. Can attack from long range and up close really well and once it Mega Evolves, (yes, mega evolutions are confirmed for those characters who indeed have mega stones, Gardevoir has hers as well) his attack power doubles and is definitely a force not to be played with.

Machamp – Pure Powerhouse. Just think Zangief from Street Fighter. Let Machamp get in close on you and you’re going to have one hell of a time trying to keep all 4 of his hands off of you and breaking you down to nothing. It seems as though all his moves have knock-back potential, but the fact that he’s so slow, he can be sidestepped and countered if approached the right way. Still, don’t go in blindly on him. If he gets his hands on you….. It’s over.

Suicune – The Legendary Water Doggie himself enters the ring fighting EXACTLY how he does in the actual Pokemon games….. VERY, VERY DEFENSIVE. He has a good array of long range attacks that he throws out to keep his opponent at bay, similar to Gardevoir, though his long range moves hit a lot harder. Suicune seems to have a lot more bulk than her as well. With such a turtlish-playstyle, I definitely see him being used early on by tons of people just spamming the crap out of that Hydro Pump. Suicune has some pretty good close range attacks as well that’ll launch you on the 2nd hit, so don’t go charging in on it blindly after dodging an attack thinking you have the advantage. This doggie definitely has some tricks up its sleeve that you’re going to need to work around before taking it out.

Another thing they showed was support characters. Support characters in fighting games these days are just as important as selecting your main character as these guys can come summoned onto the screen to give you that needed leverage needed to get a 1 up on the opponent and seal the match. Usually, support characters come in to do a single move to add to the chaos on screen and cause more disruption to your opponent. Each support has 1 move they initially use and each move has what you call a “Charge Time”. Its basically how long it takes for the support to charge up before it can be used again. They’re broken up by Fast, Normal, and Slow Charge Times. The supports in this game have all been broken down in Type A, Type B, Type C sequence, in which 2 supporters are set within each type for you to pick at the character select screen after you select your character and then right before the battle start, you pick the actual Pokemon you’d like to use as your support in that current battle. Here’s the Pokemon in each type that are set as supporters in the demo so far:

Type A

Fennekin – Using Ember as its support move it launches off a dome-shaped area attack that hits multiple the opponent multiple times and also causes push-back to the opponent if they should block it. This may lead to a set-up of sorts to where you can throw it out, make them block the Ember attack, and then come in for the grab while they’re blocking and break them down from there. This move has Normal Charge Time

Emolga – Using Shockwave as its support move, it sends out a shockwave from long range at a very quick speed that does a good amount of damage but also momentarily slows down the opponent. Very useful for shutting down someone from long range then rushing in for the kill. This move has a Fast Charge Time.

Type B

Snivy – Using Leaf Tornado, Snivy rushes in on the opponent and releases a tornado of leaves upwards, ensnaring the the opponent within the tornado for multiple hits. This is also a really good move to use if you predict your opponent to jump in on you as it hits opponents while they’re in the area. Yea, no more of that mindless jump in/divekick mentally of fighting with Snivy as support. This move has a Fast Charge Time

Lapras – Using Surf as its support move, Lapras rushes you with a tidal wave of water around it. This is a very wide-ranged move that covers a lot of ground and also has the capability of shutting down some (but not all) long range moves if used at the right time.

Type C

Frogadier – Using Water Pulse as its support move, he throws out a disk-shaped water ball that closes in and hits from long distance. This move has a Normal Charge Time

Eevee – Using Helping Hand as is support move, it grants the Pokemon it’s supporting with move attack power to its moves and also gains back some lost health in the process of doing so. This support will more than likely be the main one I use as I can see Eevee being summoned and saving someone from near death and giving them enough attack power for the salty comeback win.

The gameplay itself is amazing to me. From first glance I definitely got a Naruto/Dissida feel from the game from its free-roaming layout, though this game does stand out on its own once the fighting gets underway. Each Pokemon have a set of 4 special moves that they can use in combination with the buttons and the directions of the D-pad. Here’s the button layout for the Arcade Version and the Move List for each character in the demo, as well as info on Specific fighting mechanics within the game:

Button Layout:

  • Weak Attack – Y Button
  • Strong Attack – X Button
  • Jump – B Button
  • Special Attack – A Button
  • Call for Support Poke – L Button
  • Block/Guard – R
  • Grab – Y+B
  • Burst Mode – L+R
  • Burst Attack – A+X (can also be performed by pressing L+R again after initiating Burst Mode)

Character Move List:


  • Thunderbolt – A Button
  • Nuzzle – A + Forward
  • Electro Ball – A + Back
  • Thunder – A (Must be in the air)


  • Aura Sphere – A
  • Bone Rush – A + Forward
  • Force Palm – A + Back
  • Extreme Speed – A + Up


  • Beat Up – A
  • Cross Chop – Press A again after you do the Beat Up Attack
  • Submission – A + Forward
  • Close Combat – A + Down


  • Aurora Beam – A
  • Hydro Pump – A + Forward
  • Mirror Coar – A + Back
  • Blizzard – A (Must be in the air)


  • Psyshock – A
  • Assist Power – A + Forward
  • Calm Mind and Psychic – Back +A+X
  • Magical Leaf – A (Must be in the Air)

Burst Mode – This is is initiated when the gauge to the top of your trainer (or the bottom if your player 2) fills up all the way from landing attacks to your opponent successfully. It’s initiated by pressing the L+R button together and puts the Pokemon in a rage type mode to where they are powered up for the moment and are able to unleash their Burst Attack in this state. Pokemon who have mega forms, however, can go into their mega forms when they initiate Burst Mode.

Burst Attack – This can only be used when they are in their Burst Mode and can be unleashed by either pressing A+X or L+R. These moves differ from each Pokemon but unleash a devastating attacking that delivers a great amount of damage to the opponent if successfully landed.

Field Phase and Duel Phase

When Fighting in this game, you will be maneuvering around the arena in 2 phases within combat – Field Phase and Duel Phase. Field Phase is how the battle starts by default where the trainers have their Pokemon’s backs to them like traditional Pokemon games and go about combat by launching and dodging attacks. Duel Phase is initiated from certain moves connecting that actually change the camera angle from being panned behind the character, to turning and closing in on the combat in a 2-D kind of view. Primarily, Dual Phase can be initiated by having a Pokemon connect with a Up+Y attack that momentarily puts the Pokemon in the air and leaves them vulnerable for follow up attacks. This leads to combos and possible round ending Burst Attacks. After a certain amount of attacks launched at the opponent in Dual Phase, the opponent will hit the ground and the view will gradually switch back to Field Phase until another Up+Y attack connects and initiates Dual Phase once again.

The game is FAR from being done, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m personally pretty hyped for it. Not just because of the fact that I’m a HUGE Pokemon fan and probably the most awesome of ALL POKEMON TRAINERS (battle me if you feel otherwise) but this game actually has a lot going for it which a lot of the mechanics I’ve seen within the game and it’s not even finished. One thing that hasn’t been talked about or confirmed yet is if type advantage will be a thing like it always has been in regular Pokemon games or will that not be applied in this game at all? I for one hope that they include type advantage as that’ll just make for more strategy and have people be more conscious of who they use and not just run the same character over and over again. What do ya’ll think they should do? Should they add type advantage? Are you hype for the game? Do you even care? Well, you should, since it’s Pokemon anyway. .. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let us know what you think about the development of this game so far.

Also, If you haven’t seen the trailer for it already, check it out just so you can get an idea of what’s going on with this game. Peace!

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About the Author


Iron Fist Tekken Champion - Poet - Ace Trainer - Avid Gamer

  • Wrex

    Great article! Makes me look forward to this game more than I already did.

  • Dee

    This game looks like it’s going to be an interesting play!

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