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Pokken Tournament Review

Pokken Tournament

Release: January 1, 1970
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Action


Excellent About Rating
9.5 - Gameplay
10 - Video
9.0 - Audio

Do you love Pokemon? Do you love fighting games? If so, you’ll want to read my review of Pokken Tournament!

Pokken’s story doesn’t get in the way of its fights and that’s the most important thing about it. I wouldn’t say that the story is a major plus or minus against the game. Basically, the story is interesting enough that you’ll want to see what’s going to happen, but its also a good thing that there isn’t more to it because it could’ve taken away from the most important aspect of Pokken: the fighting!

The gameplay in fast and furious in Pokken Tournament. All of the characters have their own special moves and ways in which they fight. I enjoyed all of the characters presented and thought they all were unique and interesting. Though, my personal favorite Pokemon is Garchomp. I highly recommend him! Overall, I’m very happy with the Pokemon characters you get to play with and especially happy with how they control!

The controls in Pokken are easy to learn and work really well. If you need tips at all about the controls, the Practice mode is very handy and offers some excellent advice. One of the things I enjoyed most about Pokken is how the camera is constantly shifting and moving around to adjust to the player. I think the camera is handled brilliantly. I especially like the 2D face-off camera, but its cool to be able to walk around in a 3D space sometimes too. The game can be played on the TV or off-tv on the gamepad. Pokken also supports amiibo.

I got a special Pokemon amiibo card with Pokken. The card unlocks Shadow Mewtwo, but only till you quit the game. When you play next time, you have to scan the card again to get him in your game. I think Shadow Mewtwo should have unlocked for good with the card. A temporary unlock seems a bit lame. You can scan other amiibo and Animal Crossing cards to get “special” gifts if you want too but I really didn’t think much of the gifts. I wish amiibo useage was better in Pokken. That said, I can find no fault with Pokken’s main modes.


If you just want to play single player against any Pokemon you pick, then Single battle mode is perfect for that. If you want a little more than that, I really enjoyed League fights and Tournaments because thats where you’ll find the story. Sometimes League/Tournament battles seem a bit easy though, but as Han Solo would say, don’t get cocky kid. For every easy Pokemon, there’s always a Mewtwo lurking around the corner. Thankfully, you’ll level up as you keep playing all of these modes and unlock new support Pokemon to help you out. There are also a lot of minor unlockables for your avatar and advisor that’ll change their looks and thats fun to play with. Pokken Tournament, overall, is just a ton of fun. I’m not a Pokemon fan and I had a blast with it. Though, if you want a real challenge and want to have the most fun, then you better get yourself over to the local and online multiplayer modes.


The first multiplayer mode I tried out was the local two-player mode. This mode is a lot of fun! The gameplay is just as solid as the single player, but depending on who your playing with, the fights can be a lot harder. I really enjoyed this mode a lot and part of that is because of how the gamepad and tv are used.

The two-player local mode uses the Wii U gamepad and TV in a unique way that we haven’t seen in enough Wii U games. The person playing the gamepad will have a different view than the person playing with a different controller and looking at the TV screen. The view on the TV will be from behind the second player, while the view on the gamepad is from behind the first player. Another great thing is that the two players can pick their characters and supporting Pokemon at the same time. What this all means is that one player will be focused on looking at the gamepad and one will look at the TV. This is such a great use of the Wii U gamepad! It would be great if more games in the future would do things like this for local multiplayer.

That all said, you shouldn’t ignore Pokken’s online mode! There will be some people lamenting that there is no voice chat, but I didn’t miss it and don’t think its necessary at all. I wasn’t very good at the online mode, but I had a lot of fun with it. The battles worked smoothly and the modes available are great. I’d probably stick to Friendly matches, but I’m sure there will be a lot of the hardcore Pokken people that play the Ranked battles. Whether you’re playing the online or off-line, you should look forward to having a lot of fun in HD.


Pokken Tournament has amazing graphics. From the moment I turned the game on, I was blown away by the fantastic opening cutscene and then the game’s actual gameplay graphics. Dare I say it, but Pokken Tournament could be the best looking game on the Wii U. The Pokemon and backgrounds for the fights look amazing in HD and look pretty good on the gamepad too!

As for Pokken’s audio, its pretty good with one major exception. I didn’t care for the game’s voice acting. I found the advisor character, especially, to be annoying. She will talk all through your single player battles if you don’t shut off Advice in the options. I recommend doing that right away. The Advice is annoying and will get on your nerves. I ended up turning off voice completely, mostly to just avoid the advisor’s voice. Though I didn’t care for any of the other voices either, expect for Garchomps (and that didn’t turn off when I turned off voice). I love Garchomp’s “ Get over here!”. Its so very Mortal Kombat.

Though, like I said, the rest of the audio is good. The sound effects are especially good. The music is nice. I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve ever heard in a game, but its not annoying. I’d say that, overall, the audio is the weakest part of Pokken. The rest of the game is amazing.


Pokken Tournament is a really great game. It has a fantastic graphics and addictive gameplay. All of the characters are unique and have a wide range of fighting moves. Each of the game modes are impressive, especially the local two-player and online multiplayer! There are only a couple of minor things that keep it from being perfect. I think the amiibo usage could have been a ton better and that the audio just didn’t live up to the rest of the game. If you put those issues aside, you’ll find that there’s a lot to love about Pokken Tournament.

If you love Pokemon, then you should own this game. If you love fighting games, then you should own this game. Pokken Tournament is one of the best fighting games on the Wii U!

Thank you to Nintendo for providing a review copy of Pokken Tournament. The game is out today at retail and on the Wii U eshop!


Amazing graphics
Fantastic gameplay
Excellent Use of the Gamepad
Great local & Online Multiplayer


Audio Could Be Better
Amiibo usage is poor



Article By

blank Daniel Fugate has wanted to be a writer since he was seven years old. He has a bachelor's degree in English and he's a huge Animal Crossing fan. The Wii U and 3DS are currently his favorite video game systems!

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