Today Nintendo unveiled their new Pokemon game named Pokken Tournament. A combination of Pokemon and Tekken, this game takes the pocket monsters out of turn based combat and into real time 3D battles. With only a short trailer shown, there is a lot to speculate about.
The first thing we learn from the trailer is the first Pokemon to join the roster. Fan favourite Lucario and generation 1 veteran Machamp will be playable, which makes a lot of sense considering that they are both fighting type pokemon. From what Nintendo showed of the gameplay, it looked pretty close to Tekken, as to be expected.
The key difference though is at the end of the trailer when Mega Lucario is revealed. This could imply a bunch of possible options. Since the HUD was not displayed, there could be a super bar that Lucario used to transform, similar to Devil Trigger, among others, from Marvel VS Capcom 3. Another option is that Mega Lucario is a third character in the vain of Jin and Devil Jin. This theory is loosely supported by the fact that Mega Lucario was also shown in a different map. Finally, each Pokemon might bring different items into battle like they do in the previous games. This could let the same Pokemon have different play styles, but I fear that DLC exclusive items could create a play to win scenario or we end up with the gem system from Street Fighter X Tekken.
The last thing we learn from the trailer is that it is heading to arcades, not consoles, in 2015. We can assume that this mean that it will have fight stick controls and if we really want to stretch it this could mean that they will make a Wii U fight stick for the unannounced console port. Another assumption we can make is with the single player or story mode. Since arcade games are not built for engrossing stories, it is unlikely that we will get a plot similar to the Mystery Dungeon series where each Pokemon is sentient. What I believe they will do is structure it like Street Fighter II, and essentially every other fighting game, in that you travel from town to town battling gym leaders and eventually the Pokemon League. I hope they take this course of action because it would mean that the game would have more than just fighting types.
Although they did not show a tag mechanic, it would fit perfectly with both a Tekken and Pokemon game. If the designers wanted to spice things up, they could use baton pass, volt switch, or u-turn to switch between Pokemon. Another move that could be incorporated is protect as a super block that requires precise timing. Shiny Pokemon can be used as each fighter's secondary colour scheme. Due to balance issues, I doubt that we will see some mechanics that define Pokemon battles. Super Effective moves would create a counter-picking nightmare and weather on maps would get them all banned in tournaments.
Here are my predictions on the game's roster:
Considering that we have an early screen shot of him, this one is a shoe in. He is popular, has a mega evolution, and is a fighting type.
This might be a bizarre choice, but considering that he is a fighting type and that there is already a panda in Tekken, I think Pangoro has a chance to stand against the others.
Game Freak's take on Jiraiya can combine his moves from Smash Brothers with Raven's to create a fast paced, non-fighting type combatant.
One of the most iconic video game characters is a bit off an odd fit. His ability to fly and use projectiles would make him play completely different then what we have seen of the game so far, but it is much too early to rule him out.
Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Hitmontop
The staples of old school fighting type pokemon. With inspiration drawn from real world martial arts, it should be easy to adapt these three. I hope Hitmonchan plays just like Steve Fox.
Another pokemon with a mega form, Scizor can overwhelm his opponents with his fast claws and ability to hover.
Despite being the poster-child of the franchise, Pikachu is just too short. If you fought against Yoda in Soul Calibur 4 then you know why this is an issue.
For people who like to lame it out and win with time outs. Despite his terrible movement speed, Wobbuffet can just turtle until he is hit and then use counter or mirror move to deal twice as much damage back.
You roll around the field at break neck speeds while ramming your opponent. Due to Electrode's lack of limbs he cannot punch or kick. Instead any button press will make him instantly explode.
As a fan of both franchises, I'm pretty excited to see how this game turns out. Since Smash 4 and Tekken 7 are still on the horizon, I have a feeling that news will be slow, but I have my fingers crossed for a playable Metagross.