As one of the Wii U only exclusive mainstream fighting games I have to say it has been a delight. Sure the combat system could be simplified into an elaborate game of paper rock scissors, but only fools would actually their input choices just from the attack triangle.
Cause the most important thing in this game is timing.
I am more than sure that Tekken brings this in. But there are points where the Pokken combos will change depending on when you press weak attack the six times and it makes all the difference making it through a counter attack.
As to the attack hierarchy, technically the person counter attacking should always beat weak attacks. But there are vulnerable start up frames and vulnerable ending frames that will break a counter attack regardless of the hierarchy. Granted it takes precision and timing to do so and other moves may be more effective in that situation.
I just played a game online where a Blaziken was 3 ranks higher than me. Honestly, I think that person might have had better skills than me. However, I had their own brain playing against them.
By never canceling my counter attack for another move in the first two matches I was able to use that information against him in a very venerable moment of the third match. Blaziken has a move in the air where he dives down doing a heavy move that can break counter attack.
Since I played very stationary he did not even think twice that I was going to cancel backwards into a charged heavy attack that does 140HP damage.
Less to say that took more than 1/4 of his life bar (considering when that move fails it takes part of his health)
But it is moments like that when I really can appreciate Pokken for what it is. As like any good fighting game there are many subtleties to master and balancing is actually pretty great.
Though I had to get myself off of the “skill” system, as it is still a very unrealistic way of playing the game online. Plus the skill system is not supported in tournaments, so most of the matches I play online are unfair and probably are forcing me to become an even better player XD
As for the state of the game its really hard to see what Nintendo does next. I really hope that the Pokémon Company continues to work with Bandai Namco to support this series on the Switch, as it is basically one of the best new fighting games on the market. In a lot of ways sets Nintendo up into more of the successful strategies that Sega had to do with the Genesis because of exclusivity contracts and managed to create at least 10 amazing IPs to make up for the lack of third party support.
Hopefully we will see all of the new characters in the US in the next year or so.