E3 2017: Hands On: Pokken Tournament DX (Switch, 2017)

I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever truly get Pokken Tournament. As a fighting game idea, it’s great! In practice, at least for some, it’s a spectacular fighter, full of surprise twists and reversals of fortune. For me, it remains an odd experience, though one that feels perhaps more at home on the Switch than it did on the Wii U.

Pokken Tournament aims to be a blending of Bandai Namco’s popular Tekken series of fighters with the world f Pokemon. It does this creating a field of battle that is broken up into two distinct phases — movement, where fighters square off against each other in a 3D space reminiscent of BNE’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse titles before switching to a more traditional 2D view when the action begins to heat up and gets into close quarters.

It’s certainly a game built for two players and in this, it’s a much more enjoyable experience. I played against my Nintendo booth handler, a lovely woman who wasn’t massively familiar with the inner workings of the game at all and she absolutely roasted me. I like fighters. I like figuring out how they work. This extremely friendly newbie absolutely trashed me.

And we had a great time!

Perhaps that’s Pokken Tournament’s greatest strength — you don’t need to capital g, capital i Get It in order to enjoy it. We went back and forth for a few rounds, choosing different Pokemon based on how crazy they looked and had a good time doing it, even if we didn’t know how we were pulling off half the moves we were performing.

Pokken Tournament DX releases later this year, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

The author is reporting from E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Accommodation in Los Angeles provided by Ramada West Hollywood. For rates and booking, click here.