Pokken Tournament Livestream Details: Playable Pikachu, Combat Mechanics, And More

Nico hosted a stream today for several Game Freak games, including Pokken Tournament. As Harada had promised, many details were revealed, and we’re running them down for you below.

Suicune, Gardevoir and Pikachu have all been confirmed as playable fighters, raising the number of confirmed fighters to five. On the other hand, Snivy, Lapras, Fennekin, and Emolga have all been confirmed to be part of a new category, Support Pokemon. They do not seem to be playable, but function similar to assist characters in other fighting games.

Support Pokemon seem to have some degree of customizability. One preview screen shows Snivy using Leaf Tornado, with charge time selected to Fast. You can also place Support Pokemon in at least two sets, which makes one wonder if they are possibly upgradable as well.

Bandai Namco also gave us our first look at the arcade machines for the game. The cabinets have tall marquees that feature playable individual Pokemon quite prominently.  In contrast to Tekken cabinets were players are on opposite sides, Pokken cabinets can be laid side by side to each other, with tinted panes blocking the player’s view from each other.

The game features a surprising controller. Instead of the traditional arcade joystick, it is more akin to an SNES controller. It has something like a bottom pointing triangle shape, with boomerang handles on each end. The joystick and microswitches give way to Nintendo’s patented d-pad and face buttons, laid out in a cross pattern. Not seen but also present are L and R buttons on the sides. If it isn’t obvious yet, the controller quite transparently uses Nintendo’s patents. It seems that a Nintendo console port of the game is definitely coming down the line.

The game seems to play like an arena fighter, with full 3D movement in wide environments. The environments themselves are interactive, and can affect the fighters in the middle of fights. There will also be short and long range attacks, guarding, a counter system, combos, specials, and supers. Support Pokemon can be summoned via the L button.

Pokemon with Mega Evolutions will be able to use them, but if they do not, they will be equipped with similar powers when they enter Burst mode. The aforementioned specials won’t have conventional fighting game commands, which may indicate why Namco chose to use a d-pad controller.

Of course, as a project in development, these mechanics will continue to be fleshed out.

There will be several modes, including Tutorial, Single Play, National Battle, and In-Store Battle.

The stream also showed the devs playing several matches. The game features the prerequisite life bar, and another circular bar, which seems to be for certain power ups. There are also human portraits, so it seems the game features Pokemon trainers in some capacity.

The stream ended with loke test dates. They will be held on January 30 to February 1 and on Valentine's Day, respectively. On these events, Bandai Namco will be giving out special Pokken BaNaPassport cards, with pictures of Lucario, Gardevoir, Pikachu, and MaChamp. These BaNaPassport cards use NFC, so if Nintendo console ports are forthcoming, they may be able to use  these BaNaPassport cards directly (via GamePad / New 3DS bottom screen / 3DS NFC adaptor).

Pokken Tournament is in development for arcade. Check out some more screens of the game below.