Pokkén Tournament director Katsuhiro Harada explained how the inspiration of the original Pokémon games helped steer development of the upcoming 3D fighter.
The Field Phase movement system was set up so that the game would show off the Pokémon as well as it could, much like how the Pokémon are presented in the original games. The dev team realized that they needed to make this movement system from the ground up to accomodate this kind of presentation, which is not present in the other franchise most associated with Harada, Tekken. They even made an entirely new rendering engine for it.
The original Pokémon games also decided how they would approach difficulty. If more common fighting games like Tekken rewards high dedication to mastering move execution, combos, and a deep understanding of the game, Pokkén Tournament is more approachable from the onset. Taking away high challenge and knowledge barriers, Harada wants Pokkén players to focus on formulating strategies.
Harada says that top players corroborated the success of this approach. They reported to Namco developers that Pokkén Tournament is much deeper than it appears – and this is also how it is with the Pokémon games.
The message from Katsuhiro Harada is clear; Pokkén Tournament is shaping up to be a fighting game worthy of competition, but it is also a solid fit for the Pokémon franchise.
Pokkén Tournament will be releasing on March 18 worldwide exclusively on the Wii U. Harada has also explained why Pokkén is not coming to 3DS, and the matter of whether Shadow Mewtwo is canon in the other video games.
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