With the announcement of Pokkén, the speculation has begun on which Pokémon would be featured in the 2015 arcade release. While it’s safe to assume many of the popular Pokémon will be featured, which would be the best to include in the title? The game needs a good balance of popular, fun, and unique Pokémon. You can’t have all fighter types, or all humanoid Pokémon.
You can look at Tekken and determine that anything is possible coming from the developers who brought you a fight game with bears, trees, kangaroos, dinosaurs and Paul Phoenix’s hair. So let’s take a look at which Pokémon should definitely be included in the new game. This list is in no particular order, and feel free to comment with your own list.
Scyther is your typical speed demon. As one of the fastest Pokémon, Scyther will fill the role of quick and agile character. It also has ninja-like abilities which Namco Bandai already has plenty of experience in, given Raven in the Tekken series and the production of many Naruto games. We imagine Scyther as a character with considerable frame advantage who will keep opponents pinned down with speed, or become extremely difficult to hit with quick and effective evasion skills.
It’s unclear if evolutions will be used in Pokkén, but either way Tyrogue is the perfect addition. Imagine starting the fight as Tyrogue, then having to perform a specific set of tasks, and those tasks determine what you evolve into. If you block or evade enough attacks, you evolve into Hitmonchan. Go heavy on the offense and you get Hitmonlee. Perhaps if you land a critical blow or some special move, you even get Hitmontop for a crazy new moveset. With Tyrogue you get a traditional fighter, but you can also get a bit crazy with it as well.
As a Pokémon that was created solely for battle, and given its popularity, Mewtwo is the perfect fit for Pokkén. With psychic abilities, the development team can have some fun with Mewtwo’s attacks, allowing for a long-range combatant, or even an aerial fighter (depending on the final mechanics of the game). If there are super attacks in Pokkén you might even get to see Mega Mewtwo X or Y for kicks. Either way, Mewtwo should be included on popularity alone.
Another extremely popular Pokémon, Pikachu has been a mainstay of the Super Smash Bros. series since the beginning. For a time it was even one of the best characters in the game. It’s virtually a no-brainer to assume we’ll see Pikachu in Pokkén. The only real question here is will Pikachu have access to any evolutions, or will it remain in its most popular form throughout the entire fight? Either way, Pikachu is included as the poster character to spark interest with one of the most recognizable Pokémon in the world.
Imagine what you can do with a big, sleeping Pokémon. Snorlax should be included for the uniqueness and moderate popularity of the character. It would be very interesting to see what the development team would be able to do with this type of Pokémon. Does it sleep the entire fight as an extremely defensive character? Maybe it borrows a bit from Jigglypuff in the Smash series and has deadly attacks if you sleep at the right time? No matter the case, this would be a fun Pokémon to include in Pokkén.
What’s a fighting game without some sort of big robot? Golurk would be a fun inclusion because it’s a fast, large robot. Perhaps you start as Golett, then transform to Golurk during a super combo that leaves you in the evolved state for the remainder of the match. Whether you start as Golett or Golurk, a big robot is a must to be included in the game. Plus, with the removal of the seal on its chest, it could gain tremendous power for a short time, then become defenseless until it can recover. There are quite a few possibilities with this one.
Pancham needs to be included because it’s a cute, little panda. Okay, so in all seriousness there are quite a few gameplay possibilities with Pancham and its evolved state, Pangoro. Pancham can use its glaring abilities to attack opponents, and when it transforms into Pangoro (or if you start as Pangoro) there are plenty of unique ways to integrate the leaf into its gameplay. The big thing about Pokkén is that you can develop a lot of really unique fighting styles that wouldn’t work quite as well in a more traditional fighting game.
One thing that fighting games seem to strive for is roster equality. While some of the race representation can be a bit stereotypical, most fighting games at least try to include fighters from many different cultures. One way this has been accomplished in the past is by including Luchadores. While the Tekken series features King and Jaycee, there are many who would not consider either to be a true Luchador. Hawlucha may not fill that role either, but it’s about as close as you’re going to get with Pokkén and could be a fun and unique fighter. It would also work well as an aerial combatant.
Poliwrath fits the bill as a big brawler character. This water-type Pokémon would be able to use unique water-based attacks. It’s not out of the question to see special moves that summon water and give Poliwrath a speed boost as it uses all of its muscles to move on top of or through the water, giving it a significant advantage over its enemies. Perhaps one super move might fill the screen with water for a short time, effectively giving Poliwrath a power-up, while slowing down its opponent.
Think of Magikarp as the Doctor Boskonovitch or Phoenix Wright of Pokkén. At first it will be difficult to hold your own with Magikarp (one of the weakest Pokémon), but all it takes is one power-up to unleash the awesome might of Gyarados on an unsuspecting opponent. While we imagine Pokkén will cater to non-fighting game fans with characters that are easy to pick up and play, there should still be some characters who are not user-friendly. Magikarp would be one of those characters as an extremely difficult Pokémon to fight with, it would be deadly in the hands of a master.