Analysis of Pokémon Masters, a mobile game at the height of the Pokémon saga?

Pokémon Masters
Written by Kamran Haider

We have already seen multiple perspectives on Pokémon on mobile devices, some with more success than others. It was quite expected, for the same reason, the arrival of this new video game for Android and iOS, more focused on the traditional experience of “get with everyone”. We tested it to tell you in our analysis of Pokémon Masters what it has given of itself.

This is probably the most serious attempt by The Pokémon Company to bring the more traditional Pokémon experience to mobile devices. Very far from what has been pursued by Pokémon GO, Pokémon Quest or Pokémon Rumble Rush, what Pokémon Masters intends is to bring the fighting between coaches we all know to phones and tablets, in an adventure with allies and enemies in which the ultimate goal is Rise as world champions.

Seen from that perspective, the project could not be more interesting, and in fact, the application for Android and iOS devices enjoy quality, with a very competent audiovisual section and playable dynamics that even dare to innovate within the formula. All within a “free to start” experience (free download) that is not excessively intrusive and that, with effort and some determination, allows you to progress without the need to checkout.

Perhaps this is one of the best news of a video game that, on the other hand, presents some rhythm problems, some repetition in the approach and improved performance. However, the developers of DeNA have not made a bad video game at all. It may not be high enough for a saga as revered as Pokémon, but it is interesting for the most fans, as well as a curiosity for other users who dare to try it from this August 29.

The best coach in the world

The biggest premise of Pokémon Masters is to fight against some of the most popular trainers in the history of Pokémon. Gym leaders, members of the High Command and Champions meet in a game that takes place in a new scenario: the artificial island of Passio. A particular trip that has as a common denominator to adventure and friendship, in a story mode divided into several chapters of progressive difficulty, with increasingly complicated confrontations whose duration is not very high, between 6-8 hours.

It presents some rhythm problems.

That is the approach, simple but quite effective. Everything is handled through a menu system. Do not expect exploration in the style of classic games, but something more in line with what you would expect from a mobile Pokémon. The interface is everything in this regard, and we must recognize that it performs a correct job, taking us between the different events. Some could be simple conversations intended to deepen the stories of the different characters, which, by the way, can be linked to the cause. Others consist of 3vs3 battles that stand as the central element of the experience.

The characteristic of the combative system is that it develops in real-time. The only limitation is the reload time of each skill (the typical cooldown), which you have to learn to master to strategically manage each contest. In the early stages everything is quite simple, but as time goes by the game becomes more demanding and even forces you to stand up, configure your team well and train the Pokémon to level up.

One of the greatest peculiarities of Pokémon Masters is that each coach carries only one Pokémon (this is called a “compis couple”). For example, we take Pikachu, Brock to Onix, Misty to Starmie, Red to Charizard and Blue to Pidgeot. In the end, it is the same formula as the original but simplified, without implying that we have to stop thinking about the optimal configuration of the up to three pairs of compis that we can take to the battles. In fact, this selection will be crucial to be more or less likely to defeat the five leaders of the World Pokémon Masters (WPM) and thus win their medals.

For the newbies, the game has an optimizer that chooses which Pokémon is best with each match. There is even an automatic battle option, so you can get an idea of ​​the approach. There are no capture, breeding, or competitive options. Apart from history fights, the only thing to note is that there is a lot of emphasis on the farmeo to level up and learn skills … but little else. Perhaps most significant is that a special attack (compi movement) is added that is activated after executing a certain number of actions in battle. It also includes an option for cooperative fighting with other players, a feature that is unlocked at an advanced point in coach in the world

The audiovisual section is very worked

The approach is not bad, with a Pokémon Center with a shop and a cafeteria that allows you to easily level up your creatures, using a series of manuals that we gain as we go along and complete missions. There are lots of tasks available, also daily, that reward us with gems and other useful objects to accelerate the progression. Obviously, here is the business of Pokémon Masters, and it is that gems can be bought with real money too, for example, make us with new pairs of compis.

In any case, I don’t have much to object about the model introduced, since it has not been intrusive to me. What I criticize a little more is a certain monotony in the approach and loading times that, although short, are very frequent and do not contribute to generating the best rhythm of the game. For the rest, the audiovisual section is very worked, and I especially liked that it gives the option to reduce the visual quality so that the frame rate is more stable and fluid.

During my tests, I had some crash due to loss of connection, but still, the program has returned me right where I was, so a good programming job is appreciated. In short, it cannot be said that there is no work behind this mobile application, although with a little more dedication it could have been reached further, which was perhaps expected, more in the case of Pokémon. My advice is to try it, you don’t lose anything, especially if you are a fan.

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Pokémon Masters is a good attempt to bring the more traditional side of Pokémon to mobile devices. Exploration, conversations and especially fighting in a series of missions that follow a more or less elaborate plot, both with allies and enemies. It lacks enough dedication and some ambition to have gone further, but if you are a fan of Pokémon you should consider downloading the application on your Android or iOS mobile. After all, you don’t lose much in trying it for yourself.

  • Try to emulate the traditional Pokémon experience, with relative success
  • It has history mode, with a considerable duration to be a mobile game
  • The little intrusive business model
  • The graphic section is really careful
  • It is not very ambitious in its proposal
  • It can get quite monotonous
  • Abundant loading screens that break the pace of play

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Kamran Haider

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