Get Back In The Ring With Pokkén Tournament DX On Nintendo Switch

pokken tournament dx

The Pokémon and Tekken crossover no one saw coming—unless you lived in Japan, where it was already an arcade hit—last year’s Pokkén Tournament wasn’t only one of the best fighting games released on the dearly departed Nintendo Wii U, it was one of the console’s best games, period. While the fighter also borrowed heavily from other genre standouts like Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom, overall it was a singular experience worthy of the acclaim it received. The only problem was no one was really playing the Wii U-exclusive because, well, it was a Wii U exclusive.

But all that could change now that the hybrid fighter is coming to Nintendo’s widely popular hybrid console. Following the double-dip path Mario Kart 8 Deluxe took last April, Pokkén Tournament DX offers more than your standard re-release, enticing players who already spent oodles of time with its original console iteration to take the plunge yet again.

From a technical perspective, Pokkén Tournament DX  understandably looks and plays better on the Switch. While the game is graphically similar to its originator, it does deliver a slightly smoother resolution that holds up nicely in portable mode. The biggest takeaway here is that a 2016 game can look just as pretty on a handheld device in 2017, which is quite a remarkable feat.

Like pretty much every Switch title, the Pro Controller is the best way to play when the system is docked. Still, having two detachable Joy-Con is a nice way to fight on the go. Whereas local play on the Wii U version required one person to play off the TV screen and the other off the GamePad (unless you opted to play with a fixed 2D or 3D perspective for both players), here local versus can be played as split-screen or single screen. The former can feel a little cramped at times, so experiment and see what works best for you.

Aside from mobility and new local multiplayer possibilities, Pokkén Tournament DX also boasts four Pokémon fighters from Japan’s arcade version (Croagunk, Empoleon, Darkrai, Scizor) and one all-new ‘mon (Decidueye). Like in the previous version, each Pokémon is totally unique, so having new fighters certainly adds new layers to this game.

Like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, every character is unlocked the moment you boot the game up. If you’re new to the series, this will affect the thrill of unlocking content, however, it’s good incentive for veterans to get back in the ring and pick up where they left off. Nevertheless, there’s still reason to keep coming back. As before, winning fights earn you coins for character customization and skill points for levelling up each Pokémon’s attack, defense, synergy, and support stats.

This deluxe version offers a few more bells and whistles that were lacking in the 2016 release, including Team Mode, which has players building a roster of three Pokémon to battle one another, with the winner’s remaining HP and Synergy carrying over until one fighter is left standing; Daily Challenge, in which players compete in events to earn skill points; an updated Ferrum League that includes a new mission board panel; and finally, the ability to watch replays of previous online battles to relive the glory of victory or the agony of defeat… but actually to hone your skills by studying the moves way better players.

Pokkén Tournament DX is out Friday, September 22 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Check out the ‘Everything You Need to Know’ trailer below: