I choose you!
Pokken Tournament, which has so far only been announced for Japanese arcades, is a Pokemon-only fighting game from the house of Tekken, Gundam Extreme Vs., and all those Naruto fighters. Similar to those games, Pokken is a 3D fighter, combining close-range melee combat, projectiles, and what appears to be some character customization as well.
So far, only a handful of characters (and videos) have been released, but even from those small snippets there is still a lot to be unpacked. Obviously, the most exciting inclusions are the characters, six of which have been shown thus far. If you want to find out who they are, read on and find out who's in Pokken Tournament. I've also included a few suggestions of my own who I think would make interesting additions to the roster.
It should come as no surprise that fan-favorite Lucario, the aura Pokemon, has been announced as one of the first Pokemon to join the Pokken lineup. Having already been featured in the Super Smash Bros. series, Lucario can be seen using some of the same attacks in the footage released thus far - including its iconic aura sphere projectile. Lucario's mega evolution has also been shown.
Machamp doesn't have the wide-spread of love of Lucario or Pikachu, but as one of the original fighting-type Pokemon, it deserves a slot on the roster. Personally, I believe Machamp's inclusion was largely because the developers wanted an attack that looks like this, which it totally has. Machamp also has a spinning lariat similar to Zangief's from the Street Fighter series, however it does not appear to have any projectile attacks.
While images of Blaziken in Pokken have been floating around the internet, there does not appear to by an footage of its fighting style just yet. However, one could speculate that, given the stance Blaziken takes after its mega evolution, this Pokemon could easily be fitted with a Muay Thai fighting style. Plus, developer Namco Bandai has experience in this field with its Tekken series, specifically the fighter Bruce Irvin.
Suicune, the first legendary shown in Pokken, is a long-range, projectile heavy fighter. In one especially devastating match again Machamp, Suicune successfuly keeps the close-range brawler at bay by filling the screen with all manner of energy beams and shockwave attacks. And while it does appear to have some melee attacks involving its two, rippon-esque tails, these attacks appear to be more of a last resort.
Similar to Suicune, Gardevoir is also a long-range fighter who relies primarily on projectile attacks. And of the Pokemon shown thus far, Gardevoir is the only one labeled in-game as a 'technique' fighter (the others being either 'power' or 'standard' fighters). This would imply it's one of the more difficult Pokemon to use. Based on the footage shown so far, Gardevoir's go-to attack is an air projectile that splits into several different homing missiles.
It just wouldn't (and likely couldn't) be a Pokemon game without Pikachu. Fresh off its latest stint in the Super Smash Bros. circuit, Pikachu now finds itself facing down a new roster of challengers in Pokken. Its fighting style combines several long-range, lighting-based projectiles with some high-speed dash attacks to help it zip around the arena. No word yet, however, on whether or not all those cosplay options will be available.
So far, the Pokken roster has been comprised of (mostly) bipedal, humanoid Pokemon. Here are some potential Pokken candidates who would break that mold while offering interesting fighting styles for players.
UNCONFIRMED - Ditto
Ditto would force mirror matches, meaning it would transform itself into whatever Pokemon your opponent is playing. In addition, I think it's safe to assume Pokken will have some sort of character customization, be it custom attacks, custom stats, a leveling system, or all three. Ditto could copy those under-the-hood changes as well, and let players test-drive custom characters from other players. This could provide valuable insight into new strategies and tactics player may not have thought of on their own.
UNCONFIRMED - Vespidquen
Vespidquen would be an interesting inclusion because of its ability to command lesser swarms of Combees. In the Pokemon games, it can command her minions to either protect it, attack its enemies, or even heal it. This would be a fun mechanic to play with in a fighting game, giving Vespidquen three different 'modes' to switch between (attack, defend, heal). The Combees could provide a simple, passive buff (+10% attack in attack mode) or be controlled independently of the queen as a secondary character.
UNCONFIRMED - Arbok
You want to talk creative challenges? Try making Arbok into a fighting game character. It's got no arms and legs, only a creepy snake body and a creepier Cobra-like face. Even so, I think there's still some fun to be had in designing its slinking, slithering movements. Arbok could coil around its opponents and spit up acidic projectiles from afar. And don't forget about those deadly fangs. And thanks to the TV series, Arbok is one of the more recognizable Pokemon, especially in the under-appreciated Poison-type category.
UNCONFIRMED - Ho-oh
There aren't a lot of great candidates when it comes to Flying-type Pokemon. Swellow? Braviary? Talonflame? Actually, Talonflame would be pretty sweet, but not as sweet as the mack daddy of them all, Ho-oh. I'd put Ho-oh right up there with Suicune as one of the more majestic-looking legendaries, and the fact that it's a flier gives Ho-oh an interesting way to move around the battlefield. Couple that with the fire typing, and this Pokemon has a very aggressive pool of attacks to choose from in a fight.
UNCONFIRMED - Aegislash
In the Pokemon games, Aegislash can switch between can switch between offensive and defensive stances. This mechanic would obviously translate easily into the realm of fighting games. In its attack stance, Aegislash would be a quick and nimble brawler that's in your face all the time. When it switches to its defensive stance, Aegislash then becomes a distance fighter who fires projectiles from its shield. Two stances, two fighting styles, one interesting Pokemon to play.
UNCONFIRMED - Starmie
Starmie basically looks like a giant throwing star, so its transition into the realm of fighting games should be an easy one. It would spin and bounce and basically zip all over the place, all while damaging opponents on contact. This could be complemented with some tricky psionic attacks that could disrupt your opponent and open it up to another spiky barrage.
Who will you send next?
Alright, that's enough character speculation out of me. What do you all think? Who would you like to see join the Pokken lineup? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below, and keep an eye on this page for all the latest Pokken character announcements.