Pokémon Masters

Pokémon Masters is a typical Japanese style mobile game where you collect different trainers, battle with them and not become a Pokémon master?

Title: Pokémon Masters
Developer: DeNA
Release: Aug 2019
Platform: IOS & Android
Price: Free to Play

If you’ve read my post about Pokémon GO (if you haven’t you can find it here) then you know I love the Pokémon series. But this game is a little tedious. The only thing that keeps me playing is collecting the different trainers and their partners.

Pokémon Masters is a typical Japanese style mobile game where you collect different trainers via the gatcha-style scouting system. Starting the game, you’re given the option to customize your character, by customize I mean you pick one of several hair colours and that’s it. Everyone is given a Pikachu which I’m almost certain does not evolve at all. Building you three-man team is simple, you just have to scout for new trainers.

To scout/summon gym leaders other trainers to help you in the story you have to spend gems that you obtain through story quests and daily missions, or as you can probably guess, real money!

They tried to lure me in with this!

Now if you aren’t familiar with the name, unless you’ve played Pokémon Let’s Go on the Switch, this is Blue (who is the guy that Gary Oak from the anime is based on) and I fuckin’ want Blue on my team. No matter how many gems I use to scout different trainers I just can’t seem to get blue. There is an option use ‘paid gems’ where you spend real money to obtain gems but they aren’t the same as free ones. I don’t want to spend money just to try and get a character that I want when the chances of obtaining him are slim. I spent around 4000ish gems when the event started, that event has been and gone and a new one is out and I can yet again obtain Blue. I’m not being suckered into paying real money for him, yes the grind is mind-numbing and slow but fuck micro-transactions. God help me when they release Red as an obtainable character, they might just get my money.

Scout sequence with pricing and rarity rates for Blue.

I enjoy gatcha games, mainly because I like collecting things ( I really should update my Gemr account with my real-life collections) but that’s not what drew me to this game. The battle system is kind of like your traditional Pokémon games where you choose your team and fight in turn-based battles. Battles are done in real-time though so you can’t just put your phone down like you could with a Game Boy or DS and go do something else while it’s your turn. The fight will go on without you and you’ll eventually lose if you don’t pay attention and make your move.

Once the Sync Move countdown has hit zero you can use a sync move from one of your team members, moves vary from trainer to trainer. Think of them as like Z-Moves from Pokémon Sun & Moon.

The unique part about Pokémon Masters is its 3-on-3, real-time team battles.

Use your move gauge, which fills as time passes, to unleash powerful moves, such as Thunderbolt and Flamethrower. Your team shares the move gauge, so it’s essential to carefully decide which of your sync pairs uses a move.

Pokémon Masters – Official Site

Sync Moves aren’t the only moves available, you have your standard moves and you have buff moves which, as you can guess, buff either the user or the team and passive moves are used at the start of every battle. You’re stuck with one, maybe two moves or a standard move and an item. Unlocking moves and levelling up is simple if you have the right materials (more grinding needed to stock up on level up items and stuff) you can increase the trainers level cap or increase their star rating. I haven’t as of yet increased the star rating of any Pokémon as I believe the materials needed to do so are in the late game.

The battle system is a refreshing update to the old turn-based combat. The thing that bugs me is the difficulty curve. It’s not a curve it’s zig-zagging all over the place, during the quest some battles are a piece of piss and then the next one you get your ass kicked as if your team has suddenly contracted man flu and can’t do much of anything damage wise. I’m not against grinding in video games, I just dislike the way certain games handle the grind. For instance, Diablo 3, I’ve gone through the story and completed a few seasons and that’s fine but then it becomes boring and such a chore and for what? A few cosmetic items or gear that I don’t particularly care for or want.

Team menu options which allow levelling up and obtaining new moves.

Evolutions are still in the game. Some Pokémon are obtained already evolved and some are still in their 1st stage of evolution. For example, I obtained Pryce ( the Mahogany Town gym leader from the Gold and Silver games), and his Pokémon Seel which is a basic stage pokemon. I also have Korrina ( the Shalour gym leader from the X and Y games) with her Lucario who has already been evolved. I reached level 40 I think with Pryce and his Seel and one of the side missions popped up which allowed me to evolve Seel to Dewgong after a difficult battle. evolving requires evolution materials available at the shop which can be purchased with in-game currency. The only benefit of evolving is a slight stat boost the Pokémon, and I mean slight.

As I mentioned earlier the difficulty curve is something that puts me of playing through the story. Gaining XP is not difficult but takes too much time, training manuals (which give you extra XP for your team members) are given as rewards for logging into the game completing quests and other missions, there are 3 tiers of manuals ( bronze, silver and gold as far as I know) and they give you barely any bronze tier, so you need a fuck load just to level up once you reach the higher levels so they’re not worth bothering with. The autoplay feature is something I’ll use but grinding for a small amount of XP isn’t worth the effort if there is no worthwhile reward. I don’t want to spend 2 days or so grinding just to get past the next quest, I replaced my phone’s battery a few month’s back and I don’t want to go ruining it by having to charge it every few hours just to keep playing. I’ve almost got all the gym badges and I haven’t reached chapter 11 where I would finally unlock co-op quests so I sadly can’t comment on that, and the fact I have no friends to play with.

With events keeping the game a little fresh and the fun battle system I want to recommend this game, if you don’t like grinding forever just to progress a small way then maybe give this game a go and see how you feel about it. I have really enjoyed the early parts of this game though despite the later stages giving me grief. Maybe it’s just that I’m a little lazy.

By RoguishGamer

I like video games.

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