Pokkén Tournament DX

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Pokkén Tournament DX Game Poster Image
Pokémon brawler gets expanded, enhanced for portable fights.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

No positive, negative messages, all about fighting creatures against each other.

Positive role models & representations

No main protagonist. Many different Pokémon characters that you control, all built for battling.

Ease of play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

You battle Pokémon against one another. Characters can kick, slash, use magic attacks -- such as electric strikes -- to chip away at an opponent's life meter. No blood, gore shown.
 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Latest game in global Pokémon phenomenon, which not only includes video games but also TV shows, movies, plush toys, action figures, apparel, much more. Nintendo's amiibo characters and cards are supported, can be purchased separately.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pokkén Tournament DX is a fighting game. The action is built around combat -- this Nintendo Switch exclusive is about battling Pokémon -- but parents should know it's not graphic or realistic in nature. Characters can kick, slash and use magic attacks to defeat an opponent. There are some cries of pain, but the opponents aren't hurt or killed. This is also the latest game in the wildly popular franchise that covers everything from TV shows to merchandise and other games, and features support for amiibo, which can be bought separately.

User Reviews

Parent of a 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byWayne W. January 12, 2018

The Pokemon Company shows you once again it's holding back.

Pokemon has a simple rinse and repeat method, it allows for low risk for continued reward. However, every once in a while the Pokemon Company makes something th... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old October 21, 2017

Really good game but meant for animated/fantasy violence

Very good game to play but the pretty much only thing you do is fight. You cannot see blood or weapons. You have a choice of over 21 Pokemon to play as and use... Continue reading

What's it about?

POKKÉN TOURNAMENT DX is a portable action game that pits Pokémon characters against one another in epic arena fights. Your goal is to become the ultimate champion by mastering the various fighting styles and signature moves of more than 20 Pokémon -- including newcomers Croagunk, Scizor, Empoleon, Darkrai, and Decidueye -- and because it's on the portable Nintendo Switch platform, you can vie to become Ferrum League champion on the go or at home while docked with your TV, perhaps. Along with single-player options against the game's AI (artificial intelligence), new modes lets you challenge your friends in intense competitions, including Team Battle or Group Match modes (which allows you to battle friends in tournament-style play), and three-vs.-three and split-screen options. Plus, you can record and upload your favorite fights with the new replay feature (which is free until the paid Nintendo Switch online service launches in 2018).

Is it any good?

Both seasoned and newbie Pokémon players should get a lot out of the fun arena battles between these Pokémon characters -- and there's a nice assortment of modes available. That coupled with the fact that you can take this game to go makes Pokkén Tournament DX a stellar pick. That said, those who bought last year's Pokkén Tournament for Nintendo Wii U might not get as much out of this, as this Nintendo Switch game is essentially the same, except for a few more characters (and Mewtwo and Shadow Mewtwo being playable right from the start), a Daily Challenge mode, a three-vs.-three arena option, and a new online leaderboard. There's also split-screen local play, but we'll get to that in a moment. As with the Wii U version, this game is very accessible. It's a cinch to pick up using the JoyCon controllers -- even for those who haven't played a fighting game previously -- yet the combat still has enough depth for more experienced and/or demanding players. For example, most special moves -- which are unique to your Pokémon -- can be performed with a single button press. But you'll need more timing and multi-button skills once you want to take advantage of some advanced moves and chaining moves/combos. On the new content, the Daily Challenge mode is a nice addition, as you're given a specific Pokémon and assist team each day, and rewarded with some skill points you can redeem. But more interesting is the new three-vs.-three mode.

As a Pokémon trainer, you must decide who joins the fight and when, based on your Pokémon characters' skills and your opponent's strengths. Don't expect as much depth as other fighting games, of course, but for a Pokémon game, it's quite meaty in both the gameplay and game mode department (though it would be great to offer more Pokémon characters to choose from). One mode to pass on, though, is Split Screen, as the gameplay area is too small to look at (with large borders around the edges), and more importantly, the game slows down dramatically. Finally, Pokkén Tournament DX also looks great, which will be a treat for fans playing on the small screen or big screen. Between the high definition and smoothly animated characters, arena environments, and special effects, this is by far the best-looking Pokémon game to date. Overall, this fighting game is accessible and fun and has lots to do -- and having it portable is an extra treat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Is it OK to fight creatures against each other? Is it OK because there's no blood or gore shown?

  • Talk about marketing to kids. Are Nintendo and other publishers (in this case, Bandai Namco) marketing the same characters and games to kids in the hope they'll want their parents to buy them sight unseen? Or are these game makers and marketers trying to reinvent themselves?

Game details

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