Pokemon Masters [Mobile Game Review]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Pokemon Masters is one of the latest mobile games that Nintendo released. They had been hyping it up for a while and when it released at the end of August, it didn’t disappoint.

Mobile Game Review: Pokemon Masters | Mobile Games | Gaming | Pokemon | Nintendo | Video Games | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

I’ll admit – I didn’t get what Pokemon Masters was all about until I started playing it. I saw Pokemon’s various social media accounts hyping it up. I saw Brock and Misty, 3-on-3 Pokemon battles, but I never fully comprehended what the game entailed. This is mostly because I watched Instagram stories on mute and never bothered to look up the game.

However, it’s Pokemon. So, of course I’m going to get it. I didn’t get a chance to play it for a few weeks after it came out, but I was sucked into it the moment I did finally get to play.

Pokemon Masters is all about collecting trainers to be part of your team so that you can compete in the Pokemon Masters League (PML). This is held on an island called Pasio where gym leaders, champions, elite four members, and trainers travel from all over the regions to Pasio to compete in this tournament. Teams are formed to participate in 3-on-3 battles, one Pokemon partner per trainer.

In order to officially enter the PML, you and your team need to collect five badges. Each of these badges is held by a PML Leader that you have to track down and defeat in battle, similar to regular gym battles in the main games.

The game is made up of 18 chapters, which was shorter than I thought it would be, especially since the chapters are short themselves. They get a bit longer down the road, but they’re still pretty quick to get through. Each chapter has two elements: story and battle.

The story is, in my opinion, not the greatest. You and your partner Pikachu (no, unfortunately, you can’t choose which Pokemon you get as your partner) explore Pasio and make friends with various familiar characters from the Pokemon world. This includes gym leaders Brock and Misty from the Kanto region, Rosa, the female protagonist from the Unova region, Barry, the main rival from the Sinnoh region, and so many others. Each story part is a matter of the characters speaking with each other and to you with some voice acting here and there. All you have to do is tap the screen and occasionally “answer” which is choosing one of two response options. These scenes can vary from taking a minute to as little as ten seconds. It’s not very involved.

However, the game isn’t really about the story, in my opinion. It’s more about the battles, which I’ll get to in a minute.

As you go through the story elements of the game, you’ll travel to different areas in Pasio running into various trainers, adding familiar faces to your team, and occasionally running into Team Break. Like the core Pokemon games, there is a bad guy team that tries to get in your way. Team Break simply tries to steal everyone’s partner Pokemon. You battle them, defeat them, and they run away. Simple as that, just like the main games.

In between the story bits, there are battles. As you travel, trainers will lock eyes with you and challenge to a battle. At the end of the chapter, you’ll find who you’re looking for, battle them, and they’ll join your team giving you access to play as them and their partner Pokemon for future battles.

The battles certainly are the best part of the game. Every Pokemon only has one weakness, which is shown above its health bar so that you don’t need to remember 800+ Pokemon since it’s not like the mainstream games. Each move your Pokemon has uses energy. Some moves take one energy bar, others two, and some three. They slowly recharge so you can spam a 1-energy move over and over again or you can sit and wait for three bars to regenerate so that you can use a more powerful move.

I enjoyed the battle system. It added more strategy than you would think. The battles did have some lag, but there was a lot going on the screen with six different Pokemon trying to make a move – plus the sync moves. Once a Pokemon uses a certain number of attacks, they would unleash their sync move with their trainer which was a totally over-powered attack. However, the lag never bothered me and never made the game unbearable to play.

As mobile games tend to have, there are microtransactions in this game. You do not need to spend any money though. I made it quite far in the game without spending a penny. I just managed my gems well.

Pokemon Masters uses gems to find sync pairs, which is gathering more people for your team. However, you don’t have to do this since you recruit more trainers through the main story anyway. The gems are also used as rewards when you get through a chapter or training. There is a training mode where you can grind a bit in order to level up your team, evolve them, and gain more gems as well as support items that will help you unlock move moves for the Pokemon.

This game as a whole has so much to offer. Yes, the story is a bit lacking, but it’s similar to the main games in which you try to enter a tournament and a team of bad guys tries to stop you, which in turn, you stop them. It’s also a mobile game though so the story isn’t going to be as in-depth as a lengthy core game would be.

Pokemon Masters gets a rating of…

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Overall, Pokemon Masters is a great game. The story lacks depth, but I find it to be just enough for a mobile game. The battles are a lot of fun, even though the difficulty ramps up suddenly. However, that’s what the various training areas are for. Pokemon Masters has gotten a lot of backlash, but I honestly think this is Pokemon’s best mobile game yet. I enjoyed my time with it and will continue to enjoy my time with it. It’s definitely one to play if you’re a huge Pokemon fan.

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Pokemon Masters [First Thoughts]

First Thoughts: Pokemon Masters | Nintendo | Mobile Games | Pokemon Games | Pokemon Mobile Games | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Pokemon Masters was released at the end of August and we finally got a chance to open the app up and give it a try. At first glance, it wasn’t bad, with decent graphics, some partial voice-acting — even if, so far, some of the characters are a little too cutesy — and a simple way to do battles. We have only done the first couple of chapters, mainly the introduction, but it’s something we’re willing to keep playing to get a real feel of the story.

rachmii
I had been looking forward to this one for quite a while. I even pre-ordered it at the app store and then Kris and I decided to try it together. Needless to say, we’ve been busy and finally got the chance to check it out just the other day. I’m enjoying it though and have a feeling I’ll easily get addicted to it.

krismii
We are just in the beginning stages of this “free to start” game, so I’m hoping down the line it won’t become one of those games that have wait times or the need to spend money to advance the story. I’d rather the game’s microtransactions be optional, much like Fire Emblem Heroes. Speaking of Fire Emblem Heroes, the star rating for each of the sync pairs of trainers and Pokemon remind me of that game. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of pairs I’ll be able to pull into the game, with the use of the gems.

rachmii
I don’t think microtransactions will be a problem and don’t think we’ll have to “wait” much at all. The game seems pretty straight forward. You do need gems to buy more sync pairs, but you get more pairs through the main story anyway. You basically just need to be smart with your gems, especially since you get daily rewards as gems when you log in and also receive gems when you complete certain chapters.

krismii
Right, the beginning seems pretty generous with the gems, and I hope that it doesn’t taper off the further we go into the story. It’s a classic gimmick, giving us plenty of gems and pairs in the beginning to get us hooked on the game before backing off and having us wonder if we should spend twenty bucks on more gems to move forward. While I understand we’re right at the beginning of the game, I am a little disappointed that there’s not more variety to the pairs we’ve encountered so far. I was hoping to pick and choose pairs, for us to not be completely neck-and-neck for where we are in the story. Like, instead of getting Whitney automatically when trying out the scout mode maybe we could have had a choice to scout out one of three pairs or something.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I actually don’t mind having the pairs be random when you scout. Of course, there are events and I thought I was going to get a certain pair, but it turned out that it’s still random. There’s just a chance I’d get that pair. As I said, I like it random though. I don’t mind the surprise and trying to work with a team with randomized types. What I do wish is that I could have picked my own partner. I love Pikachu and totally don’t mind having him as a partner, but I would love to have Charmander or Psyduck or Mimikyu or something. Pikachu can be cliche at this point and I would have loved it if they gave us a choice of five Pokemon or something. Or, you know, let us choose between all the starters, Pikachu, and Eevee or whatever.

krismii
Random pairs as we scout are great, as it gives you more variety. I was speaking mainly of the beginning of the game where the app seems to throw a bunch of scripted pairs at the player. Starting with Brock and Misty is fine, but I did believe that, perhaps, we would have been able to choose between the pair, then maybe choose between Rosa and, for example, Barry to try to round out the first team. I would have also liked to choose my Pokemon partner, despite how adorable Pikachu is. Despite the small tutorial on one of the items that you can use promoting the evolution of the Pokemon on your team, I highly doubt that the game will allow you evolve Pikachu into Raichu down the road.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Ah, I see what you mean. Though, again, I don’t think I mind that too much. It would be cool to pick who to start with, but I already swapped them out anyway. You don’t have them for too long before you encounter more pairs. Also, that’s true about the evolution. I don’t know if I would want to evolve Pikachu if they even give the option. We’ll just have to see what happens. I enjoy the battle part of the game though. I think the story is pretty cool, especially with the masked villains, though it’s definitely lacking. The “story” part of the chapters are two-seconds long. I much prefer the battles, which is fine considering that’s a huge part of the game anyway.

krismii
I think I would want to evolve Pikachu just to have something different, in all honesty. In every instance that your character is gifted a Pikachu in the games, you are not allowed to evolve it, so having a Raichu instead of Pikachu would be interesting. I enjoy the battling as well, finding the quick pace of the battles fun, and I imagine they’ll become more challenging down the road. I do wonder how the story part of the game will evolve — pun intended — down the line and I hope it’ll be something deeper than these first few introductory parts.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I like the triple battle format and even the way it works. It took me a minute to get used to it (mostly because I don’t read the directions), but I enjoy how the system works. Instead of PP, the Pokemon’s moves cost one or two charges. There’s a beam at the bottom of the screen and you use that to attack. For example, Pikachu’s Thunderbolt costs 2. If you have two full bars, you can use it. If you have one, you can’t. The good news is, it charges fairly quickly. Though, there were some moments when my Pokemon stared at their opponents for a bit while I waited for the bar to fully recharge.

krismii
The triple battle is fun, yes, although there was at one point during a couple of my battles, the little tip or tutorial bubble stayed on my phone’s screen. It nearly blocked one of the opponent’s Pokemon, which was annoying. I presume it was a small hiccup. The interface for the battles isn’t bad at all, though, and it’ll be fun for the Pokemon to learn more moves. The quick-time strategy between opponents and your Pokemon’s moves is challenging. It’ll be interesting when Rachel and I get the chance to become friends in the game and will be able to try out co-op mode!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
There is an auto option for the battle though, which I tried out. That was pretty cool, though surprisingly, they didn’t automatically attack the Pokemon who had the type disadvantage. I was against three Pokemon weak to grass and instead of using Snivy, the auto-battle had Piplup spam bubble beam. I still won, but it was interesting to watch. Either way, I’m having fun with the game I too am looking forward to testing out co-op mode!

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