Mobile Review | Pokemon Duel
Way back when, in the year 2007 a new tabletop game was sweeping the nation. Well by sweeping, I pretty mean being swept under the rug. We are of course talking about the Pokemon Trading Figure game. This game consisted of miniature figures much like Heroclix with turntable bases but with the pocket monsters we all know and love. Fairly similar to the card game and video game you take turns as each player tries to take out the others team. But only this time around the final goal is not to eliminate all the other Pokemon, but to reach their goal. Wait, does this all sound fairly familiar? That is because the exact premise as well as basically everything about the game has been brought to us digitally just about a decade later.
The Pokemon Company released the English version of Pokemon Duel this month. And you would have thought they would learn something from the release of Pokemon Go. But maybe they didn’t pay enough attention to Niantic’s sloppy launch. Day one of Duel was near impossible to play. I maybe got an hour or so of play in before the rest of america started to download it and horribly slowed down the game and maybe by 10:00 EST brought the game to a screeching halt. The came couldn’t even read its own text for several hours. But shortly after that they had a long and need maintenance period. This begs the question, was this game release planned? I my self have not heard anything of this game besides by You Tuber UnlistedLeaf. It almost seams like someone accidentally launched the game and they just decided to roll with it.
But the game was released in Japan back in August of 2016, they had all of this time to work out the bugs and all the online issues. Which they probably did. But Americans really are crazy for their Pokemon I guess. But luckily most of smaller fans of the franchise don’t have the patients to wait for the bugs to be ironed out. Day 2 of the game was much more manageable. I know the extended maintenance had a lot to do with it, but i’m sure a good chunk of fans did not want to deal with the Go start up issues all over again. Duel has been out just shy of a week now and they seam to have almost perfected their servers. When playing PvP I find matches fairly quickly and never really get disconnected. I guess in some ways they have learned from Niantic’s short comings.
Each of the Figures has a specific amount of spaces it can move. you move up to that many spaces trying to get to the enemy goal node. They can stop you by putting their Pokemon in your way. If one of yours is is in a node touching one of the enemy Pokemon, either of you can initiate battle during their turn. Doing so will cause a wheel to spin for each, showing what moves are available as well as how much damage, specialty moves or even if the move is a miss or dodged. Spinning is randomized and completely full of chance. leveling up your monsters will grow chosen attacks as well as shrinking the miss bars. Duel is a beautiful balance between strategy and luck.
This game is a lot of fun and very addictive. There are several modes which include some PvP as well as playing against bots in a loose story mode. All though you do need a sturdy connection to play either. Which can be a pain to maintain at all times, but if for what ever reason your game closes, crashes or what have you and you are in the middle of a story line match it picks up right where you left off which has saved my skin many times. Finding the bot mode isn’t as easy as you would assume for a game like this. They make is easy to play against random people across the world by either pressing the league button or simply the play. But to do quests you have to make your way to the menu and chose quests. Which i guess isn’t that much as extra work, but i guess i’m just to lazy to have to press an extra button as well as there really isn’t anything to complain about.
To build up your collection you need to buy boosters, just like the TCG, but you do that with diamonds. Which you can of course buy with real world money, but i find them surprisingly easy to come across in game. Which I love. Or you can also earn boosters by playing league PvP matches. But those are timed openings. And the better the pack, the longer you have to wait. You can only have one opening at a time as well as only holding on to 3 boosters at any given moment unless you buy the fourth slot. It is really a flawless system. This game is defiantly not Pay to win, i haven’t spent any money, yet i already have 5 EX Pokemon thanks to the recommended buys in the store. I really find this game to be good for anytime frame. The matches can last from 30 seconds to 10 minuets(not that I have ever played a match close to that). That makes this game an easy recommendation. Its super easy to pick up and play and is great for any ages.
Written By Mark Chiasson