If you’ve been desperately waiting for more news on Nintendo’s and Bandai Namco Games’ collaborative fighter Pokkén Tournament, today is your lucky day. Bandai Namco Games’ Katsuhiro Harada and Masaaki Hoshino made appearances the latest episode of Month Famitsu feat. to show off a brand new trailer for the game as well as live gameplay.
Bandai Namco previously revealed Lucario and Machamp as two of the playable Pokémon. Joining the two are Suicune, Gardevoir and everyone’s favorite Pikachu. In addition, the Pokémon with the highest number of requests in the recent character request Twitter campaign will also be joining the cast. The character is currently being created but who that Pokémon is remains a mystery.
In addition to the playable Pokémon, Pokkén Tournament also features support Pokémon, selectable as sets of two. Two sets were available in the playable build: Emolga/Fennekin and Snivy/Lapras. A third slot was present on the select screen but was unavailable for play.
Harada also showed off some features of the arcade machine. Instead of a traditional arcade joystick and push buttons set-up, Pokkén Tournament machines use a large game pad-style controller. The controller consists of a directional pad, Start Button, four face buttons (A, B, X and Y; Special Move, Jump, Light Attack, Heavy Attack, respectively), two shoulder buttons (L and R; Support and Guard, respectively).
Gameplay flow mirrors traditional fighting games. After selecting a character, players choose a support set. At the start of each round, players select one of the two Pokémon within chosen set to use in the round.
The game uses a traditional round-based system, with the Pokémon dueling in a circular arena with invisible walls. Game play consists of two phases. The round starts in a free movement mode with an over-the-shoulder perspective reminiscent of the recent Dragon Ball Z fighting games. In this phase, the emphasis is fighting with projectile moves. Connecting with certain attacks triggers what is called a phase change. In the Duel Phase, the camera shifts to an almost 2D perspective, with movement and direction locked like a 2D fighting game. This phase emphasizes close range combat with hand-to-hand attacks.
In addition to the Vitality Gauge (represented as both a bar and a numerical value) a Support Gauge and a Burst Gauge are also displayed. Pressing the L Button will briefly summon the support Pokémon to aid in the battle. After being called and exiting the screen, support Pokémon must recover for a certain amount of time before they can be called onto the field again. Support Gauge recovery time is based on the selected support.
Pressing L+R when the Burst Gauge is completely filled will activate Burst, a special power-up mode that allows your Pokémon to unleash devastating super moves called Burst Attacks.
Harada also announced that players in Japan will be able to get their hands on Pokkén Pokkén Tournament in its first location test next weekend, from Friday January 30 to February 1. The game will also be playable at JAEPO 2015 next month.