The Pokemon Lords Management Game

So a group that is neither Nintendo or Gamefreak have made a Pokemon themed Lords Management game (known in some regions as a MOBA) and the core game play is actually pretty fun.

For those out of the know Pokemon Unite is a game in which you and 4 other people form a team and pick a Pokemon to play as in an isometric RTS like view. You and the opposing team are trying to have the most points at the end of 10 minutes. You can score points by defeating wild Pokemon then going up to the enemy teams goal and doing a literal slam dunk of your points into their hoop. As you play your Pokemon levels up and can evolve, get stronger, and learn new moves.

Overall the game is fun and easy to learn but has a bit of depth to it. I think if you have bounced off previous Lords Management games in the past it is still worth trying this one especially if you have friends to play with. What is actually a bit surprising is they are really treating this like a Lords Management game by even labeling what kind of role the Pokemon should fill including support and tank which is a bit strange when you consider the target demographic includes children who are mostly likely not interested at all in playing a support or tank when you could instead be playing Charizard or Garchomp where you do big damage numbers.

Being a Lords Management game means you unfortunately have certain microtransactions to make up for it being free. The game takes the League of Legends approach of having a rotating set of free Pokemon and letting you pick one Pokemon at the very start and unlocking. There is also of course plenty of skins/costumes for both your trainer and your Pokemon.

Unfortunately the microtransactions get worse. Held Items are as the name suggest items your Pokemon can equip up to 3 that directly boost their stats. Theses items start at level 1 and can be upgraded to level 30, which can be done through in game purchasing. These are also fairly significant, the Scope Lens for example gives you a +6% critical hit rate along with +12% critical hit damage. The cost of doing a full 1 to 30 upgrade is $40. Someone doing the rough math said it would take ~500 days to reach max level on all items.

Has anyone else here tried Pokemon Unite out yet and want to share their thoughts?

2 Likes

The paid item upgrades are really disappointing, as other than that I’m loving this game.

My experience with MOBAs only extends as far as some dabbling with Heroes of the Storm, but I never got to a place where I felt comfortable making my own decisions and deviating from build guides or teammate recommendations. It could be down to it being a new game without an experienced player base or a crystallised meta, but Pokémon Unite seems like it leaves a lot more room for me to gain understanding through experimentation. I’m sure that not having in-game chat helps too.

Pokémon Unite retains enough depth and variety for me to be constantly having to learn, while avoiding a lot of the needless obscurity that makes this genre so inaccessible. I feel like I’m finally making connections between what the game is encouraging me to do and why I’m doing it. But the different levels of understanding make a small enough difference that I’m not completely useless before I reach the next one, making this learning exciting instead of daunting required reading.

But unfortunately, yeah, the pay-to-win aspects do seem likely to make the game uneven and unsatisfying once more of the player base has upgraded their items. Perhaps this could be somewhat remedied by giving out enough of the upgrade currency to fully upgrade 3 held items so that the premium option is flexibility in choice of items, rather than having 3 fully upgraded items in the first place, but that seems pretty unlikely.

Chances are I’ll play this a whole load in the short-term and then drop it once not having upgraded items puts me at a clear disadvantage, or makes unranked matches unplayably imbalanced. It’s a shame, but having a personal end date isn’t so bad with a game like this.

3 Likes

… I got the hip hop Pikachu :frowning:

I’ve been playing more then I thought I would. I find myself falling more into the support/tank roles then I would probably like because no one else wants to play them but that said Wigglytuff seems really strong for a support. I haven’t played around with the different moves because rollout and double slap are just really fun! Managed to get 2nd highest KD on a round last night because the enemy got behind at the start then kept running at me when I had a 2 level lead.

I really wish it had the Smite model of being able to buy once for like $40 and just get every Pokemon going forward.

1 Like