The Prince of Tennis II Rising Beat Stats and Records

Stats time!

Rank 3
Tezuka Level 2
Oishi Level 1

The Prince of Tennis II Rising Beat Review


This was definitely a pretty random app game that’s for sure. Who’d have thought that Prince of Tennis would be coming out with a rhythm game right? This is really the first one I’ve played. I can see the appeal but I think there’s room to improve on the execution. Ultimately this isn’t a game that I stuck with for very long as you’ll see based on the various brief stats page I’ll be uploading. It just doesn’t feel as interactive as I’d like although the songs are cool.

The plot seems to basically be handling the early parts of the New Prince of Tennis series. It’s been so long since I read those parts that this really feels brand new at this point. That also means no Ryoma at least in the levels that I played so you’ll miss him a bit. The game is still relatively early on so there aren’t a lot of story levels yet but I imagine that will change as the game continues to update.

Aside from the story mode there are a lot of other things to do like playing through normal battles or customizing your characters. In fact you have to play through some of these normal levels in order to progress through the story or you’ll get stuck very quickly. After two story levels is when you have to play your first side mission. I’d rather the game let you just play through the story without having to go on a side tangent. I suppose the gameplay is all the same so it shouldn’t make a big difference but I want to just see what happens next in the story.

The graphics are pretty good. The art style is colorful and I like the gameplay effects. On the other hand, it’s all fairly repetitive. Every stage looks very similar and the characters are chibi style which can be fun in short doses but I don’t think it works for the whole game. It’s fun and looks nice though which is the important part. The soundtrack is definitely impressive with all of the lyrical songs. That makes sense of course since you can’t have a musical game without the songs to accompany it right?

As for the gameplay itself, the goal of the game is to tap precision. It’s effectively like Dance Dance Revolution except instead of dancing to the beat you are tapping to it. If you click the circle when it’s in the right spot then you can either hit the ball or even return it. It’s not very hard to get the hang of it either. At times you will hold onto the icon in order to complete the action and other times you will just need to tap it really quickly.

A lot of mobile games have a heavy emphasis on tapping so this isn’t anything new but at the same time it just doesn’t feel very interactive. Maybe it’s because the animations are set and your actions don’t change it. Usually at least the animations change like in a fighting game or something. Here you will be seeing the exact same animation back and forth as the two characters hit the tennis ball around no matter what you do. There’s not really any variety either.

I think that’s really what hurt the game for me. It’s just not all that interesting after a while and I wouldn’t say the story is enough of a legend to hold the whole game up. For that you could probably just read the manga or watch some of the shows and movies. I wouldn’t call this a bad game but it doesn’t really have enough strong points for me to call it a really good one either. As a result it ends up lagging behind the other apps.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. In terms of replay value there is certainly a lot as long as you enjoy the game. Customization alone is already quite extensive and then you have the level up system and wide array of characters to work with too. The game will likely continue updating as long as it gets support so you shouldn’t have to worry about content drying up anytime soon either. Just keep on chugging along and you shouldn’t have any issues. The game is free too so it’s not like you’re spending any money here.

Overall, I’m glad Prince of Tennis got a game even if this one didn’t really hit it off for me. I’m still surprised it came out since the title doesn’t seem too huge anymore, particularly the sequel. It was hard to find on the app store initially due to the way it appears in the search results too. Hopefully it does well enough for them to consider another game in the series but with a different gameplay style. A tennis focused game would absolutely have a lot of potential if you ask me. You can definitely achieve that with mobile. Now for mobile I’m really just waiting on Megaman X Dive to show up. That’s a title I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.

Overall 5/10

My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero Review


The next mobile game I gave a whirl was the My Hero Academia title. This one was getting a good amount of promotion and it’s clear that there was a good budget behind it. As MHA is really big right now they wouldn’t want to weaken the brand with a total cash-in. The title definitely delivers on that front although at the same time it’s so high budget that it has the same weakness as the Sword Art Online title in that it’s a lot harder to just pick up and play.

The game starts you off with a nice introduction movie complete with cinematics and voice acting. You learn about who Deku and All Might is before being thrown further into the story. You’re working with pro heroes on taking down crooks so I want to say at minimum this takes place midway through season 2. Deku seems to have a good handle on his Full Cowl already after all and while the gameplay uses his shoot style, that may be more of a mechanic than confirming that this is in season 3.

The story is separated into chapters which are separated into acts. Each act has a few missions which range from finding civilians to taking down villains. You can also navigate through the city to locate radio towers and collectibles which increases your view of the city. I have no doubt that the objectives in each level will continue to expand as you play through the game.

For the combat this is a 3D action title. You use the buttons on the touchscreen to attack, use super moves, and dodge. By mixing light and heavy attacks you can also perform various combos to take the enemy down more quickly. The gameplay is pretty versatile with each hats yet having many moves and they are all upgradable.

The hub world is also quite large. You aren’t really allowed to explore until you cover the first 2 chapters but after that you can have some fun looking around. The graphics are really solid and would not be out of place on the home consoles. Once again I wonder why mobile games are not automatically ported to console at this point, perhaps there is some kind of licensing angle that would make it slightly more expensive than being a mobile exclusive. Since being a mobile title can be super profitable anyway, I could see that as a reason on why you would not port it. 

The soundtrack has a lot of the classic tunes from the show so you’re in good hands there. It goes without saying that there is a tremendous amount of content here. Just completing the current story chapters available will take you several hours. After that you also have all of the bonus missions to go through and then you can work on leveling up your characters as you wait for the updates. Usually this kind of game will update fairly quick with new levels and event missions so I don’t think you will have anything to worry about on that front. Each special event gives you the chance to farm materials and gems. Right now I’m not too familiar with each of the gem mechanics but one important rule for all gatcha games is that you want to save your gems for a long while. Never spend your gems early on because you need time to understand their true value and the game itself. Only then should you start spending them. The replay value here is quite extensive.

As mentioned, the game’s only weakness is in how expansive it is. One of the strengths of mobile games is being able to just turn it on real quick and knock out some levels. Perhaps while you are on the train or playing a bit before bed. This one needs a solid WiFi signal at all times so the train is out of the question. It also isn’t easy to just play for a few minutes because the loading times are quite long to boot up the game as it goes through the companies and loads the environments. It’s something you don’t really care about if you’re about to play the game for hours but if you’re looking to play for 20-30 minutes then suddenly that seems a little less worth it.

The Strongest Hero is definitely a game meant to be played like a console title. To make the most of it you really need to have some time and then crack down on it. It will be a very rewarding experience but at times you will feel like this should have gone on the PS4. I haven’t rolled too many characters yet so I can’t speak to how good the gotcha system is. At first they always appear to be pretty good and this one’s no different. Of course it’s easy to roll a new character when I only had one previously. I got Kaminari on my first spin which is cool, his gameplay is definitely fun to have. Naturally I was hoping for Bakugo but I suppose you can’t get there best character on your first spin. Right now characters are still being added to the game but we already have most of the important Class 1A characters waiting in the lottery zone.

Overall, My Hero Academia The Strongest Hero is definitely a mobile game I would recommend. It may need some more time than the others on the market but at the same time that speaks to the level of effort that went into this game. As I mentioned many times, it really could pass for a console experience. I definitely couldn’t complain if all mobile games were at this level. I’ve had a rather rocky string of mobile games up til this one so I was glad that it broke the streak.

Overall 8/10

Kaiju Brawl: Godzilla vs Kong Review


Over the years there have been quite a few Godzilla app games. One of them was really quite great while a lot of the others have been fairly mid to even awful. Unfortunately this one’s not very good either. It definitely does beat some of the others I’ve played but it’s weighed down by constant ads and glitches. Not exactly the mobile atmosphere you were hoping for. I’ll give the developers credit for actually getting this published though because it does not look official in the slightest.

The game has 2 real modes, Arcade Mode and Survival Mode. Survival puts you in nonstop matches against monsters while Arcade mode is sets of 3 rounds. When you clear them all you’ve completed the first level, then rinse and repeat as you go through. The game only has a small handful of monsters so expect to be fighting them over and over again. You have King Kong, Godzilla, Mecha Godzilla, the Skullcrawlers, and some jello thing. That’s it, so each level you will see one of these guys.

As for the gameplay, it’s a 2D brawler. You move the character by tapping on the screen and then you can use a few moves. You have the close quarters combat attack which is what you will mainly be using. If you wait a bit, your special meter will charge and then you can fire your ultimate attack which does a good deal of damage. The final button lets you jump but there’s no scenario where that is even slightly helpful so you don’t need to bother using it.

There’s not much point to playing Survival mode but I made it through around 10 rounds to be safe. You get money to level up your characters so that’s a start. Arcade Mode is where you feel like there is at least some progression. I think there are 60 sets available in the game currently so clearing all of those should take some time. The main issue is that after playing 1 set you will already have seen exactly what the game has in store for you. It’s not a very elaborate title.

Now that’s not a bad thing per say but the game also feels very low budget. It crashes quite a bit and sometimes the icons will disappear from the game. You won’t be able to see your level or attack meters so you have to hope for the best. It doesn’t look like the game was formatted all that well to the screen size so some things will usually get cut off. That’s all the tip of the iceberg though. I could get around that but not the next part.

After each set you have to watch an unskippable commercial for another app game. This is also true if you click the wrong button after finishing a survival mode or when trying to navigate the menus. If this happens you have to either wait or just close the app and re-open. The game feels incredibly greedy with how frequent the ads are. The ads should be something you watch as a bonus but not something you have to watch. That’s an easy way to take someone out of the game immediately. Ads have no place being an intrusive mechanic when you’re just trying to play for a bit.

That alone meant that this game wasn’t going to get a positive score. Still, it had help from all the other aspects of the game being underwhelming. Just take a look at the graphics, it’s not that good. I’ll give them credit for the drawings I suppose as someone probably had to work on those characters models but it doesn’t look nearly as good and detailed as it should. The lack of content is also quite telling since the game has to throw a bunch of levels in just to inflate the count.

There are no good themes to listen to hear so you can forget about that. The menu says there is a Story Mode coming soon but I have serious doubts on that. It’s one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of things. Not that I’ll have the game still downloaded on my phone by the time this review pops up though. Space isn’t exactly unlimited so these games get the boot as soon as I’m done. The only nice thing about the ads was I found another Godzilla ripoff game so I’ll be checking that one at some point.

What does the game do well? Well, I suppose the actual combat gameplay is really not that bad. It actually has some reasonable mechanics to it even if it’s extremely basic. Like I said earlier, I could get behind this if you just take away all of the negative aspects. Then you would really have something here. Maybe if they worked on it another year or so to add content before throwing it in the app store then I’d be singing a different tune.

Overall, As it stands there just isn’t anything to really keep me here. A story mode of some kind would have really helped. There isn’t a lot of replay value and earning coins seems like a long process from what I got so far so unlocking the other characters without paying the big bucks would take way more of an investment then I was planning to give. If you want to play a Godzilla mobile game definitely give this one a pass.

Overall 5/10

Godzilla Destruction Review


Clearly making these mobile games is tougher than I thought because this is another one that just wasn’t very good. If all 3 of the Godzilla games that were announced at the same time are by the same developers then it makes a lot of sense. This one seems to be using a lot of the same assets from Run Godzilla. While the gameplay is slightly better there are still a lot of really weird game design choices. Ultimately it just feels pointless to play a lot of the game.

The game has no story this time so you can forget about that part. You’re thrown in without much of a real introduction or anything. The gameplay is simple. You move Godzilla around with the touchscreen and if he is near an enemy he will attack automatically. Pretty handy right? That’s the extent of the game, there is literally no other gameplay. Each level has 15 mini levels in it which have around 5 waves each. I wouldn’t say the levels are incredibly long but they’re longer than you may think.

Any level ups and power you get in the levels are lost afterwards as it is all temporary. If you’re lucky you will get enough flames and G Profile Pics to help level up your Kaiju and try the whole thing again. Of course if you die during the experience you won’t get almost any rewards which is unfortunate. The game is set up so you should be playing for a very long time if you want to get anywhere. Of course you can pay the big bucks to get the content up front. That’s really your only other option.

For a video game just about anything can be forgiven if the gameplay is good. The problem is that it’s not very fun though. It’s just not all that satisfying to watch Godzilla attack all of the enemies for you. You’d like to be the one blasting away at them. Instead it’s almost like you’re the driver and the computer is the actual player. You can see how that would make for a rather hollow gaming experience right?

The levels all blend together really quickly so it gets rather dull. It’s not as automatic as the Run version but it’s still almost all done by the computer. You don’t feel like you’re really doing all that much. The game also just feels very limited in what you can do. This is literally the only game mode. Everything else is looking at items or your Kaiju and things of that nature. In 2021 I don’t think you can survive on a single game mode unless it’s a Story Mode or something like that.

Additionally the menu layouts don’t make much sense. Good luck equipping any of the gems you unlocked in the game. I could not figure out who to do this since every time you try to put one on it just falls right off. Perhaps that feature just isn’t set up in the game yet? It wouldn’t surprise me a great deal if this game is just severely incomplete. If anything it may even add up quite a bit.

The graphics are not good. It’s using the same character model as mentioned earlier which was already not that good. The level designs are uninspired. I suppose the enemy tanks look okay but there’s nothing too special about them either. The soundtrack is basically nonexistent as well.

What this game needed is really a complete overhaul. Throw in some real gameplay, a bunch of extra monsters, and even a quick story mode. Do those things and you could have a real winner on your hands. I don’t think there’s a big target audience for just walking around as your player does everything on his own. Where’s the excitement and the danger? I’m sure a game could pull this style off with enough development time and unique ideas but this was definitely not going to happen here. This mobile game seems like it was finished awfully quick.

In terms of content I suppose I should say that this can last for hours I guess. You can try completing all 4 worlds which each have several levels in them. Additionally you can keep on replaying the levels over and over again to farm materials and get level ups. That at least gives you a reason to go on back right? Keep this up and you should be in a good spot. Of course the replay value will depend on if you like the gameplay enough to do those things but if you do, the content is certainly here at least.

Overall, Godzilla Destruction is another disappointing mobile game. It’s a shame because most mobile games end up being quite amazing but this one was clearly not at that level. It does beat the first one so if the third in the trilogy can win then we might be in a good spot. Otherwise I’m afraid they will forever be known as a very weak trilogy of games. Better luck next time and all that.

Overall 4/10

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! Review


Whenever you think of a free to play running game you’re probably thinking of high energy titles with a ton of content and amazing replay value. The highest values of quality are associated with these titles because there’ a lot you can do with it. Unfortunately Crash ends up fumbling the ball on this one and it’s easily the weakest free runner that I’ve played. Sonic, Ladybug, and the others are all a lot better because they embraced the free to play elements while this one seems a little more hesitant.

First off, the gameplay is fine. It’s your standard auto runner so you can crouch and jump to avoid obstacles. There are power ups in the levels and even a little boss fight at the end where you have to tap the screen with precision. These are good mechanics that work well. I did not have any qualms with the gameplay. The levels are also nice and bite sized so there is a whole lot of replay value there.

What is my main issue? It’s the energy system. Now, longtime fans of mobile games will recognize that this isn’t new. A lot of mobile games have something like that to prevent you from beating all of the content instantly. The most confident games though like Pokemon Go, Godzilla, and Dr Mario have no such system. Others like Fire Emblem Heroes, Dragon Ball Legends or any other big gatcha game have it as a formality but it’s hard to reach. In those games you could play effectively with no limit for about a month and then after that you’re limited to about 4-5 hours a day. That’s fine, I’m unlikely to play a mobile game longer than that anyway and it seems like a pretty fair tradeoff.

The problem with Crash is that it’s immediate. Within about an hour you’re going to start running into a shortage of items. Your options at that point are to wait, buy the items, or play old stages to try and get more materials. Why should I need to play an old level when I just started the game though? That was my main issue throughout the game. It felt like you were always needing to go and grab other collectibles so you couldn’t really appreciate the game.

It feels greedy because most of the time your gaming experience won’t be interrupted until you’re fairly deep into the story. Imagine having to go back and raise more Pokemon in Pokemon Masters instead of blasting through all of the available levels? Or needing to go back and clear more Witch rooms in Madoka instead of continuing? That’s my issue with the Crash game, it seems like they heavily steer you towards playing a fee right off the bat rather than enjoying your free experience. If you ask me, that’s the real shame here.

Not even adding in the famous mascot “The Noid” was enough to save the game. I had already finished my playthrough of this one before he came out but let me say that he was not enough for me to change course and go back in. You would need to fix the fundamental issues of Crash’s item system first. Part of the issue is that there are several different kinds of items, materials, and levels you have to get. This should be simplified so there is only one kind of vial for example. Instead of 3 tiers to each item, make it 1.

I would also add a new player bonus like most games where clearing story levels for the first time replenishes your energy. That’s a great way to keep you playing uninterrupted for a long while and then you can really enjoy going back to clear up loose ends. I don’t see why the game decided to be so different from the other auto runners. At the very least the unique approach didn’t work this time.

The graphics are really good though. It’s clear that a lot of work went into making the game look as good as possible. The character models are really on point. They wouldn’t be out of place in the big budget PS4 games. Then the soundtrack and level designs are good. Each theme sounds good and is fittingly high energy for a running game like this. The levels all look like the traditional Crash levels as well.

In terms of replay value, there is a lot here even if we don’t count all of the material farming. The game launched with well over 50 levels and I expect new updates will bring more and more. You can unlock costumes, in game achievements and things of that sort. As with most mobile games, you can probably expect to keep finding things to do here all the way until the game eventually runs out of steam and just ends naturally.

Overall, My main issue here is just that the game feels rather greedy. You can make the case that all mobile games exist to make money since the free to play model is built on using ad revenue but some games certainly use it better than others. In a lot of mobile games you never even get tempted to pay money and it’s all rather harmless. Additionally, if there’s a mobile game you seriously enjoy and will play for 50+ hours anyway, then spending a few bucks may not sound bad. This one just won’t be that game though. I’d highly recommend playing just about any of the other free runners instead but if you have some time then I suppose this isn’t a bad bet. Getting around the time limits is really the most annoying part so if you get past that then there are the fundamentals of a good game.

Overall 5/10

Marshawn Lynch Pro Football Review


Time for another mobile game but unfortunately this one isn’t much better than Pac-Man Geo but for completely different reasons. This time we do get a nice sense of progression in each level with scores being tracked and your level improving. That’s all well and good but my main issue here is really just the fact that there are so many advertisements. That’s one thing that utterly ruins a game. I don’t want a full video ad suddenly playing after I complete a level. It was at that moment that I knew this game was doomed.

The plot of the game is that you’re a new recruit trying to make a splash in the NFL. To get there you first need to win a College tournament then head to the Practice Squad and work your way to being a starter. You are a running back in this game which is definitely a bit of a change of pace from most Football games where you do a little of everything. That’s just not the case in this title. So as a running back the objective in each level is to score. You do this by running straight forward and using two techniques as needed. One is the Bulldoze technique that lets you break through walls. Then you have the Accelerate which lets you go really fast. You also use the two juke buttons to dodge incoming defenders. The gameplay’s pretty simple but it works quite nicely.

You’ll need pretty good reaction times though. If you move too quickly then you’re gonna get slammed and if you’re too slow out of the gate then you also get hit. It’s all about really reading the defenders and moving once they are about to make the lunge. Of course it’s definitely not an easy task by any means. There are well over 200 levels in this game so get ready for a whole lot of juking and moving around. I like the fact that there is a lot of content to be had here though. A lot of the levels do seem to be pretty similar so you do need to enjoy the gameplay a lot. It’s the kind of game that would feel really repetitive otherwise. That said, there are a healthy amount of cutscenes here so it does feel like you have a real story. That’s something I would not have expected here.

The graphics are pretty solid. There isn’t much of a soundtrack to speak of but at least the game looks really good which is always important. It’s definitely got a modern feel to it and I’d say there was a good amount of effort put into the game. Really what it all boils down are the advertisements here. I enjoy the gameplay and the game’s visuals look nice but it definitely takes you out of the immersion with advertisements playing after every level. Even clicking around on the main menu can trigger ads as well. You are not able to skip them until after a good portion of the ad has already run through. That’s definitely not a good thing. It really encourages you not to play the game for long or even to not look at all the features of the game because clicking on the wrong one will waste a lot of time. This has got to be one of the greediest games I’ve seen in a while with all of this going on.

Overall, I definitely did not expect that Marshawn Lynch would have his own game. It’s definitely pretty impressive that out of all the players he was one of the first to get one. At least when surfing the app store I didn’t see any other individual player games. There are cool concepts here and the gameplay is executed well but at the end of the day what really hurts here are the advertisements. It’s just not a trend that you want to see appearing in games going forward and is the only thing holding this back from being a positive review. No matter how much content and polish a game may have, it is ultimately wasted here. You can do much better with other Football games so I would definitely advise giving this one a skip.

Overall 5/10

Pac-Man Geo Review


PAC Man has had a lot of games over the years but it’s been a while since he had anything fresh and different. While this app game may not be the homerun hit fans have been waiting for I would say that it’s not terrible or anything. It’s got a lot of missed opportunities and flaws inside of the package of course but at the end of the day it has some interesting ideas. With a little polish this can be a really good game in the future. Unfortunately for Pac that day isn’t now.

The idea of the game is that you can have a lot of custom Pac-Man maps based on real world locations. You can zoom around New York or London. Eventually I imagine they’ll want to grab all of the levels although right now it’s just a limited amount that cycle through. You eat up the ghosts and prove to the other players that you have what it takes. There are also limited tournaments that are run from time to time where you can get a higher score. They all boil down to the same issue that I have with the game in general though. I’ll get to that in a minute but I have to say that the game has some deep flaws if you ask me.

The gameplay is the same as your classic Pac-Man experience. The goal here is to collect all of the pellets. By absorbing the larger ones you can quickly eat up the ghosts that get in your way and prevent them from launching a counter attack. It’s a pretty good strategy if you ask me and it’s a fun gameplay style. There’s a reason why the original game is so iconic after all. Lets talk about why this game lacks compared to that original: Progression. In the original game a lot of the fun is in seeing your high score and trying to top it. Unfortunately you don’t have that here. There is no high score that the game saves. Worse, you can’t tell which levels you have already completed after exiting. That to me is a huge problem with the game. I absolutely need to know what levels I have beaten because nobody wants to play the game levels more than once if they don’t know it.

I’d like to beat old levels again to improve my score of course but right now there is really no benefit to doing so. If you don’t know what your score is then there’s no point. I’m just puzzled as to how the game would launch without this. It’s such a core concept to any game like this where you are trying to complete levels and improve your standings. Without a sense of progression then it’s like you’re just spinning your wheels and not going anywhere. I expected better out of Pac-Man Geo. I’m hoping it’ll add some new content soon but this is something they really should have had at launch. Due to that I’m certainly not keeping this game around.

The graphics aren’t bad, but they’re definitely nothing special either. It’s basically standard fare of what you would expect and the game doesn’t feel particularly high budget. It’s basically Pac-Man just in mobile format and for that you can play the normal game. The soundtrack is okay, the theme is pretty true to form for the series and fairly catchy. At least on a technical level I wouldn’t take any credit away from the game. That’s good since poor visuals and music would have definitely done some extra damage.

Overall, Pac-Man Geo is not a game that I would recommend. I’d give it a middle score because at the end of the day I don’t think it’s a bad title. It’s just lacking in a whole lot of content and I don’t see the point in really playing through it. That being said, if you’ve never played Pac-Man before then you may get drawn in simply for the gameplay. The gameplay style itself is fun, I just need more of a reason to play. Hopefully they’ll give Pac-Man a more impressive title the next time one of his big anniversary milestones rolls around.

Overall 5/10

Pokemon Masters Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 15h 59m (Phone shows up to the last 10 days so this isn’t totally accurate but close enough)

Missions
General 28/56
Launch Celebration 30/30
Reach for the Top 8/15
Pokemon Trainers 47/66
Trainer Levels
Rosa 82
Brock 64
Roxanne 58
Marley 53
Pryce 45
Marion 45
Maylene 45
Shauntal 43
Olivia 85
Cheren 85
Nanu 80
Misty 75
Kris 70
WHitney 65
Hau 65
Terry 60
Barry 60
Candice 60
Clay 60
Flannery 60
Skyla 60
Brandon 55
Wilkstrom 50
Gardenia 50
Sophocles 50
Noland 50
Siebold 50
Blaine 50
Claire 50
Flint 50
Viola 50
Koga 50
Tate 45
Erica 45
Iris 45
Norman 45
Brock (Gym mode) 45
Bugsy 45
Korrina 45
Hapu 45
Roark 45
Janine 45
Cheryl 45
Liza 45
Brycen 45
Wulfric 30

Pokemon Masters Review


It’s time to look at Nintendo’s latest mobile adventure. Pokémon is one of those series that can really sell well so it makes sense to jump into the market. Just look at Pokémon Go after all. Unfortunately, this one does make some errors along the way which prevent it from being the ultimate title it could be. Still, it’s a great experience and one you may find yourself sticking with for a long time.

The basic plot of the game is that a big tournament has been announced which is called the PML. It is a 3 on 3 tournament with each trainer choosing one buddy Pokémon to team with in this grand adventure. The main character is a new trainer who has been steadily improving his skills. He quickly impressed gym leaders and elite four members and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Of course to qualify he must first get all of the gym badges and then it’s off to the races.

The story is pretty good. I am glad that the game already covers grabbing all of the badges and the tournament has even begun. I am wondering how the game will stretch this story out for years like the other mobile games. Either we will keep fighting old teams who jump ship or Team Break will interrupt the tournament at some point. One thing that the game could have made clearer are the rules for the tournament though. Originally as it is a 3 on 3 tournament you assume that losing knocks a team out as you proceed. Instead when you beat a team their members are allowed to join you. That means you’re stuck in a lengthy loop if everyone keeps rejoining teams. I feel like once you have lost you should be eliminated from the tournament. By the end of the current campaign the main team may have up to 60+ teams which is pretty insane. This tournament definitely doesn’t seem all that balanced.

The characters also bring up a valid point about how the tournament organizer’s plan doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t believe in friendship or bonds so why did he make a tournament where it’s mandatory to have both of those? It just seems a little odd to be honest. Maybe it’s just his chance to beat all the opponents and prove that the bonds were fake, but it’s a pretty roundabout strategy.

Now when it comes to the soundtrack this game is top notch. It’s comprised of a bunch of awesome remixes for previous battle themes from games of all previous generations. Not a single one is left out and they are all quite catchy. I dare say that the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the game. I ended up turning off the special effect sounds and voices so I could focus on the music. A lot of these remixes even beat the originals. Then you’ve got the graphics which are quite incredible. This does not look like a mobile game and could hold its own with the mainline titles. The character models are on point and there is some actual voice acting so the game did get a good amount of effort out behind it.

I haven’t spoken about the gameplay much yet. It’s a turn based style similar to the main games only you’ve got a meter that lets you know when you can attack again. This way you are more focused on coordinating your attack strategies quickly instead of waiting for the opponent to make a move. Weak moves only take one bar of energy while the stronger ones take 3. Usually anything weaker than 3 is not worth using. Support abilities are crucial though so definitely bring those into play. The gameplay is easy to get the hang of so you should be fine.

There is a lot of content in the game aside from the story. (and the story is fairly long as it is) Every day you get 3 extra levels with 3 difficulties that you can play 3 times each for a lot of items which are used to raise your level cap. You’ve also got the permanent ones which you can play all day to further stockpile your materials. Each character you recruit comes with an extra mission that is basically a long cutscene. Leveling up each character is quick, but they’ve got multiple caps which can only be broken with a considerable amount of materials. Once you have to get the gym notes you are really going to be stuck for a while since you have to beat incredibly hard levels. These levels cannot be beaten on your own so you’ll have to jump into the online content which the game seems to be heavily pushing.

Unfortunately the online is the weakest part of the game so it’s too bad that it’s effectively mandatory. The online matches take forever because the speed is set to 1. I always have it set to 4 to make the matches go a lot quicker so by comparison 1 feels like we are moving at turtle speed. Even then the gym notes aren’t guaranteed so you’re starting to see the grind. This game definitely has a ton of grinding within it if you want to go far. I played for well over 15 hours and didn’t even get a single gym note. You need around 3-5 just to unlock the cap again.

The good news is that there is no energy meter so you can really play the game for as long as you want. Some speculate that this is why there is so much grinding and I suppose that makes sense. Still, I think the game overdoes it with the grinding. After you’ve beaten the main story up to the current update then it becomes really apparent just how much grinding you are expected to do. So, it’s definitely a tradeoff.

It’s still an addicting game of course, but one that could use more of an end game. It does feel noticeably emptier once you have beaten the main story and I know that I would never be all that thrilled about the multiplayer stuff. I like fighting other players but the co-op option won’t work if the speed is stuck to 1. Maybe that will change down the road. I imagine that this is the kind of game that will only get better and better as it goes on so there is a lot to be hopeful about here.

Overall, Pokemon Masters is definitely a great game. It’s got some flaws, but they are not enough to overcome the smooth gameplay and top tier music/graphics. This is a game that big Pokemon fans will get a kick out of for the story as well. It’s nice to see all of the classic characters again and in particular the team up with the Black & White main characters was really nice. I’m sure that when Red shows up that will be a powerful moment as well. This game will probably last years so maybe in a decade or so I’ll check back in and see how far the story has gone.

Overall 8/10