The latest trend in Pokemon (or MOBAs maybe?), a collaboration on probably the most profitable franchise there is, and one of the most popular genres as well.
Tencent is here to deliver Pokemon Unite, which, as stated, is a MOBA. Released for Nintendo Switch on June 2021 and then for Mobile Devices in September of the same year.
So, is it worth playing? Should you take this game seriously or casually? Is it popular because of the Pokemon franchise? Find out in this review.
Table of Contents
This game has (like all Pokemon games under the sun) a Professor who explains the basics to you like location and rules and the such. You know, stuff like you being on Aeos Island and the way battles work there, etc…
But yeah, no Storyline.
Ok, I’m gonna start by explaining basic MOBA rules here because I have a hunch that many players are preteens and actual elementary school children. Not a bad thing in itself, but Ranked queueing can be a literal nightmare when players really don’t have the slightest clue what they’re doing.
As a MOBA, this game has lanes (Top Path and Bottom Path) and the jungle (Central Area). Usually, in this game, there will be 2 Top, 2 Bot, and a Jungler (Central Path).
The game’s rules state that the team with the most points win. And how do you collect points you ask?
Throughout the jungle and the lanes, there will be wild Pokemon for you to
kill capture. Each one drops a set amount of Aeos Energy that I’m gonna be calling points. The last player to hit the Pokemon gets the points. Enemies also drop points when dying.
Depending on your level, you will have a different capacity of maximum points you can carry. Indicatively, at the start, the limit is 30 points. If you are carrying the maximum amount, any wild Pokemon you defeat will drop the points to the ground for anyone to pick up. Even enemies.
Every lane has four “control points”. I’ll be calling them zones. Anyway. Each lane has four zones, two for each team. The zone closest to your base is where you’ll be scoring points. Each zone can take a specific amount of points from the enemy team before breaking. Again, as an indication, the first zones need 80 points to pop. There is also the last zone which is right outside each team’s base. That zone has no limits.
There is also the Speed Flux area. Basically, any team’s lane behind an undestroyed zone is the Speed Flux Area. That means that enemies are tremendously slowed while allies are faster. There are also two Sitrus Berries behind the first zones if they are not destroyed that are actually used for healing.
Standing in an allied zone allows you to regenerate more and gain a small shield. You have to walk to the enemy’s zones to score. If anyone trying to score is hit, he is interrupted. The more points you hold (and therefore try to score) the longer the channel required.
Also, if 2 or more allies are standing on an enemy zone, the channeling is faster. Scoring also gives some experience and healing.
Ok, so I’m gonna tell this to the youngsters I mentioned in all caps.
THE GAME IS ABOUT SCORING POINTS MORESO THAN FIGHTING!!!
Fighting is good and all but I’ve seen players who think that this game is just fun fighting and literally, NEVER EVER come even close to the enemies’ zones.
If you’ve grasped just this, trust me you can get to the higher levels.
Now to the second lesson. What MOBA doesn’t have Objectives?
I failed to mention that each game lasts 10 minutes.
On the 7 minute mark (3 minutes into the game as it counts from 10:00 to 0:00) the objectives appear. Top lane has Rotom. Bottom lane gets Dreadnaw.
In the current meta, I cannot stress how important it is for ALL teammates to go bot and take Dreadnaw. The only reason you should be staying top is that 2 enemies (2 not 1) decided to hang top to push. If not, you go bot.
Dreadnaw Gives your whole team 15%-20% of each Pokemon’s health as a shield and almost every time a full level to the whole team. Also 20 Points to the killer.
Rotom, when defeated starts heading to the nearest enemy zone. Once there, it allows any Pokemon to instantly
dump dunk points no matter how many there are. Now, this might sound important, but it can be stopped as the enemy team can kill Rotom before it gets there.
Again in all caps for the children.
GO TO DREADNAW NO MATTER WHAT.
Dreadnaw and Rotom spawn every 2 minutes after their death until the 2-minute mark (8 minutes in).
Those 2 minutes remaining, or as the game calls it “The Final Stretch” are literal hell.
First things first, all points scored are doubled.
But the most important thing? Zapdos.
Zapdos spawns at the very center of the map. Whichever team kills it (90%) wins the game. Allow me to elaborate.
The team that kills Zapdos gets many points. 20 for the killer and 10 for everyone else. It also allows you to instantly score (much like Rotom) on every enemy zone. FOR 30 SECONDS. That’s 25% of the remaining game. Combine it with the fact that every Pokemon’s capacity for points at that point in the game is 50, and the team that kills Zapdos will literally score anywhere from 100-500 points. Insane numbers if you consider the fact that most teams score about 200-400 points before the 2-minute mark.
That means that any team can be leading, then they lose Zapdos, and guess what? They are unable to do something as the opponents rush to score.
That’s about the game itself. Let’s move to gameplay.
Generally speaking, the game plays out like most MOBAs; the whole lane thing, teaming up, ganging, and even jungling.
If you have already played MOBAs before you’ll probably get the hang of it in 5 or so games. If not, focus on the basics like farming and contesting farm and objectives, and soon enough you’ll also be playing well.
The only real issue here is how a full 8-minute grind to win can be ruined by losing Zappos, which can happen no matter how well you played or how fed you were.
Now let’s talk about the Pokemon themselves. All Pokemon start with one move and learn an additional move at level 4.
That’s all they have in common.
After that, each Pokemon has different evolution levels (if they have any). They also replace their old attacks with newer and stronger ones at specific levels.
You have a choice between 2 new attacks to replace each of your old ones. Later in the game, you also learn your ultimate attack, which, as with most things in this game, is super unbalanced.
Not only does your ult does something tremendous (like all ults should) but they proceed to give you a stat boost in every stat and makes you so strong that you can easily 1v3 other players who haven’t ulted.
That’s why it’s important to save your ult for the objectives.
Every Pokemon also has three battle items and one held item decided before that match.
The battle items are stat boosts and other minor gameplay effects. The held items are active and are essentially an extra minor ability.
You can also strengthen the battle items but that brings in another point. The currencies.
You have 3 different currencies. One is paid so I’ll talk about the others.
The Aeos coins are mostly used to buy new Licenses. Due to how hard it is to actually get the amounts needed, I’d suggest you hoard like a Dragonite for your favorite Pokémon releases.
The Aeos tickets can be used to buy cosmetics, battle items, or the mini-currency that allows you to upgrade your battle items. Again, hard to get, generally lots of grinding is required.
Now if you think I’m overeating, just know this. Every day you get 20 coins for being sportsmanlike, 50 for playing a game, and another 50 for winning one. 120 coins.
The cheapest Pokemon costs 6000. ‘Nuff said.
The visuals in this game are pretty good if you ask me. The moves, the animations, the music, they all scream Pokemon fights.
It’s fortunate that this game is for Switch and Mobile players which means that no one will probably have any trouble running the game.
The game is pretty unbalanced, from the Objectives to the Pokemon themselves. Some teammates will make you lose faith in humanity. You can have your whole efforts wasted by an unlucky Zapdos loss. The currencies are hard to get. I could go on.
But in the end, It’s still Pokemon. Something pretty crazy must happen for the players to lose interest.
Final Score: 8/10
That’s it for my review. Have you played this game? Who is your favorite character? What about your favorite ending? Leave a comment below.
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