The free-to-play Pokemon MOBA concept may sound like some people will come true to their dreams, while others will get shameless cash. As a longtime fan of both Pokemon and Dota 2, I wondered if Pokemon Unite could successfully combine the best parts of these different gaming worlds, but how much fun this mobile fighter really is. Seeing that, my skepticism turned into joy. .. At least for a while. Unfortunately, Pokemon Unite only partially sticks to the landing, making it a fun casual MOBA with some suspicious microtransactions and little interest in pushing the boundaries of the genre.
The premise of Pokemon Unite is immediately recognizable to anyone who has glanced at MOBAs in the last decade. That is, two teams of five players, two symmetrical lanes scattered with automatic defense towers, and a “jungle” full of neutral enemies. Space around the center and edges. Each player controls one Pokemon directly from a decent roster of 21 (including favorites such as Greninja and Garchomp) that grows stronger as the match progresses. Collide along the lane, kill the enemy, push towards the enemy’s tower, and one team is forced back to the base to helplessly watch the tower collapse.
Pokemon Unite: All playable Pokemon
Except what they don’t actually Autumn for Unite. Rather than ending with a spectacular destruction of the enemy base, the unite match is played on a 10-minute timer, and the team that gets the most points before the buzzer sounds is the winning team. These points, called Eos Energy, are collected by defeating wild Pokemon that spawn around the map and are banked by sinking them into the enemy team’s goal zone in Space Jam style. This is a united version of the tower that protects each lane. It’s a cute spin of established genre mechanics, but the simplicity of match timers and these static purposes is like playing the same game over and over, no matter which Pokemon I choose. I felt like it.
I soon began to notice the similarities between Unite and another MOBA that tried to make this genre more accessible. Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm has been quietly plugged in since its development was delayed in 2018. Both games have similar simplifications for character progression. Each Unite Pokemon has access to two activated skills during the match (in addition to two sets of passives and the ultimate ability to charge slowly). As you level up, each activated skill branches into one of two options, allowing you to lightly customize your playstyle in the middle of the match. At level 8, we’ll cover Cinderace, a speedy ranged attacker who can choose between the damaging dash attack Flame Charge or the best evasion buff Feint for outplay. This simplified system gives you slimmer customization options compared to games like League of Legends and Dota 2, but each Pokemon is at least different from other Pokemon within these tough limits. I feel like. Play style in just a few games.
After playing for an hour or two, Pokemon will have access to three reserved item slots and battle items. This adds the pre-match depth required for the exact A / B nature of leveling. You can bring leftovers, shellbells, and potions into battle to give them additional healing with a pinch, or use X-attacks, scope lenses, and muscle bands to increase the chances of Pokemon burst damage. There is also a handy option to see which build is being used by high level players. All Pokemon are assigned to different roles such as Defender and All Around, but with the right approach, many can get out of the playstyle they intended. For example, the hosting item is impactful enough that the Support Pokemon Eldegos can use its superior speed and healing skills to become a formidable fighter. This is a rewarding level of flexibility for players who like to try out unique builds.
Once you find the Pokemon and build that suits you, the actual PVP combat is very satisfying. There are plenty of opportunities to outperform and betray your opponents using a combination of your skills, items, and the terrain itself. Escaping a sudden gunk or wiping out an enemy team with a well-placed ultimate is just as satisfying as any other MOBA (although it can literally ruin a 10-year-old day). Seems to be much higher). It’s even more fun when you’re pulling these moves with your friends using the matchmaking system in the lobby.
Thankfully, Unite’s quick matches, small maps, and low cooldowns offer plenty of glorious combat opportunities, but good personal performance doesn’t always lead to overall success. The more Aeos energy you collect, the longer it will take the animation to dunk it. This can be canceled by taking damage. It’s frustrating to dominate the lane, build a healthy supply of Aeos, and be locked out of the score with a minimum attack from the opposing team. Perhaps by design, Unite is encouraged to move with the team, find a purpose, and fight as a unit. This facilitates the basics of good teamwork, but it significantly lacks strategic diversity, especially if there is only one map in the ranking mode. This leads to my biggest complaints about Unite and another problem I share with the Heroes of the Storm. The purpose of the map is too powerful to ignore.
In games like Dota 2, there are many ways to win. Even small decisions such as the team to draft, the lane composition, and where to place the ward will create the story of the match. In Unite, too many games simply land on Zapdos, a powerful wild Pokemon that appears in the center of the map in the last few minutes of the game. Whichever team hits the deadly, you’ll be given a lot of Aeos energy and the ability to score instantly in a short amount of time. Coupled with the decision to score double points in the same period, this advantage is not negligible, resulting in an insurmountable victory for the leading team, an immediate comeback to the following teams, and no time left for response. .. Unite’s short match time alleviates some of that pain, but it’s still painful to see your fierce fight collapse in one bad engagement.
Of course, this kind of last-minute swing can occur in many multiplayer games, but it’s sometimes awkward controls that Unite causes unique frustration at these high-pressure moments, and literally one of the controls. The part is lost. Currently, Unite can only be played on the Switch controller. With an impressive smooth scheme, it’s the easiest way to get a MOBA you’ve ever played. Even the most inexperienced players should be able to understand the basics of movement, attack, and use of abilities, thanks to a useful (and sometimes overwhelming) user interface.
However, the absence of a cursor means that it relies on “smart” targeting to determine the character’s behavior using a set of customizable options embedded in the settings. Even after adjusting these options, Pokemon can choose to target enemy tanks instead of escaping healers, or skill reticle snaps to nearby wild Pokemon instead of approaching gunkers. I noticed that there is sex. In dire moments, like the Zapdos battle mentioned above, this unlucky targeting can be a deciding factor for the entire game, wondering which options need to be switched to prevent future flukes. think.
Some of these complaints may be a bit deep in the tall grass of the game, which clearly wants to be an introduction for beginners in this genre-and almost instantly I’ve ever experienced. Based on the cue time of, that angle seems to be doing a good job of attracting people. (Wired connections generally make the online experience much smoother and also have a very nice feature of reconnecting after disconnecting or a rare game crash.) 3v3 and 4v4 Quicks aren’t even more complicated. .. Match mode featuring smaller maps and slimmer goals to make the battle really shine. However, excessive dedication to Unite’s simplicity can feel insensitive rather than accessible.
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For example, the scores of neither team are not displayed during the match, so how close the game is is a mystery to the end. There is no indication of which attacks do physical or special damage, and item descriptions can be ambiguous as well. Also, six in-game tutorials are a good way to get started, but MOBA beginners are ready because they don’t cover some of Unite’s unique core concepts such as lane allocation, jungle, and teleport. Is not …
Unite’s rug menu, reward passes, and labyrinth of customization options continue to cause confusion outside of the match. After spending a deep dive into Battle Pass and daily rewards, you need to understand how to use 5 different currencies in one of the 3 different in-game stores. The “Bill All” option for quest rewards and the simplified storefront are stunning for navigation, but Pokemon Unite is happy to follow industry norms rather than imagine a better way.