Announced a couple of months back, Pokemon Masters has been highly anticipated by fans around the world. I mean, battling alongside your favourite trainers? Who wouldn’t be? Though the game was set for release in August, to our surprise, Pokemon Masters has launched early in Singapore! As such, here are our thoughts on the game so far:
The game itself has a really charming interface that’s easy to navigate. Your “Home page” of sorts in the game is a Pokemon Center, where you can tap on trainers to talk with them, or do other things such as “summon” (recruit) other trainers and upgrade your Pokemon’s skills. That, and your main menu is a Porygon-themed phone (or a “Poryphone”, for short). You get to access missions, edit your profile, so on an so forth.
In terms of recruiting trainers, the game itself is pretty generous, too! Unlike most games, your chances of getting a 5* rarity trainer in Pokemon Masters is 7%. Most games set their chances much lower – usually at about 2%.
With 3D-models and voice acting for every trainer, it’s charming! After all, in the mainline games, these trainers never had voices. It’s nice to hear them speak out their lines, especially since most of their voices are pretty suitable for their respective character.
The story’s simple, really. You, the player character, is on Pasio Island in hopes of taking part in a Trainers’ League. Trainers on Pasio Island operate in Sync Pairs: meaning you won’t have a full team, but instead, one partner Pokemon per trainer. As you might expect, the player’s partner is a Pikachu.
However, to participate in the League, you must have the aid of two other trainers – which is where the Pokemon NPCs come in. The story hence follows the player as they travel around the island (which is mildly reminiscent of Alola) with starting characters Misty and Brock, to find other trainers who might be willing to compete in the League with you.
Along the way, there’s a new team of villains that players will have to fight off, too! We won’t be spoiling anything more on that end, though.
Battling in Pokemon Masters is kind of reminiscent of battling in Pokemon Go. You furiously tap a button in a bid to make your attacks land faster, but in the case of Pokemon Masters, it doesn’t work if your Pokemon doesn’t have the energy to execute the move. There’s a cooldown period for moves, too, so they can’t immediately be used consecutively. Plus, this game isn’t turn-based either – meaning that you either hit or be hit, depending on your own reaction speed and your Pokemon’s attacking speed.
Type-based weaknesses in the mainline games don’t entirely carry over to Pokemon Masters, either. In this particular game, each Pokemon only has one type each that they are weak to – which will be indicated above their HP bar. Attacks of any other type will deal a normal amount of damage – even if the attack would have been considered as super-effective in the regular games.
All this combined makes the game pretty unique and tricky, for you have to consider the timings of moves and the health of all three of your Pokemon. But at the same time, the game is undeniably charming, in that you’re able to battle and talk with your favourite trainers in ways the mainline games never allowed.
Pokemon Masters launches worldwide on August 29, on both the App Store and the Play Store.