Tag Archives: pokemon masters

Pokémon Masters Producer Knows His Game Is Boring, Apologizes

Yu Sasaki, producer on mobile game Pokémon Masters, recently issued a public apology for the game’s lack of content. His lengthy statement acknowledges a list of player grievances, which includes poor battle design and usability, and promises to address them.

“We’re disappointed we did not meet the expectations of our community, and for this, we sincerely apologize,” Sasaki explained in a post on the game’s website yesterday. “It’s our intention that this does not happen again. Hearing these opinions from fellow Trainers has deepened our sense of commitment to deliver a game we can call be proud of. Both the development and operations teams are fully committed to improving this game and creating a memorable experience for all fans to enjoy.” Sasaki didn’t share a detailed road map for these promised improvements in the post.

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Pokémon Masters was an almost immediate success upon launching in late August, hitting 10 million downloads in just 10 days and racking up an estimated $25 million in revenue over its first week. Kotaku senior reporter Mike Fahey praised the game in its early days for developing the trainers behind the ubiquitous pocket monsters, along with its non-intrusive microtransactions. Despite belonging to the often-predatory gacha genre in which its developer, DeNA, frequently dabbles, Pokémon Masters makes excellent use of the property it was provided.

Oh, uh, okay
Screenshot: Pokémon Masters via Kotaku

But a mega-popular franchise can only take you so far. Pokémon Masters players were quickly surprised by how little actual content was in the game. While the developers were quick to kick off events featuring new trainers, the main story ends abruptly with an unceremonious “To Be Continued” message, leaving players with little to do afterwards but grind through side missions and tedious online co-op battles with rewards that players felt were, for the most part, not worth the effort.

Players also feel that balancing is an issue. Some trainers are so hilariously overpowered that it’s not worth using anyone else. This led to online matches being full of co-op partners all using the same small group of characters. I don’t have any great affinity for Olivia and her Lycanroc or even series ur-rival Blue and his Pidgeot, but they became mainstays in my team for their overall utility in just about every battle. Pokémon is a franchise that celebrates forming a special connection with those one or two creatures that uniquely suit your interests, but instead of being able to successfully field my favorite trainers—much love, Koga and Crobat—I felt pigeonholed when it came to the mobile game’s more difficult fights.

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“Our goal is to create an experience like the fans witness in that first animated trailer: Gathering iconic sync pairs and tackling touch challenges as you grow and strengthen bonds with your team,” Sasaki wrote. “We felt that by needing to focus too much on specific skills, players felt forced into a situation where all team compositions looked identical, and there was an overall sense that there was only one correct approach for each challenge. “What we hope to create is an environment where fans can partner with their favorite sync pairs and find unique solutions to entertaining challenges.”

An expanded Pokémon Masters team featuring new producer Tetsuya Iguchi is currently working towards releasing more story events and tweaking the game’s reward system. While there are no specifics yet, the fact the producers have made such a public acknowledgement of the game’s issues is promising. I look forward to seeing what changes are made in the future.

Source: Kotaku.com

New Mobile Game Pokémon Masters Is More About People Than Pocket Monsters

In Pokémon Masters, out today for iOS and Android, players recruit famous Pokémon trainers from throughout the series’ 23-year history, creating teams of three and battling through an adventure that feels more like the cartoon than any game that’s come before.

Pokémon games up to now have been mainly focused on the goal of becoming the very best, capturing critters, filling that Pokédex, and taking on the elite four. The ongoing animated series, on the other hand, has focused on trainers like Ash Ketchum and friends and the special bond they share with specific Pokémon. Ash and Pikachu, Misty and Staryu, Brock and Onix—these teams are the stuff of animated Pokémon legends. They’ve appeared in games, sure, but they live in anime. And now they live in Pokémon Masters.

The new game begins with the player, a nameless human partner to Pikachu, joining up with Misty and Brock on the island of Pasio. On Pasio, trainers from across all Pokémon regions compete in the Pokémon Masters League. The goal is the same as it is in many Pokémon games: Players travel the world collecting badges, eventually earning the right to take on the upper echelons of the league. What’s different is that instead of building a large collection of pocket monsters, each trainer is partnered with just a single Pokémon.

There’s no collecting or capturing pocket monsters in Pokémon Masters. Instead, the player collects Sync Pairs, the game’s name for trainers and their set partners. Some trainers, like Misty and Brock, join automatically as the game’s story unfolds. If there’s a big battle against a badge-holding boss trainer at the end of one of the game’s chapters, odds are they’ll be joining the player’s team. The vast majority of the 65 Sync Pairs available at launch are purchased via an in-game market.

Players spend crystals, either earned through play or purchased with real money, for a chance to summon a random new trainer. Should a duplicate be summoned, the existing trainer’s power is enhanced automatically. I’ve played the Sync Pairs gashapon game a dozen times, two of which were doubles. I am pretty sure both of them were Lt. Surge. I hate that guy.

The battles in Pokémon Masters are interesting. Before each fight players form a team of three Sync Pairs. Each pair has a specific elemental type, so the idea is to create a team that’s super-effective against the enemy. The pre-battle screen recommends types for each fight, so it’s normally just a matter of having the right trainers on your team and keeping them leveled through combat or the use of purchased and awarded upgrade items.

Every Sync Pair has abilities that cost energy. There’s an energy meter that fills slowly during battle at the bottom of the screen. The player taps an enemy target, taps the team they want to attack, chooses a skill and, should they have enough energy handy, attacks. Once the player has taken a certain number of actions they can set off a Sync Move, generally a massive attack that does huge damage. The animations for Sync Moves are the best.

Battle continues until one side’s Pokémon have all fainted. Early on in the game, the player’s party is almost guaranteed to be triumphant. The deeper into Pasio players go, however, the harder the fights get. Several hours and six chapters into the game, I find myself losing more often. Nothing to do but farm upgrade items or participate in special training missions to make my team stronger.

I love the way Pokémon Masters’ story unfolds. The game’s chapters are split into a series of segments. Some are battles, pitting the player’s party against groups of three or more enemy trainers. Others are story segments, little animated cutscenes featuring adorable heroes and abominable (but still adorable) villains. Famous trainers get a chance to show off their personalities in ways they don’t get to outside of the anime. It’s nice to get to know these folks better.

Each trainer also gets their own Sync Pair Stories, short narrative asides in which players get a peek at the relationship between trainers and their Pokémon partners. Getting to see new stories makes the idea of spending crystals on summoning new trainers much more enticing. Oh, I suppose that’s how they get you.

I’ve not encountered a lot of pressure to spend real money in Pokémon Masters so far. The game’s been pretty generous handing out currency, and I’ve yet to encounter a fight or event that suggested a Sync Pair of an element I did not possess. As the game goes live and special events start rolling out that could change, but so far I’ve not spent a single cent and I’m perfectly content.

I’ve just got to separate myself from the “gotta catch ‘em all” mentality, which isn’t so hard when I’m collecting people instead of adorable critters. I suppose in Pokémon Masters, the real pocket monsters are the friends you make along the way.

Source: Kotaku.com

Pokémon Masters Brings Real-Time Team Battles To Mobile This Summer

Announced last month and due out on iOS and Android this summer, DeNA’s Pokémon Masters has players forming teams of famous Pokémon trainers and their partners for three-on-three battles on the artificial island of Pasio. Fresh details on the game highlight its strong focus on the trainers behind the Pokémon.

Pokémon Masters is not about catching Pokémon. It’s about catching famous Pokémon trainers from the long-running game series. Rather than forming a team of adorable monsters, each trainer in the game brings a single Pokémon into battle. Water gym master Misty, for example, comes with Staryu. They’re what the game calls “sync pairs”.

Players created teams consisting of three of these sync pairs and take them into battle. Trainers in the game are aiming to become the champion of the Pokémon Masters League. To do this, they must go on a journey across Pasio, collecting badges.

Instead of participating in traditional turn-based Pokémon battles, Pokémon Masters battles are real-time. During battle, a move gauge slowly fills. Pokémon abilities require a certain amount of move gauge to activate. Once the meter hits the right point, moves can be unleashed. Trainers in Pokémon Masters have special battle moves as well, providing support and healing for their partners.

With a planned summer 2019 release and it being summer 2019 right now, we should know how Pokémon Masters plays real soon.

Source: Kotaku.com