Pokemon has become an unprecedented success, becoming the world’s most successful media franchise ever. While the franchise started within Nintendo consoles and handhelds, the 21st century called for their games to also make the same impact on mobile phones. This lead to the phenomenon of Pokemon Go and reintroduction of the franchise to younger audiences. If you were part of the 90s Pokemon craze and are craving for a more traditional Pokemon gaming experience, then Pokemon Masters might just be the game for you.
For those who are familiar with mobile games, Pokemon Masters is for the most part, a “gacha” game, meaning that you earn new characters and Pokemon by drawing them randomly through spending in-game currency. From the get-go, you’ll create your own character, who naturally has a Pikachu by their side, and just like the anime, you’ll be joined by Brock and Misty, along with their signature Pokemon. With that, you’ll go through 18 story chapters taking place on the island of Pasio.
Battling is a lot more like traditional Pokemon games, skewing Pokemon Go’s swipe and touch gameplay, instead having you manage a party of 3 Pokemon trainers, all with unique skills, strengths, and weaknesses. The battles are faster paced compared to what you’ll see in the mainline games due to having all Pokemon from your party and the opposing party duking it out all at once. Knowing when to do the right moves at the right time is crucial to winning a battle.
Mechanics like Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves from newer generations of Pokemon, all return in the form of Sync Moves, which are super-powerful attacks that every Pokemon can do after 9 moves or so. Pulling one off at a crucial moment is the key to victory.
Unlike most gacha games, what makes the characters in this game a lot more compelling is due to the fact that most gamers would have grown up with the Pokemon games, and most of the time, the Gym Leaders and Elite Four members are characters that stood out.
The game is pretty generous with giving you enough Gems to get new characters, though you definitely have to grind it out to get more chances. The game also has specific dialogue and missions with every character, letting you find out more about your favourite Pokemon character way more than the original games allowed you to.
Overall, Pokemon Masters is the perfect mobile game for long-time and diehard Pokemon fans, with a lot of callbacks and references to the main series of games and even the long-running anime series. It may not be the best place for newcomers to get their start into Pokemon, but it is definitely welcoming to those eager to learn more of the Pokemon series. The gacha mechanics is not as bad as some other mobile games, but can be grating if you want to get the characters you really want. If anything, it is a great celebration of the Pokemon franchise that can be enjoyed wherever you go.