Pokémon Masters EXby Mikhail Sep 26, 2020 | 1 Votes | 80 Played | 0 Reviews
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Pokémon and gacha games are a perfect mix. After all, the franchise has hundreds of Pokémon and trainers to collect.
This is what Pokémon Masters EX managed to perfect. The game is a traditional character collector with real-time combat elements which isn’t far too different when compared to the traditional Pokémon games. In a way, it manages to build on the franchise, creating a cohesive story with chapter-based sets of adventures while taking full advantage of the many characters and Pokemon players can collect.
Though the gameplay and overall feel is a far cry from the mainline games, Gamefreak can learn a thing or two from this DeNa Co-developed game. It’s not a low-effort title where the devs plastered the Pokémon into the game, but a well-made experience and a journey worth undertaking.
Whether you’re a Pokémon or otherwise, Pokémon Masters EX is a must-play. Why? Well, let’s take a look at what it has to offer before you start your journey to be the very best:
Pokémon Masters EX takes place in the artificial island of Pasio, the site of the Pokémon Masters League. Apparently, all trainers across all regions have come together to compete - even gym leaders and elite 4 members. It wouldn’t be weird to see Celadon City Gym Leader Erika interacting with Rosa and Skyla from Unova. You’ll take the mantle of a new trainer guided by Misty and Brock, and gather more members to your team when you play through the chapter-based story where the main goal is to gather all five PML badges to compete in the league.
Apparently, not only trainers are on the island, but also the nefarious Team Break and the rather conceited Lear, owner of Pasio. You’ll have to deal with them in the Main Story chapters which you’ll spend most of your time on. Many of the events also include other characters like Lusamine and Team Rocket, as well as fighting legendary Pokémon. Playing through them will give you various rewards.
Instead of collecting Pokémon, you’ll collect trainers AND their main Pokémon, called sync pairs. For example, your team composition may include Blue and Blastoise, Sabrina and Alakazam, and Lance and Dragonite. It’s actually a fantastic formula that brings the franchise’s new and old characters together, making it a complete Pokémon experience on your fingertips.
The main draw of Pokémon Masters EX is, of course, its hybrid real-time and turn-based battles. You’ll bring in a team of three in battles and story missions, and every Pokémon will have two attacks and two special abilities which take the form of buffs like increased SP. Atk for all team members and critical hit. Meanwhile, attacks are mainly elemental in nature and to perform them, there’s a bar gauge that automatically fills up on the bottom of the screen. Performing attacks requires a certain number of bars. It’s always a strategic decision whether to attack now or charge it up for a more devastating one in the future.
Much like the mainline games, affinities play a major role in Pokémon Masters EX. However, the Pokémon will only have one strength and weakness compared to their multifaceted versions on the console and handheld games. Moreover, status afflictions like paralyze, poison, and burn are present and can change the flow of battle. This is because the game uses a “class” system when deciding the role of a sync pair. For example, the Blue and Blastoise pair can act as a tank which can easily absorb attacks like a sponge, but is fairly vulnerable to burn and poison.
Considering that it’s a free-to-play game, Pokémon Masters EX uses has tons of microtransactions. There are two types of gems: paid and non-paid. Thankfully though, the gacha’s draw odds seem fair since I’ve managed to snag two five-star sync pairs in two 11-scout draws. The game also uses an energy system, but it’s fairly generous handing these out so you’ll be able to play for extended hours. You can also hatch eggs, but these take time to hatch, though you can shorten them with berries.
Unfortunately, Pokémon Masters EX makes itself a bit more complicated due to the wide range of items that you have to use in order to upgrade your sync pairs. There’s so many elements you have to take note of to the point that it could take all the fun away. It could have been better if these elements were streamlined.
For a Pokémon game, it’s kind of weird that it doesn’t have PvP. It’s mainly a singleplayer experience. However, the game does have a large community online, mainly on Discord and Reddit where you can get tips and tricks from the veterans.
Pokémon Masters EX’s presentation is one of its outstanding elements. The 3D models even rival even that of the mainline Pokémon Sword and Shield versions on the Nintendo Switch (where I spent hundreds of hours on). Plus, it even has one major aspect that the main games sorely miss: voice acting. The character voices bring so much personality into the characters and immersion into the game. It’s just hard to figure out why they haven’t done this in any of the main games.
Overall, Pokémon Masters EX is a sublime and full Pokémon experience on mobile and a must-play for long-time fans and those new to it alike. Its fast-paced combat brings in a lot of fun while the sheer number of characters it gathers adds to the immersion and appeals to the nostalgia factor. Topping it all of is its outstanding presentation which rivals that of the main games.
Give it a shot and start your bid to become a part of the PML Hall of Fame.