2003: A little trip down the memory lane:
Pokemon is more than most of us recognize it to be. An anime that aired on Cartoon Network during our childhood. No, it is a worldwide culture, a brethren and community that are intertwined with each generation of the handheld games by Nintendo that kick-started the journey back in 1996.
Personally, the word Pokemon spawns all the memories I had put behind me. From the first interactions I had with these pocket monsters on Cartoon Network on a summer evening of 2003, to this day in 2019 which I still have my favorite Pokemon game ROMs on my phone to emulate and play on the go.
In India, unfortunately the games and the wide universe of Pokemon was only known by the shadow of the anime. It was only back in 2016 which swirled a huge revolution that shook not only India but also the world.
2016: The hero we all needed and deserved:
Pokemon Go, was thy dubbed. That reignited my childhood naïve dream of becoming a ‘Pokemon Master’ to search far and wide and become the very best (see what I did there?). It was basically a smartphone game developed by Niantic labs and heavily collaborated with “The Pokemon Company” (Which consists of Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures) that involved people to actually get up off their couch, chair, bed or whatever they used to game on and get into the real world to look for Pokemon and catch them. It used modern Augmented Reality visuals and GPS for tracking, a total breakthrough in how people played Pokemon. And boy it was well received, it was an explosion. Old, young, teens, adults, parents, who not? You name it and you can have an example of each playing Pokemon Go.
2019: Something for the old fans.
23 years since the advent of Pokemon. Me, belonging to the generation Pokemon was initially targeted to, was happy with Pokemon Go, but somewhere inside it felt not very Pokemon like. It was like a Pokemon simulation totally lacking the arcade feel. We as a nice of fans didn’t complain but wanted something more related to the O.G. series.
29th August of 2019, we were blessed with another Pokemon game app. This time developed by DeNA, the team behind Super Mario Run (if you don’t know what this is, no point to continue) and Fire Emblem Heroes. It is currently available for iOS, iPadOS and Android.
Now, all about Pokemon Masters:
The setting is in the island of ‘Pasio’ where the Pokemon Masters League takes place. The multiplayer nature of the game demands you to form a team with 3 trainers and their Pokemon and their Pokemon buddies. The a 3v3 battle occurs against other team (or AI) in real time. You’ll also meet many familiar faces from the franchise. You can say the new game doesn’t emphasize much on the goal of becoming the very best, filling the Pokedex or taking on elite four.
You still must roam the world and collect badges to earn the right to take on the upper echelons of the league. But contrary to the OG series, you only have one Pokemon with you instead of six.
You however cannot catch or collect Pokemon here, you rather collect sync pairs, or simply your partners and you. There are boss battles too, and they might end up being your sync pair as well.
There are in-game purchases in form of crystals that you can earn or buy to spawn a random new trainer.
Before a battle, you need to select 3 Pokemon and form a line-up that could be most effective against the opponent’s line-up for super-effective moves for type advantage.
Every sync pair has abilities that consume energy that fills gradually during battle. The player taps an enemy target, taps the team they want to attack, chooses a skill and, should they have enough energy handy, attacks. After a certain number of actions, the players can initiate a Sync move (that come with awesome animations).
When one side runs out of Pokemon, the other party wins. Winning seems easy in the beginning but the deeper you progress the harder it gets. So, this initiates the grind to make your team stronger.
The story is well put, and I personally loved the way it unfolds, the cut-scenes with the characters are just a joy to watch as an age-old fan, the battles pitting you against enemies, the upgraded animations. Seriously, my words are not doing justice to the nostalgia and amusement this game has brought to me. Rather, let me just put two images side by side to let you all realise what this evolution feels like to us.
You can download the game for free from Play Store for Android or App Store for iOS/iPad–OS