Announced in a “totally needed” second part of their Pokemon Presents video series, is a brand new team-based competitive strategy game, that’s right folks Pokemon is Going MOBA. Pokemon Unite will be launching on both Switch and Smartphones as a Free to Start title and before you think League of Legends will be shaking in their boots, think again, as the game is being handled by Riot’s parent company, Tencent.
Concerns over big bad Tencent aside, A Pokemon MOBA wasn’t exactly high on anyone’s list after the last presentation showed off Snap and a damn toothbrushing app, people were expecting something bigger, like Let’s Go sequels set in Johto, a Sinoh remake or even more Pokemon included in Sword and Shield, instead we get 11 minutes of this.
Don’t get me twisted and think I dislike the game, my opinions of Unite are similar to that of titles like League, Smite and DOTA 2, as in no opinion what so ever. MOBA’s have always been those types of games where you know them or you don’t, several months ago SNL ran a sketch about eSports where the reporter was covering League and having no idea what was going on screen, while admittedly tone-deaf it did speak to me on some level.
Cut to today with the announcement of Pokemon Unite, and while many people were surprised by the announcement, many more were upset due to both high expectations (or as it’s referred to as “The Direct Cycle”) or simply because the game involves Tencent, an organisation who is no stranger to controversy with their involvement with Riot, Epic Games and just Mainland China in general.
But, with the game launching as a Free to Start title on both the Nintendo Switch and mobile platforms. Pokemon Unite could serve as a great introduction who anyone who has shown interest in the MOBA genre but never known where to get started. Maybe they saw that K/DA music video once or twice (or 700 times) and wanted to know what the fuss was all about, or maybe KillCore, the game at the centre of the YouTube Red series Good Game.
What sets Unite apart is, people know what Pokemon are they know what they can do and if they can help little kids brushing their teeth, then surely they can introduce people to the world of MOBA. Yeah I know that sounds crazy, but its nowhere near as crazy as the amount of hatred that has been directed towards this game. Thousands of tweets angry over the lack of a Sinoh Remake, or Let’s Go Johto or how Nintendo and Game Freak should just “do what the fans want them to make”.
Back in the day, nobody was asking for a Pokemon Photography Simulator but NOW a sequel to Pokemon Snap has been the only thing people have wanted for years. No one was asking for a Pokemon crossover with Tekken, but that game has sold well over 2 million copies over the last few years. For all we know, Pokemon Unite may end up crashing and burning for a whole number of reasons, but the last reason it should fail is because of what it isn’t and sure, Mobile has never been my platform of choice. Hell Nintendo just announced plans to step away from Development on smart devices, but if just given a chance Pokemon Unite could be the next game people spend 20 years begging for a sequel
The founder and Editor in Chief of UnboxedTV. Nintendo lover and not afraid to admit it, can always go for a good Indie Metroidvania with a nice cold Cider.