Pokemon UNITE (2021-2023)

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Pokémon UNITE
Pokémon UNITE logo.png

Behold, one of Tencent's creations... to make children and Pokémon fans angry.

Genre(s): MOBA
Real-time Strategy
Rating(s): ESRB: 10+
CERO: A
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
iOS
Android
Release: Nintendo Switch
July 21, 2021
Mobile
September 22, 2021
Developer(s): TiMi Studios Group
Publisher(s): The Pokémon Company
Country: China
Series: Pokémon


Pokémon UNITE is a MOBA game released on July 21, 2021 on the Nintendo Switch and September 22, 2021 in mobile devices.

Qualities That Won’t UNITE

  1. To start things off, this is the game developed by the controversial company, Tencent, who developed MOBA games, make "games as a service", and focusing on microtransactions.
  2. While a very subtle problem, this game suffers a poor grasp of source material, with Pokémon fighting with disadvantages, such as Electric types attacking Ground despite the latter type being immune to the former.
  3. The roster is filled with too many all-rounders and attackers, lessening supports and especially speedsters at best.
    • The first post release Speedster (Dodrio), was released more than a year after the game was released. Yes, really in a terrible way possible.
    • Some Pokemon do not fit the roles properly, like Mimikyu, Blaziken, and (in the future) Ceurledge being all-rounders than speedsters, Wigglytuff, Buzzwole, Metagross, and Tyranitar, being a supporter for the former and all-rounders for the latter two than defenders, and Greninja, Dragapult, and Miraidon being attackers rather than speedsters.
  4. The game focuses on microtransactions to buy holowears (which are cosmetic outfits), gems, and boost energy tanks for items and boost emblems.
    • To add salt onto the wound, some of them are way too overpriced. For example, some of them can cost more or the same amount as a game for the Nintendo Switch.
  5. Matchmaking is horrible throughout the game and there is no signs of balancing it because of the balance patches from Pokémon, resulting in having a chance of losing and relying on luck rather than skill.
  6. While events usually focus on unlocking Licenses before, such as a free Tsareena event on December 2021, it only include useless items like 2x Aeos Boost Cards and 2x Aeos Coins Cards, as well as frames, backgrounds, and stickers, used for UNITE snapshots, which are boring to unlock, except for the Legendaries' event where players can roll dice to unlock tokens, and Meowscarada's event where players can get up to 100 petals (making a total of 400 petals) after clearing missions.
  7. Ranked Match is the worst mode due to the tedious gameplay, in which players often lose to the orange enemy team due to the latter's overpowered states.
  8. Before Theia Sky Ruins was announced, Remoat Stadium was one of the worst stages due to the infamous Zapdos ability where players can automatically goal after defeating it.
  9. As Theia Sky Ruins was announced, it was less like Remoat Stadium before the update pushed back to something for the former, with 3 Natus being removed at the top lane and there are 2 Sitrus Berries instead of one, resulting in players getting upset and angry because of its reject.
  10. Quick Battles serve no purpose and do not grant anything but coins and tickets for daily missions, rather than adding them in Ranked so that it would be challenge.
  11. Many of the UNITE Licenses can be bought for 10000+ Aeos Coins, especially Zacian, Mew, and Mewtwo Licenses, where they have 15000 Aeos Coins in total just to grind for more, even though it only takes 2100 coins per week.
  12. As stated on BQ#10, players can only get 2100 Aeos Coins after battles, which is very bad because they wanted to buy for Licenses and Boost Emblem loadouts.
  13. While there are popular Pokémon in the roster, like Lucario, Blaziken, Meowscarada, and Greninja, others like the Kanto Eeveelutions (Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon), Weavile, Sceptile, and a decent amount of Unova Pokemon aren't in the game yet.
    • There are also some missed oppurtunities to add Pokemon.
      • To promote Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, they could've added a Sinnohan Pokemon (e.g a Sinnoh starter, Luxray, Staraptor, Weavile, Toxicroak, Porygon-Z), but they instead added Decidueye, an Alolan Pokemon. Although this could be seen as stealthily promoting Legends Arceus (another Sinnoh game that was coming soon at the time) as Decidueye is in the game, it still isn't likely the case and if it was, it's still not promoting BDSP.
      • A Hisuian Pokemon (e.g a Hisuian starter, Kleavor, Hisuian Zoroark) or at least Sinnohan Pokemon could've been added to celebrate the release of Pokemon Legends Arceus, but Trevenant and Aegislash are the 2 Pokemon released at a similar time to that game and they are both Kalosian Pokemon.
      • When the 2022 World Championships were happening, a Galarian Pokemon (e.g Rillaboom, Inteleon, Obstagoon, Alcremie) could've been released to celebrate it. Roserade could've been released too as one was the official mascot for the event complete with clothes. These clothes could've been added as special Holowear for Roserade. Instead, Tyranitar and Buzzwole were released. Tyranitar and Buzzwole are not Galarian Pokemon or a Roserade. It gets even worse when the Roserade (alongside lots of Galarian Pokemon) were seen on Twitter posts, YouTube videos, and even an in-game event.
        • However, Inteleon was released later on July 4, 2023 instead.
      • They could've had all of the Eeveelutions for the Eevee Festival, but only 5 of them were present (except Jolteon, Vaporeon, and Flareon). You might say "They didn't have time to add in the other Eeveelutions as coding and delevoping new Pokemons takes time", but this could've easily been prevented by adding the Eeveelutions earlier, having more people work on the Pokemon or delaying the event.
      • When the 1st anniversary of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet came out, Meowscarada was added on December instead, it could have been November 18 or 19 to reflect the release date instead. This is too late for a release like this when it comes to a commemoration.
        • This also could be a way to promote the WCS 2023 event as a Sprigatito (Meowscarada's pre-evolution) was one of the mascots alongside the other Paldea starters and a Pikachu, which also makes it way too late as the event happened in August 2023, 4 months before the Meowscarada release.
        • However, if they are doing this to maintain the legacy of Worlds 2023 (which is much more likely to be the case considering the fact that Meowscarada was shown off at Worlds 2023), then it's not an issue because they aren't promoting the now over event itself but rather keeping its legacy alive and showing us that the mascot still remains as it is considered a seperate entity from the event and thus can be reused for other things that aren't promoting its event (like literally any other mascot for any other event, Pokemon event or not).
    • There are missed opportunities in events as well:
      • While the 1st year feature events and decent amount of rewards (Holowears, snapshot decorations, outfits), starting from the 2nd year onwards, they can grant nothing but Item Enhancers, Aeos Tickets, Aeos Coins, Energy Tanks, and generic and boring frames and backgrounds during events.
      • Events based on Battle Pass should have featured unique events like the 1st year Battle Passes and Elegant Style event, but the recent events focuses on generic missions, which are boring to play with.
      • As mentioned in QTWU#6, events should have feature popular Pokemon that can be obtained for free during missions, like Blaziken on September 14, 2023; possibly the biggest offender, and Urshifu, Zoroark, and Mimikyu on holiday events.
      • While not a missed oppurtunity, the Battle Passes used to have unique and clever names (e.g UNITE in the Spotlight). Now, they're named after the Holowear that is the main focus (e.g Phantom Thief Style: Inteleon). Even before that, there is one that uses a generic name, Pokebuki Style, which is just the title based on the holowear for Blastoise.
        • Granted, Mario Kart Tour and Pokemon Masters EX also happen the same purpose of featuring missed opportunities:
          • In MKT's case, Bowser vs DK Tour lacking tracks, RT variants of certain tracks, and drivers, or vice versa, Berlin Tour lacking Berlin-themed contents like gliders and karts, and 2023 New Years Tour lacking Mushroom City in favor of RT variants.
          • In PokeMas EX's case, some stories like A Pasio Spectacle and Alola Villain Arc have poorly-written concepts like Team Break getting tortured and Tapu Sync Pairs, as well as other sync pairs who do not make a chance like Juan, Wattson, Byron, or even Malva.
      • The Stage Style Battle Pass was the worst Battle Pass because of Gardevoir being chosen for it despite it already having a battle pass. Wigglytuff (who is affiliated to singing), Tsareena (who is an Asian-themed Pokemon resembling a mangosteen), or Leafeon (a sort of newcomer at the time who debuted in June 2023 with ONE holowear given before Wanderer Style, which came out nearly 2 months after this Battle Pass) would've been better than Gardevoir. Snorlax also appears in that Battle Pass despite having 15 holowears.
  14. False Advertisings:
    • The game's cinematic intro features Pokémon having their voices, but in the game, they use cries instead; except Pikachu, whose voice is heard throughout the game.
    • Throughout the UNITE Weekend, which appears during the first week of the month, starting on August 2023 onwards, it allows players to get more Aeos Coins, but it does not appear at all, and instead replaces it with pointless Platinum Emblems.
    • Blaziken was seen in the 2nd anniversary artwork, which ran on July 22 to September 7, 2023, despite not appearing in that event until it was released on September 14, 2023.
    • Noble Style Umbreon was seen in the Halloween 2023 trailer with Mimikyu, yet, it does not showcase at all.
    • Not counting Dark Lord Mewtwo, since it is featured in its own trailer, Fashionable Zeraora and Brown Tea Party Style Glaceon do not showcase in the Meowscarada trailer. It only features it and its Phantom Thief Holowear instead.
      • However, Holiday Goodra and Dark Magician Dragapult do appear in their respective showcase trailers, despite not appearing in Meowscarada trailer. Though it applies to the Japanese Twitter (X) account.
    • Eevee Day post is seen in the Japanese Twitter (X) account, but not worldwide due to it being a Japan-only occasion. However, it does not feature the return of Eevee Festival.

UNITED Qualities

  1. The concept of making a MOBA game for Pokémon is a cool idea, despite the somewhat poor execution.
    • The lore of the game is quite interesting and has a cool concept. In fact, more of it (e.g how Theia Sky Ruins was found) gets revealed in the official manga.
  2. Beautiful graphics for Nintendo Switch and impressive for mobile devices, most of the Pokémon models are very smooth and vertices are unable to be seen, it's even better than Pokémon: Scarlet and Violet and the other Pokémon games on Nintendo Switch, outside of Let's Go games.
  3. The animations for the Pokémon are unique, unlike the 3D mainline games and Pokémon Masters EX, as they can move freely while preparing for combat.
  4. The game introduces Unite Moves, which are powerful moves that can grant shield and stats for respective roles, such as attackers grant attack power, but less shield, and defenders grant defense and stronger shield.
  5. Players can get more Aeos Coins during Daily Missions, and on Mondays' case, Score Challenge, where players can get 200 Aeos Coins after battle.
  6. Boost Emblems are a cool addition to boost stats for Pokémon, which were implemented on the 1st anniversary with Glaceon.
  7. The cinematic intro is nice and there are other Pokémon who have voices, despite being false advertising.
  8. Starting on 2024, the game improves to a much better gameplay by implementing Draft Picks on Ranked, but it does not help save the game's reputation regardless.
    • However, it happened first on December 2023, with the improvements in matchmaking and EX licenses for Legendaries.
  9. The Pokemon that come to the game vary a lot, allowing for both underrated Pokemon (e.g Dodrio, Trevenant, Greedent, Cramorant, Azumarill) and popular Pokemon (e.g the upcoming Ceruledge, Blaziken, Zoroark, Mimikyu) to get attention.

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