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Ten Pokemon Who Are Fighting Fit and Would Fit Right into Pokken

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After a long wait, Pokken Tournament is finally out and I couldn’t be more pleased with the game. Gorgeous visuals, a unique blend of mechanics, smooth online play, engaging single player, and a strong cast of fighters all ensure that I won’t be putting my controller down anytime soon. With such a well-balanced, fun roster of Pokémon to battle with, however, it’s hard not to crave more. While the Big N has remained pretty zip-lipped about downloadable content since release, a fan can still hope that more unique fighters will make their way into the game, especially with such an enormous library to choose from! Tasked with coming up with five fighters I’d like to see, with so many amazing selections, I couldn’t help but double the order. Here are my top ten hopes for DLC fighters in Pokken Tournament.

10. Poliwrath

Poliwrath

While the first generation of Pokémon is overrepresented in Pokken, and rightfully so, this Pokémon rarely gets any attention. Poliwrath was the first choice of my co-host on the Game Boys Podcast over at Quad Nine, and since he mentioned it, the choice seems both fitting and resolves the issue of their only being one water-type Pokémon in the game. With ranged water moves but the capable of fierce close combat combos (fitting in consideration of his fighting type), Poliwrath could be a unique, well-rounded Pokémon rarely featured elsewhere, and with a unique move set to round out the character.

9. Zoroark

Zoroark

In many ways the focal point of the underrepresented fifth generation, Zoroark was to generation five what Lucario was to generation four: a powerful, non-legendary Pokémon heavily featured both in and out of games, with a killer design and a whole lot of potential. My only hesitation with this choice is that his signature ability, Illusion, which makes Zoroark appear like a different Pokémon from the player’s party, seems like it couldn’t be left out. Even if ignored, Zoroark boasts some nasty dark attacks not featured before the fifth generation, and could keep Chandelure company as another Unova region Pokémon. It still feels weird that I am promoting a different Pokémon, and not Chandelure, which would’ve certainly been a choice of mine had it not already been featured in the game. Crazy awesome turn of events!  But Chandelure thankfully made it into the game, and here’s to hoping Zoroark does as well.

8. Pinsir

Mega Pinsir

I promise some of this list will get more obvious the further you go down, but hear me out on this one. While (again) over a fourth of Pokken‘s characters are from the Kanto Region, their popularity and brilliant design make this choice only appropriate, and the addition of this particular one could be quite ensnaring. Pinsir would be a fascinating choice not only because of his bug type, representing an unrepresented type in the main roster thus far but also because of his signature pincers. It would be fun to see this Pokémon fight with his head and see a Pokémon that emphasizes grabs. Plus, with an amazing Mega Evolution that looks like a Godzilla villain, it’s hard not to want to see this bug in a new light!

7. Ampharos

Ampharos

Speaking of lights! With only one-second generation Pokémon in the game and two electric types, both of which are Pikachu, Ampharos could cure a couple of glitches in the game. His unique design would be fascinating to see in a fight. Plus, Ampharos, classified as the “light Pokémon,” while being statistically fierce and fleecy, now has a new Mega Evolution to make him even more vicious. Sure, he might seem a little sheepish, but I’m sure that given the right treatment, Ampharos could be Ampherocious.

6. Toxicroak

Toxicroak

The second (but not final) frog on my list is Toxicroak. While the fourth generation is pretty well represented, Toxicroak’s design and typing make it an ideal fit for the game. Not only is Toxicroak a poison-type, as the name might suggest, but also a fighting type, of which there can’t be enough of in Pokken. With poison barbs on its fists and a deadly point on its head, Toxicroak could be a prickly opponent, especially when spitting poison at players from range. Toxicroak is an incredibly cool, well-liked Pokémon, and one very deserving of a spot within Pokken Tournament‘s ranks. In my opinion, its inclusion would be totally awesome.

5. Greninja

Greninja

For being the most common type of Pokémon, water-type get their single representation in Pokken in the form of Suicune, which is weird, to say the least, especially since Greninja seems like such an obvious fit for this game. Sure, that Pokémon is featured pretty prominently, but for good reason, as Greninja is considered by many sources to be the most popular Pokémon of the sixth generation. Not only could Greninja bring another water fighter to the game, but provide another exciting character from Pokémon X and Y, of which Braixen is the only main fighter so far. Someone needs to hop on this! Greninja and his Water Shuriken would undoubtedly fit right into Pokken Tournament.

4. Scizor

Scizor

The second generation of Pokémon is criminally under-represented in Pokken Tournament, with one representative in Suicune (again)! Scizor seems like a logical remedy to that, with his notable defense all the more notable by the punch he packs. It’s easy to imagine the bug/steel type Pokémon joining the Pokken ranks, and his Synergy Burst practically writes itself as Scizor comes complete with a Mega Evolution. If you ask me, Scizor seems up to the task of both providing another Johto Region Pokémon to the roster of Pokken and demonstrating to the world what bug Pokémon are all about.

3. Aegislash

Aegislash

Between Gengar and Chandelure, there are actually more ghost-type Pokémon in the game than I anticipated, which is really cool since it’s my favorite type. There aren’t, however, enough sixth-generation Pokémon. That’s where Aegislash comes in. What’s unique about Aegislash is that its form changes as it battles as a result of its ability, Stance Change. It begins in its defensive stance, shield forward, and then switches to attack stance when on the offensive. This could be a fascinating factor in a fighting game, and it would be exciting to see the way this ability could be used in a fighting game. Perhaps a certain combo could switch its stance, or a certain button and direction could implement a form change rather than a move. Plus, watching the way the Pokémon moves in Pokémon X and leads me to believe that seeing it in action in a game like Pokken Tournament would be remarkable, and creating a character with another level of strategy, like a form change, could give players a true (hon)edge over the competition!

2. Hawlucha

Hawlucha

This choice absolutely speaks for itself.  If Hawlucha was the evolution of Combusken, Blaziken’s pre-evolution, I would spend a lot less time making fun of the character for being a weird man-chicken and way more time using him. As it stands, Hawlucha is a brilliant, one of a kind, ever-basic work of art. I absolutely love his design, and the fact that he didn’t make it into the game when the likes of Pikachu Libre did is severely disappointing, especially in consideration of the fact that there is, again, only one sixth-generation Pokémon in the game, that being Braixen. Hawlucha’s flying/fighting typing would add another combatant to the flying team at this point comprised of only Charizard while simultaneously representing some of the best designs Kalos Region has to offer, especially since I don’t think too much of Braixen in terms of character design (sorry). If any Pokémon belongs in a fighting game, it’s the guy classified as the wrestling Pokémon: Hawlucha.

1. Darkrai

Darkrai

With Weavile the only dark-type Pokémon in the game, the type could use another representative, one who could give Mewtwo a run for his money and be a real nightmare to all of the rest of the competition too. I am of course talking about Darkrai, which comes as no surprise to those who know me, as Darkrai is my favorite Pokémon. However, I don’t list Darkrai at number one because he is my favorite, but because I fervently believe he belongs in the game. Darkrai is statistically one of the fastest Pokémon in the franchise, with a special attack stat that should make opponents tremble. His signature move, Dark Void, and ability, Bad Dreams, just begs to be made into a Synergy Burst. Imagine a cross between Gengar and Weavile and you have a pretty solid idea of how a character like this should play: quick, relentless, and with a design cool enough to rival Shadow Mewtwo. Nintendo, make my dreams come true and add Darkrai to Pokken Tournament.

***

That’s my list, and let me just say that with 708 choices outside of those included in the game, the competition was incredibly fierce. Some honorable mentions are due, so trying to fight there way on to my list were Feraligatr, Gallade, Genesect, and Pangoro. It’s worth mentioning again that this list attempts to further represent Pokémon types and generations underrepresented by Pokken Tournament. But that’s just my list; what’s yours look like? Think your list could crush mine in a fight? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in Ferrum, Poke-fans!

Tim is not the droids you are looking for. He resides quietly in the Emerald City where he can often be found writing, reading, watching movies, or playing video games. He is the Xbox editor for Goomba Stomp and the site's official Pokémon Master.

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Games

PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.

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Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.

Unpacking

Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.

Infernax

Infernax

Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.

Infernax

Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Games

Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.

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Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

Animated GIF

Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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PAX Online: ‘Inkulinati’ and ‘Pumpkin Jack’

The PAX Online celebrations continue with the strategy game, Inkulinati, and spooky Halloween themed Pumpkin Jack.

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Inkulinati and Pumpkin Jack

The PAX Online celebrations continue with a strategy game whose tales are writ in ink and a game sure to put you in an early Halloween mood.

Inkulinati

Inkulinati

Platforms: Switch and Steam
Release: 2021

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Competitive strategy games stress me out. Chess? Stresses me out. Checkers? Stresses me out. Star Craft? Stresses me out. Managing that stress as a form of stimulation is what makes the best strategy games shine, though, and Inkulinati is so far demonstrating all the facets of such a game.

The titular Inkulinati are masters of a craft that brings their inked creatures to life on parchment, including a caricature of themselves. The two Inkulinati do written battle with each other until only one is left standing. The battles are carried out in a charming medieval art style that looks like it was taken straight out of a manuscript you’d find carefully stored in a library. These aren’t the masterpieces of Da Vinci or Van Gogh, but the kinds of scribbles you’d find the layman making on the edges of pages either out of boredom or mischievousness. The playful art makes for a playful tone and jolly times.

The core thrust of the gameplay is that each Inkulinati utilizes ink points to conjure units, or “creatures”, onto the parchment in a turn-based manner and sends them into the fray. There were a fair amount of creatures available in the demo — ranging from a simple swordsdog with well-rounded stats to a donkey capable of stunning foes with its trusty butt trumpet. Many many more creature types are promised in the full game, but I found even with the limited selection of the demo the gameplay was still able to be showcased well.

Your primary Inkulinati also has some tricks up its depending on the type you’ve chosen to take into battle. Instant damage to or healing a unit were the two shown off in the demo, as well as being able to shove units. Shoving is particularly useful as you can push enemies into the hellfires that encroach the battlefield as the battle wages on, instantly defeating them.

Doing battle with an opponent it all well and good, but what’s the point if it’s not immortalized for generations to experience down the line? Inkulimati understands this need and will record every single action of the battlefield in written word. It’s infinitely charming, and the amount of variations in how to say what amounts to just “X unit attacked Y enemy” is astonishing. How can you not chuckle at, “Powerful Morpheus killed the enemy and may those who failed to witness this live in constant pain and regret”?

Pumpkin Jack

Pumpkin Jack

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam
Release: Q4 2020

Halloween may be a little over a month away but that didn’t stop the 3D action platformer Pumpkin Jack getting me in the spookyween mood. The human realm is suffering from the Devil’s curse and have elected the aid of a wizarding champion to save them from it. Not to be outdone, the Devil also chooses his own champion to stop the wizard, choosing the despicable spirit Jack. With the tasty reward of being able to pass on from hell, Jack dons his pumpkin head and a wooden & straw body on his quest to keep the world ruined. The premise sounds slightly grim but make no mistake that this is a goofy game through and through, a fact only emphasized by a brilliant opening narration dripping with sarcasm and morbid glee.

The demo took us through Pumpkin Jack‘s first stage, a dilapidated farmland full of ambient lanterns abandoned storehouses. The visuals are compliments by a wonderfully corny soundtrack full of all the tubas, xylophones, and ghost whistles one would expect a title that is eternally in the Halloween mood.

We got the basics of traversal, like dodge rolling and double jumps, before coming upon a terrified murder of crows. Turns out their favorite field has been occupied by a dastardly living scarecrow and they want Jack to take care of it. One crow joins Jack on his quest, taking the form of a projectile attack that he can sic on enemies. Jack also obtains a shovel he can use to whack on the animated skeletons with a simple three-hit combo. There’s nothing particularly standout about the combat, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be this early on. More weapons such as a rifle and scythe are promised in the full game and should go a way towards developing the combat along with more enemy variety.

Pumpkin Jack

Collectible crow skulls also dot the map and seem to be cleverly hidden as even when I felt like I was carefully searching the whole stage I had only found 12 out of 20 by the end. Their purpose is unknown in the demo, so here’s hopping they amount to something making me want to find those last eight in the full version.

After accidentally lighting a barn ablaze and escaping in a dramatic sequence we came across the scarecrow in question. Defeating it was a rather simple affair that was just a matter of shooting it out of the air with the crow then wailing on it with Jack’s shovel. We were awarded a new glaive-type weapon as a reward but unable to give it a whirl in the demo, unfortunately. All-in-all, Pumpkin Jack shows promise as a follow-up to action 3D platformers of yore like Jak & Daxter, so here’s hoping to a solid haunting when it releases later this year.

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