Pokémon Unite: The game that rose to popularity in a flash

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Rafael Oliveira, Editor, Writer

Pokémon. It has lit millions of people’s screens around the globe since its release. It all started with Pokémon Red and Green on the Game Boy. Memorable characters, lovable Pokémon, and an adventure you’ll never forget. The game is all about- wait, this isn’t my essay on Pokémon’s history? Oh. Well, let’s try this again.

I am an avid Pokémon fan. I have Pokémon HeartGold and Platinum on my 3DS, I own 10 Pokémon ROMs on my emulator, and I love Scizor. So one day in August, I was downstairs, browsing the Nintendo EShop, and I came across Pokémon Unite in “New Releases.” I thought to myself, What’s this? Pokémon Unite? It sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I also remembered seeing it in a game trailer the day before. So I downloaded it, went through the tutorial, fought against the Wartortle I wouldn’t play as until September, and chose Pikachu. I love Blastoise. but I selected Pikachu because when I defeated Wartortle, I knew I would play as Blastoise. Wartortle evolves into Blastoise and all Pokémon start as their unevolved forms in this game. In his case, his unevolved form is Squirtle, who evolves into Wartortle. For those of you who played the game, you know the drill. There was a time constraint that Blastoise’s data was in the game, but wasn’t playable. So I got Pikachu as my starter. Anyways, I hopped into my first game, and I wasn’t too impressed. I played a few more, though, and I fell in love with the game! 

For some info on the game, Pokémon Unite is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Ten Pokémon trainers jump into an arena, and there are two teams. Matches last 10 minutes each, and the victor is decided by how many points you’ve scored. Each Pokémon starts as their unevolved form at level 1 and grows by defeatingé. Each Pokémon starts with two moves that change by leveling up. For example, Charmander starts with Flame Burst and Fire Spin. When he reaches Level 5, he evolves into Charmeleon and can upgrade Flame Burst into Flamethrower or Fire Punch. When Pokémon achieve level 9 or 10, they get access to their Ultra-Strong Unite Move. Unite Moves are unique to every Pokémon, and they cause a ton of damage and additional effects, like sending you up into the sky, increasing your movement speed, or creating a portal! All of this may not sound as fun as I’m describing, but after finding a playstyle you like, you won’t be able to stop playing! This game truly is for anyone and everyone. However, winning battles isn’t how you win the game. No, you have to score Aeos Energy into the enemy’s goal zones. You collect Aeos Energy by defeating Wild Pokémon, Trainer’s Pokémon, or Boss Pokémon. When a goal zone reaches its limit, it will break, and the goal zone behind it will become accessible. Boss Pokémon will appear at certain moments in the match, and defeating them will give your team a considerable advantage. 

Outside of regular battles, there are also Ranked matches, where you compete to be the best in the world. Quick games are on smaller maps with less time. But battling isn’t everything on Pokémon Unite. There’s also an economic system where you can buy Pokémon, clothes for your trainer, and even new Holowear. Holowear is a fashion piece, but for Pokémon instead. They come up with some unique designs, and each one is unique to each Pokémon! Now, the game came out in August, and at the time this article is being read, it’s April. But the game is receiving updates and special events all the time. Around Christmas time, they released two modes and a free Pokémon. Speaking of Pokémon, there are so many to choose from, and all the fan favorites are included! Pokémon like Charizard, Garchomp, Lucario, Gardevoir, Absol, and Sylvoen made their way into the game, with more on the way. The newest character as of right now is Duraludon, the Ranged Attacker. What’s an attacker, you ask? Well, it’s one of the five roles a Pokémon can have in this game. 

Attackers are Pokémon like Cinderace, Pikachu, and Gardevoir. They excel at dealing heavy damage from a distance. Defenders include Blastoise, Snorlax, and Slowbro. Their job is to take most of the damage and apply hindrances to the opposition. All-Rounders are Pokémon like Charizard, Lucario, and Tsareena. They are a mix between Attackers and Defenders, as they are suitable for both. Supporters are the clerics of the team. Some Supporters are Blissey, Eldegoss, and the devil- I mean Wigglytuff. They can heal you and provide shields to protect you. And finally are the Speedsters. A good chunk of them are Absol, Talonflame, and Gengar. They move as quickly as the wind and are the highest-leveled team members.

Overall, I do enjoy Unite. I recommend this game to anyone who loves Pokémon or likes being a part of a team. I rate this game a 9 out of 10 stars.