Community Review: Pokémon Unite

Community Review: Pokémon Unite
Image: Nintendo / Tencent / TiMi Games

Every time I fire up a game of Pokémon Unite, I’m constantly wishing two things: firstly that I’d bought an ethernet dongle for my Switch dock, and secondly that the game would be on PC.

Unite is the sort of super-bingeable easy MOBA that I’d love to have on screen while paying attention to something else, like a podcast, anime episode or something on YouTube. I know it’s primarily built for mobiles — the FPS indicator, a rarity in Switch games, is a hallmark of Tencent’s MOBAs on phones.

But the simplicity, the absolute lack of toxicity and just the colourful nature makes it a bit of a nice game to wind down to. Sure, the times when your team is so hopeless you literally get stuck in your own spawn isn’t great. But that’s less Pokemon Unite‘s fault, and just more what happens with any new game.

The weirdness of the reward mechanics aside — stop giving us socks for fuck’s sake, you can’t even see the bloody things on your character — it’d be good to play the matches with some sort of consistent ping. I’ve never had an Ethernet dock for my Switch because it’s never been really necessary, although I’ve not been a hardcore competitive player in Smash or games that would warrant it.

And it’s not like you couldn’t have reasonable form of crossplay: Pokemon Unite really isn’t the sort of game where your control scheme would give you a massive advantage. Skillshots have a massive range to hit. There’s lots of catch up mechanics and healing support for people, with the goals, various fruit, and the design of the map.

What’s important is really the path people take (which you can do on any control scheme), clearing out the jungle camps, being efficient with your levelling and not diving like crazy. Doing that with a small degree of conservatism is basically enough to deal with most casual games, because it’ll ensure you’ve got the experience you need while getting crucial team buffs.

Pokemon Unite isn’t scheduled to come to PC, but with its mobile release this September I’d be surprised if Tencent didn’t make it playable through their slightly-dodgy Android emulator, Gameloop. Minus the awkwardness of Malwarebytes complaining about trojans, the app was super effective for playing Call of Duty: Mobile on PC. It’s how many Chinese users end up playing mobile games anyway — emulated through PC — so I’m sure Pokemon Unite will be playable somehow.

How have you found Pokemon Unite? And what are your favourite characters to main so far?

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