When it comes to controls for various fighting games, memorizing attacks is key. Most of the time I play a game like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, I often have to look at my character’s move list before the match can even start. Part of it is so I can understand the button layout of my attacks, and quickly perform special attacks like Hadouken and Scorpion’s Spear. However, Pokkén Tournament DX erases all of the complexity and studying of move lists and commands, making it one of the most — if not the most — accessible fighting games on the market.
No matter which Pokémon you choose, all of their attacks are easy to execute. There is no “up, down, X” or “up, up, A” required; instead, you press X for strong attacks, Y for weak attacks, A to use your Pokémon move, and B to jump. You only have to press two buttons together if you are looking to counter or grab your opponent or execute a combo.
Even with its simple fighting mechanics, Pokkén Tournament DX pushes its accessibility further by allowing players the ability to change their button layout in its My Town mode. To be able to go right into a match against either the computer or a friend and not have to focus on what buttons to press is a huge relief. As someone with one arm, not having to focus on mixing directional arrows with buttons to perform one move greatly increased my enjoyment of the game.
Not only did I have a blast playing it, but I felt more aware of the great experience I was having with my friend who was playing against me. Pokémon has always been accessible since Red and Blue were released in 1996; it is great to see that has not changed. To be honest, playing Pokkén Tournament DX brought me back to the days of EA’s boxing game, Fight Night. The reason is that when it comes to boxing games, you can of course only throw punches, and in the game, I never had to use a directional pad to throw certain punches.
When it comes to fighting games, I mostly prefer games where combos are easier and do not require pressing various directional buttons to execute moves. This makes the controls in Pokkén Tournament DX one of my favorites. Do not get me wrong; I love playing fighters like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but there have been times where I went to perform certain moves and the size of my stub sometimes caused two buttons to be pressed at the same time. This not only caused my character’s move to not be performed, but it also led to me losing the fight altogether.
This sometimes makes playing those types of fighting games frustrating to play. However, in the case of Mortal Kombat X, players were able to perform fatalities with the push of just one button. By simplifying its controls, Pokkén Tournament DX also makes every one of its fighters accessible. I would have been upset if I could not play as Gengar (my favorite Pokémon) because his moves were too difficult to perform. If you are someone with a disability and are looking for an accessible fighting game on the Switch, Pokkén Tournament DX is a great game to hold you over until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is released in December.