Following last Saturday happened to be a grand turn-out for Nintendo NY as hundreds of people lined the streets to celebrate 20 years of Pokemon. But on the other part of Manhattan, it was quite the show for another celebration. Over at the GameStop at Union Square, a near hundred combatants lined up to face each other for the fight for…..sneakers? Confusing, but February 27th just so happened to be the release of the new Air Jordans, and luck would have it the GameStop location is sandwiched between both Foot Locker and FootAction stores. No matter the numbers, people started to camp at the storefront since 5:30 AM to make it to the competition, and to play the game before its release.
Competitions for Pokken Tournament were placed in GameStop’s all over the US for the chance that one of them may advance to the next early access competition in the Nintendo NY store in New York City. The winner of that competition will not only receive a Wii U and a copy of the game, but also a chance to be flown to Columbus, Ohio, where their mettle will be tested again in the 2016 Pokemon US National Championships. Seems like Nintendo is riding a lot on this game, since the only other time they’ve done a competition of this scale was before Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was released in the US.
However, Pokken Tournament is no joke. Given the reactions of Saturday’s turn-out, the much earlier arcade machine test runs in select Dave & Busters months ago, and even it’s inclusion into the roster of one of the biggest fighting game tournaments EVO, this seems to be a pretty hyped up game for multiple people from multiple genres. I will save anything I have to say about the game for the review, but overall the community’s excitement for Pokken can barely be contained. For now here are some pictures of that day from the older division, as well as some early access matches to help whet your appetite.