Pokemon Masters fulfils your fantasies, but at a cost
Gacha games have… A bit of a spotty history, shall we say. Especially lately, with places like Belgium outright banning the use of loot-box mechanics in video-games, forcing many companies, Nintendo included, to pull some of their biggest games.
This hasn’t stopped them however, oh no, they’re still trundling forward, and the next one to enter the ring is Pokemon.
Pokemon Masters is an interesting case of a gacha game having an actual well-developed, high-budget campaign that is not only fun and well thought-out, but adds to the lore of the overarching series.
You’ll find yourself thrown into an admittedly dull plot of essentially going from A to B, competing in this lands own Pokemon league.
The key here is that in this league, trainers from all over have come to compete.
You know what that conveniently leans into? Fan-service. And you know what that conveniently leans into? An alluring gacha game.
You see, all your favourite characters from every game in the series are here. Or, they will be, as they continue to add more in updates over time.
Kindly, and somewhat unlike other similar titles, you’ll find yourself being given a multitude of often-times very popular characters as you progress the story.
These given characters are always of relevant strength to the next chapter, and you’ll find yourself carrying along like so.
You’ll also be awarded small amounts of gems at the end of each segment, which in time, a very, very long time, mind you, will add up to the ability to roll for one new character for yourself.
This always feels immensely rewarding. That is, until you get a character you already have… And your week of game-play feels like it was almost for naught.
This is, unfortunately, something I’ve run into over and over. The game hates me, that’s all we’ll say.
But to constantly be given the chance for what you want, only for it to nearly always come out defunct, leads to a bit of a sad time.
You know what feeling sad tends to lead to, though? Unnecessary purchases. Also, you know what Pokemon Masters happens to have plenty of?
… You guessed it!
So… Okay, I’ll admit it. I got sad, I wanted a new character. The game was free, so I thought, what harm could it be.
But oh, oh no! Have you looked at those prices? They’re absurd.
I fully expected to pay maybe 2 euro for a character, but what did they want? Five.
There’s also this rather alluring option to bulk-buy 10 characters, and I thought perhaps that was the way to go. Perhaps that was the option they wanted you to use, and carried a vast discount.
It… It didn’t. 33 euro. They wanted 33 euro.
You know what I could get for 33 euro? I- Well, a lot of stuff okay.
I honestly can’t see the game having enough players willing to pay these prices. I cringe at spending 30 euro on myself on a regular day.
To spend that amount on a digital friend who may well even be a double, and would therefore disappear and become nothing more than a number? It’s just not sustainable.
For every player who throws that money in and doesn’t get equal value come back to them, you’re essentially losing a paying customer, as it’s most probable they’ll think “Ah, I’m dumb. Not doing that again.”.
So… What does this mean for Masters? Well, it’ll go one of two directions.
One, it’ll be hard-headed and refuse to lower the prices and continue along it’s self-destructive path.
Sounds unlikely, right? Well, to be fair, The Pokemon Company have a track-record of being very hard-headed, often to their detriment, so... we’ll see.
What I think is more likely, though, is that they’ll increase the log-in rewards over time. Dishing out gems a-plenty and fulfilling all of our people enslaving dreams.
This comes with the side-effect of them probably adding more exciting, pricier events at the side, but hey, us plebs can get our fill at least.
Pricey gacha mechanics aside, the core game underneath is brilliant, by the way. But that’s a story for another time.
What do you think of Masters? Are you playing, are you afraid to? Let us know!