Pokémon Masters EX

released on Aug 29, 2019

Pokémon Masters EX (originally named Pokémon Masters) is a free-to-play mobile game for Android and iOS developed and published by DeNA. It is based on the Pokémon media franchise. Set on the artificial island of Pasio, the game allows players to battle and recruit various prominent Pokémon Trainers from the main series games. Originally named Pokémon Masters and released in August 2019, it was renamed Pokémon Masters EX in August 2020 on the 1st anniversary of the game.

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While it being a gacha, Pokémon Masters seems such a love letter to the fans by bringing all of the Pokémon characters together in this mobile game.
And a way to make more money... well they can coexist

I see a lot of content that intrigues me and I like the music, but it's still a gacha game that I wasn't keen on, though not anywhere as deplorable as FEH.

Very underrated. It obviously has the expected problems that come with most gacha mobile games, but you know what you're getting into before you're downloading it.
But behind that veneer of a gacha is some neat stuff. Firstly, the models for everything are fantastic! I love this anime-style CG, and wish it would get used in more games, because it's just very appealing on the eyes. Given that the characters are the heart of this game, having them stylishly designed is key. The characters also have fun interactions, and although voice lines can be limited at times, I'm honestly surprised they went the extra mile to record any lines at all for a mobile game.
The game mechanics are quite fun too. They're not the traditional Pokémon mechanics, instead simplified and distilled down. But I was frankly okay with that. I didn't go to this game expecting a traditional Pokémon experience, and the fact that they decided to retain any of the turn-based mechanics at all is just a pleasant addition.
Where this game falters is the length and the eventual grind. Leading into the far end of mid game and into late game, the pace of your progress slows down significantly. Leveling up your trainers is an extremely long process, and battles can be way too difficult, leaving you stuck. This may have been improved upon from the time I stopped playing, but it was this grind that made me stop playing when I was otherwise having a good time.
But of mobile games, this was a lovely time. If you light fun, light-hearted, cute Pokémon aesthetics, especially from all your favorite trainers throughout all the games, this is a lovely little diversion.

Yeah, it's a mobile game which I mostly can't stand and yes, it is filled with the usual bullshit mechanics these gacha games are known for but I dunno...
There's something about years worth of Pokémon characters all coming together that makes me feel all tingly and nostalgic inside and I suppose it delivers on that front.

Got really lucky with pulls and ended up having a pretty fun time. Battle system was enjoyable and the correct way to water it down vs what GO ended up doing imo. Sadly, the story mode is incredibly basic (albeit with some cool interactions) and due to the gatcha nature of this game I have a hard time giving it any higher than a 3/5. Open it once, spend all your gems, and if you get nothing good delete the app.

This game actually has a very fun battle system that changes Pokemon battles from the traditional turn based system to that of a timed-energy system, and all battles are 3v3 with designated Strike, Support, or Tech class Pokemon.
Unfortuantely all of those positives are ruined by mobile game mechanics. Endless upgrades, repetitious events that require you to play the same battle a hundred times, and way too many characters to actually have any sort of balance. At least half the roster is literally unusable and has no scenario in which they would be worth picking over another character. There are options for increasing the power of moves like repeated pulls and more, but that is really only useful for Strike characters. Increasing power is basically useless for Tech and Support classes because their value doesn't come from raw strength.
I've got pretty much every character to their max level so I just play the hardest battles which are either too easy or too hard, there is no in between.
I'm pretty bored of playing the game at this point and have mostly stopped. I occasionally play it for a week or so when they have an event going on. But it's really come down to just a collecting-fest. Barely any substance anymore.