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Super Pokémon Rumble (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for Super Pokémon Rumble on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Pokémon fans have not yet been treated to a Nintendo 3DS entry into the franchise, aside the free downloadable Pokédex 3D application, likely due to the last mainline titles only releasing in the last year. Pokémon Black / White were as brilliant a last hurrah for the series on Nintendo DS as fans could hope for and are sure to have found their ways into a multitude of 3DS systems since the new handheld’s launch, but with a 3D-exclusive version of the main games not coming until at least next year Nintendo and Ambrella have stepped in with spin-off Super Pokémon Rumble.

Super Pokémon Rumble is a sequel to the 2009 WiiWare title Pokémon Rumble. Just as the original, it takes the series into a real-time combat scenario via a myriad of miniature model monsters, each spurred to life by the prospect of becoming the Rumble Champion. Being Pokémon, how do you suppose they attain that prestigious title? By battling, of course! There’s one little problem -- all of the worlds’ healing Glowdrops have been pinched by some nefarious Poké-toys. It’s up to the hero of the piece to save the land while simultaneously reaching their plastic paws towards the stars to fulfil their life’s dream.

What this amounts to is a series of a corridor-like stages that are battled through by hammering the A or B buttons constantly to knock out dozens upon dozens of attacking enemies, before taking on a gigantic boss character at the end of each level. Starting off with just a puny Pikachu, very quickly players begin to befriend new and better beasts by besting them in battle, adding them to their collection to be used in the quest. Pokémon can be swapped around at any point with a tap of X, which is recommended when HP levels dip low -- once a toy’s health is wiped out they become unusable until a Glowdrop fountain is encountered again. If a player loses three Pokémon in a level they fail, kicked back to the nearest town and nudged to try again.

Screenshot for Super Pokémon Rumble on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Plenty of Pokémon from all generations are available to play with here, spread across the world in numerous theme-specific levels. Water Pokémon, for example, are found near beaches, while bugs, birds and botanical life occupy forests. Gathering them up is as simple as knocking them out when they attack in droves, hoping that they drop as a collectable toy. The odds can be increased by using moves that bash them into a stupor before delivering a final blow.

Whether a new ally is amassed or not, though, coins tip out of any enemy felled. These coins are to be swept up in order to pay for new moves from vending machines. Each Pokémon can know up to two at once, and they’re split over two categories: defensive / evasive techniques or offensive strikes. Furthermore, attacks have multiple ranges, some requiring a hands-on approach while others give players a chance to stand back a little and damage from a distance. Pokémon type should also be considered, just as in the main games -- you’re far more likely to do damage to a Grass type with a few flames from a Fire friend.

Screenshot for Super Pokémon Rumble on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

After wandering about to find more powerful Pokémon, each area includes a Battle Royale that must be conquered to open the gate to progression. There are entry requirements for these arena battles -- a certain general level of toy, or type -- in which you face tens of Pokémon all at once in a free-for-all match, new ones entering as the stadium empties. Special foes will join the fight after a certain amount of time, but they seldom prove much tougher than the other entrants.

Therein lies the primary problem of Super Pokémon Rumble -- there’s very little challenge to it, and with such limited gameplay it’s very easy to get bored of the whole thing. As players are railroaded through the stages there’s not much more to it than tapping the attack buttons and dodging around; provided that the current character’s level comes close to that of surrounding foes and a small amount of attention has been paid to Pokémon type and the moves used, the game is a pushover. There’s some enjoyment to be found in discovering the toy adaptations of each creature, and the gameplay certainly does nothing technically wrong, but the lack of variety pulls out much of the life that the toys have gained for this tale. Team battles, wherein two further collected Pokémon join the battle as AI helpers, and the war-like charge battles featuring large group battles, add something but don’t crop up enough.

Screenshot for Super Pokémon Rumble on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The wireless functionality does offer more interesting asides. A co-operative two player mode, requiring a game card per player, lets friends smash up the toy box together in a similar manner to the team battles. StreetPassers can also visit other Super Pokémon Rumble players’ toy shops, viewing their collections and doing battle with them. It’s useful for gaining a few extra coins to spend in-game, too -- each hit comes with the possibility of a StreetPassed Mii spending some money in the player’s shop, which can then be used in the game proper for new moves.

Screenshot for Super Pokémon Rumble on Nintendo 3DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Very monotonous. A couple of different battle types aside, much of the time is spent trotting along rigid paths hammering the attack buttons, switching out Pokémon tactically every so often to take advantage of elemental types.

Graphics

Doesn’t take advantage of 3DS’ visual capabilities and the 3D effect barely changes anything outside of a few effects.

Sound

The usual Game Boy-style Pokémon cries are all there and sounding as good as they possibly can in that form. Some lovely music, particularly the title piece.

Value

As well as a lengthy story mode there are also co-operative multiplayer opportunities and StreetPass extras to increase time spent with the game.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

Super Pokémon Rumble is an interesting diversion from the core Pokémon formula while 3DS owners wait for a mainline RPG, and the real-time combat approach feels quite visceral and satisfying. However, while there is some fun to be found in Super Pokémon Rumble in short spurts, as a whole it is just too repetitive, with the gameplay mainly consisting of the rapid tapping of one or two attack buttons and dodging around enemies until they are defeated. With expansion of the concept -- more branching routes through levels, for example -- this spin-off series could do very well for itself. As it is now, though, Super Pokémon Rumble will probably be returning to the toy box very quickly.

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11.12.2011

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Also known as

Pokémon Rumble Blast

Developer

Ambrella

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Action

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's a real shame that, since I heard the WiiWare version was meant to be really good. However, the difference between a cut-price download game and a retail release is vast, obviously!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Checkeredpokeball (guest) 22.01.2012 21:59#2

ohhSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilieSmilie

tgxj (guest) 07.12.2012 17:27#3

e muito bom recomendo

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