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Pokemon Rumble Blast Review

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Developer: Ambrella Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: October 24, 2011 Available On: 3DS

Pokemon Rumble Blast – the first Pokemon game released on the 3DS – is actually a sequel to the 2009 title, Pokemon Rumble. Like many of the Pokemon spin-offs, Rumble Blast is not like the traditional games in the “main series”. There are no trainers to battle; in fact, this game involves toy Pokemon that you use to fight other toy Pokemon, rather than commanding them through the role of a trainer.

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The story is a quaint Pokemon tale: the magical healing glowdrops found in the glowdrop fountains of the various toy towns are being stolen, and it is up to the toy Pokemon to stop whoever is responsible. It is the typical lighthearted “good-versus-bad” Pokemon story, minus the twists and turns along the way.

Rumble Blast can be played entirely alone or with a friend. To be honest, the game is incredibly sub-par from a gameplay standpoint, boiling down to the spamming of the “A” button in nearly every level. Each toy Pokemon has at least one attack, though some have more, and new abilities can be purchased for your toy Pokemon in towns and before some of the levels.

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As you progress through the game you will be able to play as stronger Pokemon – indicated by their Battle Points. There is no capturing of Pokemon; instead you “befriend” them after battle. Upon defeat, you can choose to snag the new Pokemon toys, or exchange them for money to be spent on new abilities. Really, besides the weaknesses and strengths of the various Pokemon “Types”, Rumble Blast does not follow any of the usual Pokemon rules.

Every one of the levels is very linear, and throughout the game I hardly noticed any variation between the levels – you’ll see meadows, caves, forests and beaches. The environments rarely change, though the later stages feature new Pokemon. Upon finishing all the stages in each area, you tackle the “Battle Royale” – which puts you up against dozens of toy Pokemon, including a few special ones exclusive to each arena. You win more money for coming out on top of the Battle Royale, sending you to the next stage to repeat the process.

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Like any Pokemon game, there is plenty to do (and collect) in Rumble Blast. Of the 649 Pokemon featured in all five generations of the series, you can befriend 600 of them. Some of these do not appear until you have cleared certain stages; ultimately you can amass an army of up to 2,500 toy Pokemon. You can release individual Pokemon and earn extra money – in addition, you must release seven Pokemon of the same type to befriend its next evolutionary form.

Visually, the 3D effect in Rumble Blast is nice, though I found that the graphics were much clearer with the 3D turned down. The character models are colorful and cute, but the blocky style is honestly not the greatest – considering that Rumble Blast was a full-priced retail release, I was really hoping that there could have been more attention and detail put into the toy Pokemon.

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Ultimately, Rumble Blast may be a simple and repetitive title, but I couldn’t help smiling while playing it. I am by no means the resident Pokemon fanatic on Game Freaks 365 (that honor belongs to Cliff Bakehorn), I still really enjoyed the game to a surprising extent. Some will loook at the simplistic design and the $35 price and decide to pass it up, but Rumble Blast offers plenty of replay value and a charming story, with lots to do and collect throughout the game, rounded out nicely with multiplayer and StreetPass functionality.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 6.5
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 6.7 out of 10
Written by Drew Meadows Write a User Review