Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Pokemon Rumble Blast

Review: Pokémon Rumble Blast

5:00 PM on 10.24.2011 // Jim Sterling

Pokémon Rumble was launched on WiiWare in 2009 and apparently did well enough to justify a retail appearance. Pokémon Rumble Blast is the mildly anticipated sequel and first official Pokémon game to come to the Nintendo 3DS -- not counting the Pokédex that was offered as a free download earlier this year. 

One would assume that the legendary franchise's first appearance on a Nintendo system would be a red carpet affair. It is not.

Pokémon Rumble Blast (Nintendo 3DS)
Developer: Ambrella
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: October 24, 2011
MSRP: $39.99

Pokémon Rumble Blast changes little from its WiiWare predecessor. Taking place in a world where Pokémon toys are living creatures in their own right (because of reasons), it's a top-down dungeon crawling affair that shares quite a few things in common with mindless arcade titles like Smash TV and hack n' slash RPGs such as Diablo, only simplified to a rudimentary degree. 

Simple perhaps doesn't begin to explain exactly how bereft of complication Rumble Blast is, because it's as basic as basic gets. The thrust of the game is in mashing one or two buttons to perform singular attacks against marauding Pokémon who are ostensibly doing the game thing. Each Pokémon has a power level to determine its general combat strength, as well as its own set of moves -- and by "set" I mean up to two because no monster can have more. When defeated, there's a chance that enemies will remain on the field as collectible toys which can be collected to grant the player control of that particular monster. This achieves the "gotta catch 'em all" philosophy of the Pokémon games, albeit in an incredibly shallow way. More than usual, at any rate. 

Once collected, a Pokémon cannot be leveled up at all, so the only way to improve one's chances of beating tougher opponents is to collect new Pokémon. While this ensures that players are constantly switching their characters, it also means that there's no point getting attached to a single creature. One can use in-game coins to buy new moves for their Pokémon, there's no point because you'll rarely be keeping a roster of characters for more than one dungeon. 

Speaking of moves, some Pokémon will remain worthless regardless of power level thanks to whatever attacks they randomly possess. A staggering amount of attacks are horrible, forcing Pokémon into lengthy animations that often send them directly into the path of enemy assaults. It soon becomes apparent that projectile-based attacks are the most useful since they don't place player characters in danger, which ultimately turns Rumble Blast into one of the slowest shooters on the planet. It doesn't help that the vague auto-targeting is slightly off, so attacks miss as often as they hit. 

The brainless button mashing is certainly not the most unpleasant of experiences, but it's thoroughly pointless. This is hammered home by the fact that there is almost zero variety to be had, with a dreary formula that plays out repeatedly during the course of the game. You visit a dungeon, hit the same button over and over again across several floors, then fight a large boss. This happens over and over again until you fulfill some arbitrary requirement to take on a Battle Royale. In a Battle Royale, you fight against yet another swarm of Pokémon with a time limit in place. Once you win a Battle Royale, the game acts like a broken record and skips back to the beginning, expecting players to do it all over again on a slightly different map. 

The only other battle variant is the "Team Battle" which lets you choose two CPU-controlled allies from your roster and progress through a sequence of rooms. It's still exactly the same type of combat, exactly the same type of formula, just with two idiot Pokémon getting themselves killed all the time.

The only thing driving the player forward is some inane story about healing "Glowdrops" being stolen from fountains. I'll be honest, I did not will myself to draw this story out to its conclusion, but I will bet real money that the story ends by having our randomly collected heroes traipse their way through a dungeon that looks fairly similar to the dozens of other dungeons before fighting a boss and recovering the Glowdrops. For bonus points I'll bet the bad guy was good at heart. 

Every now and then, the bitter cycle of vapid combat is broken up by some random inanity, such as "Charge" sequences. In a charge, you gather your whole collection of Pokémon and use them to bust through enemy defenses by hammering a single button and watching the canned animation repeat itself several times. There's also a Street Pass feature in which other 3DS owners can visit your game and give money, or provide new Pokémon to battle. It's a neat little extra, but nothing astounding. Later in the game, you can also fill a meter that temporarily allows you to mash three Pokémon together. In this state, they'll recharge health and do more damage, though the boost isn't significant enough to be anything special. 

That's pretty much what Pokémon Rumble Blast is from beginning to end -- nothing special. It looks fairly pretty and the game is decently put together, but it's barely even a videogame when you truly consider what it offers. With a combat system that's hollow even by brawler standards and a structure so blatantly circular that even gullible children would soon detect the pattern, Rumble Blast is a game that not even ardent fans should bother with. In a world crammed full of lackadaisical Pokémon cash-in products, this is up there with the laziest and I struggle to summon up any feelings for the experience outside of cold indifference. 

Going to sleep is a more interesting prospect than playing this exercise in insignificance.



Pokemon Rumble Blast - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Pokemon Rumble Blast

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

I Haz Kickstarter!

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Went snowboarding for the first time in years. Crashed a lot, many times into trees. All that training in FF7 didnt do squat!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
If I were to get Age of Empires II HD to play with you all, do you all have the DLC?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I am relieved to know Creed is a Rocky spin-off and not a feature-length documentary about the band.
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
the worst thing about that jesssica jones program is i keep getting "basketball jones" stuck in my head
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -