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
  @JimSterling

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.



THE VERDICT

5

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 *.disqus.com 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!


Persona 4 Golden and Positivity

Cblogs of 02/06/16 and 02/07/16 + Lane to Lane Combat within the Storm

What is Metroidvania?

Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

Conquest of Elysium 4 - Review

The PlayStation Vita: Twice as Bright

Video Gaming Bits -- Magical Date: Doki Doki Kokuhaku Daisakusen

Cheat Codes Ep. 83: Shut Up

Comments of the Week - Love Love Love

Sonic Generations Mod Retrospective 2 - COLORS

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What I've gathered from the quick posts the last two days is that demons from SMT look like genitals.
SayWord avatarSayWord
Took awhile but it is finally here, oh how I missed playing with you Nep Nep. Though I still cannot decide if I should put that PS4 skin on...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Rei is humbled by the fairly high number of faps you have given her Waifu Wars piece.
Parismio avatarParismio
The actual best SMT girl is here:
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
So 1-10 of Destiny isn't so bad. Been having a bit of fun with it, though people don't talk much on PSN. Good? Bad? I will never talk smack about Destiny only because it has this dance in it.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
If you agree to let Harley Quinn tattoo you with her brand new tattoo gun, you deserve to live with the consequences of that incredibly poor life choice.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
Not being from the US I have no horse in the US election race. But still I do like video games
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
OP and a playable character in Devil Survivor.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Nemissa is best SMT demon girl.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Made to mid-A rank! Pretty hyped about it. Got knocked out of A- twice without winning a single match, but tonight I climbed al the way through with no trouble! The N-Zap is so good for Splat Zones.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I want one.
Tom avatarTom
Heat avatarHeat
He's best friends with Arioch!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
This thing finally arrived. Took forever!
SayWord avatarSayWord
Sorry guys and gals, this demon pussy is bestest.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Just sayin'.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Best demon-girl, however, is obviously Shadow Labrys-cause shut up baby you know it!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Also, Jonathan is best mainline SMT waifu. He can instill his Law within me anytime.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Anyone who doesn't like Pyro Jack?
Parismio avatarParismio
Please all your demons are dumb. They're dumb demons. Behold the magnificence of OSE!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -