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Pokemon Rumble U Review

Cart: Pokemon Rumble U
Cab: Wii U
Coin: Ambrella

Pokémon make their first appearance for Wii U in this simple scrapper that is a sequel to an equally simple 3DS game, Pokémon Rumble Blast. It is a difficult game to judge, as it doesn’t really do anything wrong, and has a fair amount of content, but the gameplay is so direct and shallow, and the content is really all just unlockables and stages.

Yet, it is actually surprisingly addictive, has charm by the bucketload, and is obviously laser-focused on Pokémon addicts that will lap up the ‘Gotta catch ’em all’ philosophy that the game is moulded around.

An arena based brawler, Pokémon Rumble U is extremely limited in its gameplay ambitions. One player on the Gamepad, and up to three more on Wii Remotes or the Pro controller, team up to take on hundreds of other Pokémon at a time in smallish arenas. The game doesn’t star traditional Pokémon, but rather toy versions, and it is here that the game will either win Poke-veterans over with the super cute look of the toys, or drive them away.

The screen quickly fills with dozens of toys

The screen quickly fills with dozens of toys

I like the look, shamefully cute as it is, and the style does become secondary to the action pretty quickly, as there are a lot of things happening on-screen at once, and with all the special effects and different coloured creatures, it can become tricky to keep up with things. It is a button masher, although you can buy special moves, and touchscreen combo with the coins you earn in-game.

There are hundreds of Pokémon to find and collect, and this is also the first Wii U game to use the NFC feature of the console, so you can buy little plastic Pokémon toys in the high street, and plonk them on the Gamepad to unlock extra Pokémon. The toys are overpriced when compared to the Japanese versions, but they are a really nice touch, and the sort of thing that kids adore.

If you are looking for the next big Pokémon RPG, then you will be sorely disappointed with this, as you will be if you are coming to this looking for a deep fighter, but I suspect that this will still be up many a Pokémon fan’s street regardless, as it does have that odd mix of overly simplistic, yet super addictive gameplay. It is decent looking, with a nice sheen to everything, and there is never a touch of slowdown, even with a ridiculous amount of characters on-screen at once.

Hard to judge for everyone, but I think Pokémon fans will love it, and I suspect this may turn up in a VoxelArcade ‘Guilty Pleasure’ in the far distant future…

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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.

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