although some people may be deep into pokemon rumble u, which was released a few weeks ago, i’m a bit behind and only just recently played through the main mode of the first game in the side series, pokemon rumble on wiiware. unlike thruspace, also on wiiware, which had a demo that was much less satisfying than the actual game, in the case of pokemon rumble the demo tells you pretty much exactly what the full game is like: repetitive and monotonous. the pokemon series has had more than its fair share of mediocre spin-offs, but this one ranks pretty low. you navigate your “toy” pokemon through a series of stages that have the same layouts but with different skins (such as a forest, a cave, a fire stage, a water stage, etc.) and battle waves of other toy pokemon. the toys come with one or two moves and don’t level up, so you’ll be constantly replacing your current main character as you go along. although there is a range of moves that the pokemon may have, mostly influencing the trajectory of their attacks, they don’t make much of a difference and don’t require you to modify your mindless button-mashing strategy much. similarly, some pokemon you pick up may have special abilities, but they aren’t needed since the attack and defense stats dominate; type advantages play a similarly minor role.
not a whole lot more to say about this one. at $15 the game is fairly overpriced for what will only take a few hours to play through. beating the main mode, which features generation I pokemon, unlocks an “advanced” mode that features the generation IV pokemon but otherwise looks like is exactly the same. it’s kind of surprising that the developers felt that this gameplay justified two sequels, one on 3DS and one on the wii u eshop, but in the latter case a game that cashes in, in even a small way, on the huge success of the recent skylanders games is an all too obvious way to rake in some major bucks. this experience has made me highly disinclined to play either of them, but completionist that i am i’m sure i’ll be picking up the 3DS entry eventually.
play with these playground-level pokemon rumble links:
– official site: includes some passwords as well as a mini-game.
– entry at bulbapedia: which includes a more-comprehensive list of passwords and how to earn release tickets
– FAQ at gamefaqs: has info on increasing chances of getting specific pokemon (basically use pokemon with specific abilities/moves to increase the chance of a critical hit and use pokemon with a type advantage).
– review at nintendolife.com
– entry at howlongtobeat.com
– entry at wikipedia