It’s true…and I’m not going to apologize for it. If you’ve read any of my pieces before, you may already know that in addition to loving gadgets, I’m also quite fond of gaming–and I’m a bit into collecting as well. So when you think about it, Pokémon Rumble Blast really is the perfect storm: It’s a fun game, that’s played on a really cool gadget (the Nintendo 3DS), and involves collecting–what more could I ask for?
Funny thing is, I’ve never really been much of a Pokémon guy. Sure, I’ve dabbled a bit; but after a brief stint with Pokémon HeartGold version (and a bit of walking around the mall with my Pokéwalker), I thought there wasn’t enough going on in the Pokémon universe to truly capture my attention–until I fired up Rumble Blast…
Let me start by saying that there’s no one single thing that draws me to the game; but like many things in life that we’re drawn to, my affection for this title defies logic or explanation–it just captures enough of the qualities that I enjoy, and wraps them in an adorable 3D package that I can’t seem to put down.
Those looking for depth of storyline should look elsewhere, as the game basically revolves around a unique “Toy Pokémon” universe, where you’ll spend the majority of your time searching for the bad folks that are stealing the “glowdrops” that heal Toy Pokémon–not exactly high-concept, but it has teeth. While the story may not seem like much, the way that it’s executed is incredibly addictive. Playing like a scaled-down RPG, you go from town to town and area to area in search of the bad guys, fighting (and collecting) other Toy Pokémon along the way; and while the battles may seem simplistic at first, you quickly find yourself preparing differently for each fight, and fine-tuning your arsenal almost obsessively.
Not only do your tiny friends have unique stats and abilities, but you can upgrade and swap out abilities using in-game currency on the many “toy vending machines” scattered throughout the levels; this adds an element of depth to the game, and also requires a bit of strategizing on the gamer’s part. Did I mention how obsessed I became trying to find the perfect Pokémon for each battle…and did I mention that there were 600 of them in the game?? Battles are also incredibly varied; in addition to your typical boss fights at the end of each area, you also have unique end-of-level battles that result in “Battle Royales” as well as “Charge Battles,” that involve taking your highest level fighters and running at your enemies in an effort to stampede them. Sure theres a bit of button mashing in some of the fights (Charge Battles especially), but the variety is still welcomed.
Though I could go into more detail about the story and game progression, the real draw here is that thanks to the perfect combination of strategy, collecting and graphics (the 3D puts a nice polish on an already cute looking game), you could easily spend the next 2 weeks carrying your 3DS with you wherever you go, if only to revisit the areas you’ve already been to, in an effort to extract that one Pokémon that has eluded you. Those of you (and I really mean “those of us“) that do take your 3DS on the road will also be rewarded with wireless multiplayer features that include StreetPass functionality (to battle other players and win some of their Pokémon collection), as well as cooperative play and battles through a more standard multiplayer experience. Suffice it to say, Pokémon Rumble Blast has something for everyone–even RPG lovers. So if you’re already a fan of the genre or simply looking for a 3DS game to invest some time in, I strongly recommend that you give Rumble Blast a try; it may not be attractive being a grown man and collecting toy pets…but it sure is fun!
Pokémon Rumble Blast retails for $34.99.