Back in May, I graduated from my BA at Curtin University and attended my ceremony in Sydney. While I was there I thought I deserved a present, so I bought myself a copy of Super Pokemon Rumble (or Pokemon Rumble Blast as it is called elsewhere). I had been looking forward to picking this one up because I played the original Pokemon Rumble WiiWare game and very much enjoyed it (although I didn’t finish it, as is the case with all Pokemon games… it’s impossible to catch ’em all, right?!)
I immediately got to playing and fell in love all over again. The concept is simple – you play as Pokemon toys (not with actual Pokemon this time) and you battle other toys. There is an underlying story about bad (rusty) Pokemon toys and this unfolds as you play through the levels. As with all Pokemon games, the focus is on collecting. In order to collect Pokemon toys, you must tip them over in battle. Tipping over a Pokemon toy is a tricky business, and gets harder as you progress through the game. It’s similar in annoyance factor to accidentally killing a Pokemon instead of getting its HP down low enough to catch in a Pokeball. However, you don’t have to go through the pain of watching that ball shake and waiting to see if you caught the thing or not – you either tip it or you don’t. Tipping over a Pokemon toy appears to have a degree of randomness, but from my observations the tougher your lead Pokemon toy is, the easier it can be. If you can enact a powerful move, and the Pokemon toy goes “wobbly”, immediately go on the attack, as it will almost definitely tip over and then you can grab it for your collection.
There are also a couple of different gameplay modes that occur during the course of the game besides the standard battling. Charge battles work best when you have lots of tough Pokemon toys, and you must button bash to beat your opponent. Battle Royale pits your Pokemon toys against a multitude of foes in an all-out last man standing battle. There is also a Team Battle where you move through a series of rooms with two friend Pokemon toys and try to defeat Boss Pokemon toys.
After you finish the main story, you can pay (a lot of) money to increase the World Rank, which increases the toughness of all wild Pokemon toys. The reason you’d do this is to catch tougher ones to use to fight some of the difficult legendary Pokemon toys you encounter randomly during Boss battles. You know you will encounter one of these if the Boss pad at the end of the level is sparkling. This is a handy tip, because if you are grinding for legendaries (like I am right now), you can run through the level until the end, check the Boss pad, and if there is no sparkle, just quit and run the gauntlet again. Side note: save ALL your money until the end of the game. You’ll need it for World Rank increases. Additional side note: as long as you don’t die, you can ALWAYS tip over a random Boss Pokemon toy.
I finished the game a couple of months back, but I’m still playing. Every day. Because, as with all Pokemon games, the emphasis is on catching ’em all, and there’s always some trick to that. In standard Pokemon games, you need to go to special events or trade to get rare Pokemon. In Super Pokemon Rumble, you need to get a certain number of shop visits to release a rare Pokemon toy into the wild (and then you have to catch it). Unless you are lucky enough to get many StreetPass hits each day, this will take you some months to accomplish. For example, you need 150 shop visits to unlock Victini (unless you got it earlier with a passcode). This means you need to visit your shop EVERY DAY for 150 days to unlock it. What is this, Animal Crossing?!
In summary, Super Pokemon Rumble is a great addition to the Pokemon franchise, and promises hours of gameplay for all ages. This might be the first Pokemon game where I do actually catch ’em all, but you might need to check back with me later. I’m busy, I have a Shaymin Sky Forme to catch…
4 out of 5 stars
Oh, and I just found out about the upcoming special edition Pikachu 3DS… what should I do? I have a special edition Pikachu GBA SP and DS Lite. Should I try for another 3DS even though I have a lovely Zelda one?