REVIEW: Pokemon Rumble U

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WHAT’S POKEMON RUMBLE U?

This Pokemon games puts you in control of some Pokemon toys that have got lost and must find their way back to the Pokemon Toyshop. Along the way you must collect other Pokemon toys that have gone astray too by fighting them in battles. The game comprises of 4 player co-op real-time battles wherein you fight with friend or the computer against a ridiculous amount of other Pokemon. Battles are simplistic with only 2 moves and only a basic level of strategy required but collecting all the different Pokemon and completing each levels challenges requires more time thought and effort. There is around 50+ levels 3+ challenges per level, a solid 20+ hours of gameplay and it includes all 649 Pokemon. Costs £13.49, download only.

Impressions.

PRU is not the toughest of games, in fact to begin with a criticism it could have posed more of a challenge even while sticking to its simplistic gameplay. But for £13.49 it’s by no means a short game and completionists will discover there’s more of a challenge to this game than meets the eye. And simple this game may be, but with all Pokemon included, 649 playable figures, it’s hardly tight on content. This game will keep you busy for a decent amount of time.

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The merit to being a simple game is that PRU is very accessible and really fun to play. The battles are frequently hectic with daft amounts of Pokemon to fight and at times you can get overwhelmed if you haven’t planned correctly. Using the right Pokemon against the types you face remains a factor in performing well and despite being quite easy you are sure to die often enough and have to have a rethink about your tactics, but new-school gamers will not be frustrated by this, levels are short and have many reasons to be replayed and even if you die you still get the Pokemon you collected so nothing ever feels like much of a punishment.

A bit addictive.

PRU, is pretty addictive. I found myself not wanting to put it down or play anything else. The collection element to the game certainly helps make it addictive as does the albeit simplistic levelling system acquiring ever more powerful Pokemon, but PRU also balances its level lengths nicely. No level in PRU drags on for too long and you’re always rewarded with something, so on top a regular sense of accomplishment, you don’t play anything long enough to get bored or frustrated. And with many reasons to backtrack over past levels, if you do happen to hit a brick wall, there’s plenty to go back and do.

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Visuals.

PRU isn’t trying to have amazing visuals, after it is a budget title, but it strikes a good balance for its price range and the technology at hand. The simplistic Pokemon models are redeemed by having their own style and the fact you can have over a hundred on the screen at anyone time. Levels designs have a similar feel to Nintendoland, so they are simple, but pleasant and clearly a step above the Wii’s capabilities. There is also a fair degree of variety in levels too, more than I would expect from a budget title, and the same goes for the games rather competent soundtrack. Like any Nintendo package it’s a solid and consistent design.

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NFC

On this feature I cannot comment, as I am too old really to be playing Pokemon, nevermind buying little toys, but it strikes me as a fun feature if you’re the right age. This works in a similar way to the recently release Disney Infinity except Pokemon Rumble U’s models are far more affordable and the feature far less mandatory. For more on how it works however you’ll have to read elsewhere!

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Presentation.

Presentation-wise, PRU is a pretty bare-bones package, but it is clear, competent and to the point. Loading times are next to non existent a few more features, like organising your Pokemon, an options menu, a few more charts to outlay your progress and gameplay history and perhaps some overall accomplishments/challenges wouldn’t have hurt, but overall there’s no faults, just a missing bit of flair. On the up side, like most Nintendo games, you can cut straight to the point. Loading time are almost non existent, the start up goes straight to the title screen, nothing about this game feels like it is wasting your time, ‘no-nonsense’ sums it up well.

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SCORING.

Overall I have no complaints about this game. It is what it is and it does it pretty darned well. It’s no awarding winning game, nothing that will blow your mind, but it plays so well you’ll wonder where the time went and feel it was money well spent. It’s unquestionably one of the best Wii U e-shop downloads at the moment and it’s fair to say it’s a pretty unique title too. In many respects this goes past being a fun novelty game and verges on being a full blown £40 title and for that reason you can be tempted to criticise this game because it feels like it could be so much more,  but it is just a budget download and within that realm of gaming Pokemon Rumble U is pure quality.

 95% – An excellent game for its price range and one of the most competent and unique Wii U E-shop titles currently available. Buy it.

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