One more 3DS game! Being a Nintendo completist can be a chore sometimes, and Pokemon Rumble Blast for 3DS is a case in point. I played the first game in the spin-off series a few years ago, and even though I found it to be completely mindless and insipid, I figured it was time to slog through the next entry.
The 3DS entry is basically the same as its predecessor, except that instead of being limited to the generation I and IV Pokemon, this game lets you catch all of them (up to the point it was released, anyway). As before, The Pokémon Company's take on a beat 'em up is completely mechanical and uninspired, with levels of two types: linear paths to a single large boss 'mon, and arena "free for all" brawl challenges. The environments are basically interchangeable (although they did add a couple new ones, like a castle setting and a treetop setting, for a very slight change of pace); the attacks aren't particularly distinct; and the toy Pokémon are still blocky and generally unappealing. This time around there's a modicum of a story and various town hubs (although again, they're bland and pretty much interchangeable). The arena challenges to mix things up a bit, as they have different requirements for entry (e.g. only use Pokémon of a certain type are allowed), but otherwise they too are pretty mindless and same-y.
Only the youngest and/or most die-hard of Pokémon fans are going to actually want to pour in the hours required to "catch 'em all". The Pokémon Company followed this up with a Wii U downloadable game focused solely on arena battles, and the free-to-play Pokémon Rumble World, also on 3DS. I've played both, and Pokémon Rumble World is easily the most engaging of the lot, but that's really not saying much. I'm sure I'll get around to playing both of those and giving them a closer look eventually, but for now I'm happy that I get to cross this one off my completist list.
Shake these Pokemon Rumble Blast links:
- Official site. Includes a complete listing of where to find every Pokemon in the game.
- Entry at Bulbapedia, which includes passwords
- Entry at howlongtobeat.com
- Page on Miiverse
- Review at NintendoLife
- Entry at Metacritic