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3DS  header logo

Super Pokemon Rumble

For: 3DS

Spanner in the works

Product: Super Pokemon Rumble | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS | Genre: Action, Arcade | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
 
Super Pokemon Rumble 3DS, thumbnail 1
If Pokemon Black/White served as a testament to how well the series has sustained its momentum over the past decade, Super Pokemon Rumble reminds us that with every great entry, we must endure a slew of mediocre spin-offs.

Spit-shining the cogs of its WiiWare original, Super Pokemon Rumble bolts on a bevy of new critters to flesh its new 2GB cartridge accommodation.

Over 600 Pokemon (when did you stop counting?) have gathered for the series’ 3DS debut, truncated from their cute and cuddly designs into blocky wind-up toys engaged in a world overseen by your Mii avatar.

It’s not a tale of a young trainer’s personal journey into manhood, but instead a light-hearted offshoot in which your Pokemon toys exists in a crisis surrounding a dwindling supply of rust-preventing glowdrops.

You teach me and I’ll teach you

The ‘gotta catch ‘em all’ ethos that’s been drilled into the minds of youths since 1999 still prevails. Battling other Pokemon that move in swathes across dungeon crawler maps rewards you with friends that will join your cause once you’ve beaten every last screw out of them.

Rather than developing a relationship with your new recruits through levelling and experience, you’ll cull Pokemon on a regular basis, swapping your favourites for whichever toys offer the best stats at the time.

It still retains the series’ JRPG 101 formula (one element trumps another) but tenuously (a powerful grass Pokemon can still dish out one hit kills to a crowd of opposing fire-types).

Instead, this boils down to a simple button-masher. Pokemon are equipped with no more than two moves at a time and though Battle Royale’s scenarios mix up the rules, it never really evolves beyond the initial idea.

Despite fans crying out for the Pokemon series to drop the archaic turn-based combat for something a little more hands-on, Super Pokemon Rumble provides a good case against it.

Wind-up merchant

Towns serve as safe heavens that revitalise your team, sell new moves (a redundant feature considering how quickly you churn through fighters), and allow you to release the dregs of your collection.

It’s also a portal where another player may join your world to fight battles with you that eases the slog of Super Pokemon Rumble's campaign.

If this doesn't appease your wish to see new elements brought to the Pokemon franchise, you can always make use of the StreetPass features to engage in pitting your collection against another’s while the 3DS is in sleep mode.

Even with these extra morsels, Super Pokemon Rumble is underwhelming package and one that would have fared much better on the digital shelves of Nintendo’s flourishing eShop.

Beyond its shallow gameplay, these blocky critters lack any charm and fall short of the great expectations that the Pokedex 3D has built up over the last year.

It’ll take dedicated fans to squeeze any enjoyment out of this shallow and repetitive hack and slasher. If you don’t know your Reshiram from your Zekrom, then steer clear.
 
Super Pokemon Rumble
Reviewer photo
Tom Worthington | 19 December 2011
If you’re still catching them all in Pokemon Black/White, there’s no reason to jump the gun with Super Rumble. Only fanatics need apply
 
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