Nintendo
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Pokémon Rumble U (JP) is the third game in the Pokémon Rumble series which is a beat 'em up spinoff of the Pokémon series. It is also the first entry on the Wii U. It also uses a set of NFC figures for special Pokemon.

Plot

After a mishap in the Toy Pokémon Shop, a few Pokémon capsules are swept down a river and washed up on a strange riverbank. Our heroes set out to find their way back to the Toy Pokémon Shop. Along the way our heroes discover all is not right.

Gameplay

It plays pretty similar to earlier entries in the series. The game is playable up to 4 players. Each player chooses a Toy Pokémon which has two attacks and sometimes a special trait. The players start with a small collection of Toy Pokémon but gradually befriends more by beating them in combat. As Toy Pokémon can't level up, you need to constantly switch out your party to be the best you can. There are all the Pokemon from Generations I to V in here to collect.

GamePad Functionality

The game supports Off-TV play but also has touch screen functions. Touching enemies pauses them for a moment and the Gamepad player can collect coins or disable traps simply by touching them. It also does minor damage to antagonistic obstacles. The biggest feature is that after the team racks up 10 gems from combos, the player can do a Touch Bomb which takes away 1/2 of the health of enemy Toy Pokémon on impact. You can do multiple bombs in the time limit which wipes out the area of Pokemon. However, no coins, gems or Toy Pokémon are gained from this.

NFC figures

The NFC figures serve as special Toy Pokémon that level up as you play with them using the money earned in the levels. In total, there are 18 figures and were exclusive by GameStop in America and GAME in United Kingdom.

In addition, there were 3 Pokemon with rare shiny versions. They were:

  • Pikachu
  • Eevee
  • Genesect

Reception

Pokémon Rumble U has received mostly mixed to negative reviews. On Metacritic, the game received an aggregated score of 49 out of 100, and a user score of 4.9. Its aggregate score at GameRankings was also 49%.

Writing for Nintendo Insider, Joe Merrick gave the game 70%, summarising that "Pokémon Rumble U is a simple and fun game, but may bore a few players".

Mike Manson of Nintendo Life gave a more mixed review, giving Rumble U 6 out of 10; summarising that "Pokémon Rumble U is straightforward fun that's a far cry from the main Pokémon titles, but it does pair some key strategic elements of the series with the button bashing – though there are definitely moments where there's too much going on to keep real track of, which does lead to more reliance on the latter than the former".

Chris Carter of Destructoid rated the game a 6/10. He critiqued it, finding Pokémon Rumble U too linear, lacking strategy, and repetitive and basic. Despite its flaws, he claims it may be a fun experience with friends and in short periods of gameplay.

Will Greenwald of PCMag gave the game a 2/5. He criticized it for not living up to the mechanics of Pokémon Rumble Blast and lacking a Pokémon upgrade system, due to what he deemed an unnecessary incorporation of external merchandise into gameplay. If one wants to grow attached to their Pokémon, they must buy its corresponding NFC figurine – only then will they be able to “upgrade” it to their liking. Nonetheless, he said the game is too linear and short to enjoy the upgrades.

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