Pokémon Rumble Blast (or known alternatively as Pokémon Rumble Blast in further shores) is the first Pokémon game to be designed and released for the 3DS, featuring almost every single Pokémon from the entire five generations of the game (with a few exceptions). It is an action-packed, 3D adventure in which the usual turn-based battling format is replaced with real-time action as you take control of the Pokémon themselves (albeit in toy form) and guide them through a variety of terrain, picking up new Pokémon along the way by defeating the Pokémon around you. For the first time, you are in full control of the movement of your Pokémon as they battle against multiple enemies in their own habitats, giving the battles a dimension that the main-series games do not possess. Because of the time I’ve spent playing the game, I thought that I might as well pop a few thoughts down onto paper and enter them into digital record so that people can be free to choose whether to read or ignore them.
Pikachu stares into your soul while the rest of the Pokémon as distinctly unimpressed
I wouldn’t dream of attempting a full-length walkthrough of the game, or even a step-by-step list of areas or the Pokémon that you will encounter in them; these kinds of guides are already readily available on the internet. I’m not going to walk you through the basics such as the controls since I’m not in the business of stating the painfully obvious, or indeed telling you something that is already written for you in the instruction manual to be viewed at your convenience. All I’ve done is popped down a few of the measures and tactics that made my experience with the game much more fluid and enjoyable onto some virtual paper for all to regard or disregard at your leisure. Whether or not the words act as a helping hand for you is something that is down to a combination of the quality of my writing and your willingness to read the words: I can assure you that I am almost holding my breath in anticipation.
- The Fundamentals
- Gameplay-Related Madness
- Pokemon Type Chart
- If nothing else, remember these tips
Above all else, the main factor which decides whether you annihilate your opponents or whether they crush you like discarded can of Dr. Pepper is the characteristics of your Pokémon. Located on the ‘Switch Menu’ (press X while not in battle), you can find out your Pokémon’s various attributes and assess whether they are suited adequately against your opponent by looking at the following factors:
Power – This indicates the strength of your Pokémon in general and is essentially the game’s equivalent of the Pokémon’s Level in the main-series games. Once you pick up Pokémon of higher levels, discard their weaker counterparts of the same name since fighting strong Pokémon with weak ones is asking for a beat-down.
Attack/Defense – Indicated by small circles ranging from 1-5; I rarely look at these but they can tell you if your Pokémon is best suited for devastation or whether he’s more of a sturdy fighter that can take more damage than he can give
Type – Perhaps the most important characteristic to consider when entering into battles. A fundamental principle of the battle mechanics of Pokémon in general, the type of your Pokémon will decide whether it deals/receives normal, half or double damage in battle. Grass dominates over Water, Water will destroy Fire Pokémon and Electric Pokémon worsen the day of any Flying Pokémon that the apply voltage to. The different type matchups are listed in their own section below (such is their importance).
Tip: You can favourite your strongest Pokémon by pressing ‘R’ when the Pokémon you want to select is highlighted. This saves you scrolling through a huge list of Pokémon during battle.
Typecast: don’t underestimate the importance of Pokemon/move type in the game
The environment that surrounds you in the game consists of towns (which possess various facilities including a fountain to heal your Pokémon, areas (or levels), forts, battlefields and battle royales, which you must complete in order to pass on to the next level.
Towns are your central location that you can return to again and again for use of its various facilities. Though you will mainly be visiting towns for their life-replenishing fountains that provide you with restorative ‘glow drops’ (the theft of which is the crux of the very questionable storyline) that restore your Hp and revive/recover any fainted Pokémon in your party, there are also a few other handy facilities available for use.
Towns also act as central travel hubs, possessing launch pads to travel to new places and tunnels which lead to the areas that you have already explored. Various information points are also scattered around the towns, as are collection points which allow you to gather information on the Pokémon you have already ‘caught’.
The release point is probably the one you will use the most (after the glowing fountains), since it is the only facility that allows you to cut down your Pokémon collection by releasing them into the wild in exchange for money, the sum of which increases with the number of Pokémon you set free. If you release 7 of the same species of Pokémon, you will be rewarded with this species’ evolution as a parting gift (7 Oshawotts gets you a Dewott, for example). How lovely! Remember, the maximum number of Pokémon you are allowed in your collection before the game prevents you from entering into battles is 2,500, so make sure you’re regularly maintaining your collection by releasing the ones you don’t need. Alternatively, you can use the Move School to consolidate your Pokemon multiples while keeping a move of your choice.
Move School (Axle Town Only)
This handy little facility allows for your Pokémon to learn moves that any one of your other Pokémon may possess. It is essentially feature that transfers any moves that you may particularly like but think would simply function better if in the care of another Pokémon. It works much like the Release Point since the Pokémon whose move you choose to teach to another then disappears after the deed is done. Depending on the move, you will need varying multiples of Pokémon of the same species in order to learn it (the number ranges from 1-6 Pokémon). This facility is very useful for teaching powerful moves to you other Pokémon that would otherwise cost you money or would never have been a move which that particular Pokémon would have come with as standard. Teaching a move that gives the receiving Pokémon the type-advantage over their enemy is a way to make your Pokémon even more powerful.
Special machines called ‘Move-a-majigs’ and ‘Move Vendors’ can be located in various areas throughout Toyland. The function of both of these machines is to teach moves to your Pokémon in exchange for [P] (the currency of the game). Move-a-majigs teach your Pokémon a random move, while the Move Vendors clearly advertise the move on offer. Remember that if your Pokémon already knows two moves, it will need to forget one of these in order to make space for the new move. Some moves are quite expensive, so only buy them if you know that it will definitely give you the type-advantage over the Pokémon in the area.
Move vendors allow you to add to your Pokémons move-set in exchange for money
Pokémon Rumble blast swaps out Pokéballs for plain old scavenging for the Pokémon that you’ve manage to topple over and knock to the ground without completely obliterating into nothingness. A majority of the Pokémon you go up against you will end up defeating, providing you only with coins and a small sense of accomplishment for your efforts. To capture, oops sorry, befriend Pokémon, the idea is to force them into a temporary state of wobble where stars spin around them for a short while; this is when they are vulnerable for capt.. nay, befriending. Simply attack the Pokémon when they are wobbly to ensure that you can pick them up for your collection. There are a few ways to facilitate the whole process of making your opponents wobble as opposed to destroying them, and I think I may just list a few of them right now.
- Defeating a Pokémon once it starts wobbling has an almost certain chance of allowing you to befriend it.
- Increasing your combo count (this is when the game lists Pokémon that you defeat in quick succession) also boosts your chances of tipping over a Pokemon instead of resulting in its straight-up defeat. Attacking Pokémon from behind also has the same effect.
- Some of the moves themselves actually increased the chance of wobbling/toppling over a Pokémon: Focus Energy, Frost Breath, Storm Throw, and Spacial Rend all increase the chance of wobbling your foe.
- Manipulating the characteristics of moves that reduce HP but cannot eliminate your opponent completely can allow you to increase the likelihood of wobbling the Pokémon simply by giving you more time in which to battle it: False Swipe and Endeavour allow you to do this. Heal Pulse also allows bumps up the odds of you eventually toppling a Pokémon by giving you more time with your opponent through constant healing of its HP.
- Pokémon have special traits, but only one of these is most useful here: ‘Gutsy’ increases the probability of wobbling a Pokémon, though traits are only unlocked after Chapter 3.
- Sparkling Pokémon are a certainty for befriending once they are defeated. Pokémon you cannot befriend are ones you encounter in a Battle Royale, Team, or Charge Battle. Cobalion and Rusty Legion members can be captured after completing the game.
- Bosses can be toppled just like any other Pokémon, though only during the exhaustion period after their main attacks.
Moves of Note
Attacks which drain your opponent’s HP while restoring yours give you an obvious advantage in the game, particularly in Battle Royales where the action can get a little out of hand. Drain Punch, Leech Life and Giga Drain all sap the enemies’ life force for your own HP’s benefit. Against single enemies you may not notice much of a difference, but when these moves connect with multiple targets, the HP really starts to roll in. It’s a win-win, unless you’re the Pokémon on the receiving end, in which case it is a definite bad day for them.
Some moves are simply more powerful than others, acting like a thermonuclear device in a war fought mainly with hand grenades. Rock Wrecker brings the suffering for anyone who happens to be unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end. Other moves that require charging but bring copious amounts of pain are Fusion Bolt, Sky Attack, Mega Horn, and Drill Run are all hard hitters, though be careful about the moment of vulnerability when you are charging up.
Ok, so the plural in the title was misleading, but the other move I want to mention is Protect, which gives you a temporary boost of invulnerability, which has its obvious advantages. Focus Energy increases the chances of wobbling a Pokémon.
When you step into a wild habitat, Pokémon will accumulate about your person and begin attacking you; if you’re slow on the uptake, you may not realise that the battle has therefore begun. Essentially, you must try and defeat the Pokémon while taking as little damage as possible. The best tactic is to keep moving so that you are not simply a stationary target. The opposing Pokémon usually (though it varies with different attacks) lock onto your current location before attacking, so continuously moving will prevent you from still being in the way of the attack by the time it happens. Defeating Pokémon will usually provide you with coins, and sometimes leaves a Pokémon behind for you to add to your collection.
Essentially a no-holds-barred royal rumble of the Pokémon world. All Pokémon within the arena must be defeated within a set time limit. Defeating Pokémon yourself can make them drop Time icons which put a few more seconds on your dwindling allocation of seconds for the battle. Pokémon cannot be switched until your active one faints, making it important to select your strongest creature to head into the battle. Winning these battles allows you to proceed to the next area.
Up to two teammates can be selected to battle with you, though these cannot be switched once you begin. ‘Hyper Mode’ occurs when you collect enough windup energy and press ‘X’.
An entire group of Pokémon are led into battle, the power of which is determined by repeatedly pressing ‘A’ and rotating the circular directional pad.
At the end of each area you will face a boss battle, which is usually just a Pokémon that is lager in both size and ego, surrounded by tinier versions of himself, probably to make him feel more gigantic than he actually is, but more likely provide some cannon fodder to distract you from defeating him too quickly.
Bosses follow a set pattern of attack which consists of having primary and secondary moves. They usually perform these moves in succession before becoming vulnerable for quite a few seconds, which is when you should try and bring the pain like you were John McClane in the first three Die Hard movies. After his moment of vulnerability, he will compensate for this by releasing a shockwave that will knock you back, damage you and have you in a confused daze for a second, making you the vulnerable one for a short amount of time. The ferocity and speed of this routine increases the more you decrease his HP, so be wary when he’s about to topple in bitter defeat because this is when they can catch you out, leaving you red in the face with a mixture of embarrassment and frustration. Don’t worry; you’ll likely have a ridiculous number of Pokémon up your sleeve to use anyhow.
Like a boss
The good news is that you can encounter legendary Pokémon in the game that are very powerful and very useful in your quest. You can encounter these Pokémon when reaching the boss springboard at the end of each area: if the springboard is sparkling, then you’ve got yourself a legendary boss fight. The bad news is that the chances of encountering a shimmering springboard are at a measly 5%.
Pokemon Type Chart
It doesn’t matter which Pokémon game you’re playing, it always pays to be aware of the type of both the Pokémon you own and the ones that you are facing in battle. The type of each Pokémon is a significant factor in determining how much damage is taken during battle, and the type of their moves affects how much damage they inflict on the opposition. Courtesy of The Pokémon Database, the type chart below shows you all you need to know in terms of type matchups when determining the effectiveness of your Pokémon against the opposition.
All this hype about Pokémon type (it’s worth it in the long run).
If nothing else, remember these tips
- Always take your Pokémon’s power and type into consideration. Consider his general type when thinking about defense/resisting attacks and the move type when considering his attacking potential. Try to use Pokémon that are resistant to your enemies’ type and moves that are super-effective against your enemy. This will draw things to a close very quickly, and the result will be in your favour.
- Continued movement during battles will reduce the risk of you being caught up in a flurry of attacks that are costly to your HP. Dodge and strafe while mastering the aim of your attacks, and make sure to stay out of large groups of Pokémon if possible, particularly if they are stronger than you or are of a type that gives them the advantage.
- Keeping Pokémon with good moves is wise so that they can be passed on to other Pokémon via the Move School in Axle Town
- Getting a Pokémon to wobble (stars rotate around the Pokémon, as opposed to straight-up defeating it) and defeating it when it is in this state will make it highly likely that you will be able to pick it up for your collection (called ‘befriending’, though this term is too mild and sickly even for Pokémon)
- In Battle Royales that require specific types of Pokémon to enter, try using a Pokémon with moves that are of different type to its own. For example, in a battle that allows only fire Pokémon, entering with a Pokémon that only has fire moves puts you at a slight disadvantage. Even normal or dark type moves will be more powerful even though they aren’t super-effective.
Refer to the type-chart below to get the upper hand. You can beat Pokémon of significantly higher power than you if your moves are super-effective against it.