Pokémon Rumble World Review: I should hope it’s obvious I don’t really work at Nintendo

Hello, everyone. I’m Reece Real-Employee from Nintendo with a very special message for you about Pokémon Rumble World. It’s a brand new game, available right now on the Nintendo 3DS e-Shop, and it has everything you want in a game!

You want bare-bones gameplay? Pokémon Rumble World has that. You want microtransactions? It has those, too. You want cheap, one-hit kills that will force you to pay real-world money to avoid wasting your own time? You better believe it has that. Welcome to the Video Game New World Order, where every game will have a timer on every activity and, for the low, low price of two cents (every time it happens, and it will happen a lot… I mean, like, way more than however much you’re thinking), you can hop right back into the action instead of waiting 2 hours for your turn!

“But, Reece, how are these obviously exciting things possible?” Glad you asked, me. This is possible because of a resource that you can acquire at an agonizingly slow rate in-game called “Poké Diamonds.” We couldn’t be bothered to give them a more interesting name or even think to call them by the same name as an existing resource from the franchise because we were too busy reading this copy of “How To Make a Mobile Game that Looks and Works Exactly Like Every Other Bullshit Free-to-Play Game and Rob a Small Handful of People Who Literally Cannot Help Themselves Blind in the Process!” which we got from the same store that we got “How To Use as Little of the Power at Your Fingertips as Possible When Developing Video Games.” And it worked! This game looks like absolute shit compared to most of the rest of what’s available for the 3DS, and no amount of Poké Diamonds can improve it. Poké Diamonds are used for almost every common action in the game, and drop rates are kept conveniently low so you have more opportunities to buy them at roughly a penny apiece in the e-Shop! It’s a win/win! For us!

Sound appealing? You can show us at Nintendo how much this appeals to you RIGHT NOW by downloading Pokémon Rumble World and spending hundreds of dollars on gems to buy backgrounds that match your shittily-rendered, barely animated Pokémon so you can take EXTREMELY EXCITING pictures of them! Have a Voltorb you particularly like? Spend a dollar on a soccer background so you can pretend you’re kicking the shit out of him! Love Audino, but frustrated that they’re never in Pokémon centers where their healing asses belong? Buy a hospital background and pretend that that’s a solution! With so many Pokémon and classy-ass backgrounds available, the options are nearly limitless.

“But, Reece, it only seems as though there are roughly enough items to buy to add up to about fifteen or twenty dollars, and that seems like just a reasonable price for a download-only 3DS game. Why didn’t you call it good there and charge us twenty dollars so we don’t have to buy everything piecemeal?” Well, Valued Consumer, if we’d done that, then we couldn’t charge you two cents every time you died or, heaven forbid, wanted to actually play the fucking game you paid for. Now, we can view it as still being our game, since you didn’t pay for it, and that makes it easier for us to rationalize charging admission! No, idiot, there is so much more that you will have to pay for in this game. Died? Two cents to pick a new Pokémon and keep going. If you don’t pay, you lose everything and go back to town and you can’t do that level again for two hours. “But, Reece, what if I want to play the level again, now, instead of waiting two hours, because, you know, this is a video game, not a trip to the DMV?” An excellent and on-point question, imaginary audience member, and the answer bolsters my excitement for this game as well as the point I was making, anyway! You can pay another two cents to eliminate the artificial timer and play the game you’ve been trying to play this whole time! CONVENIENT!

Yes, finally, a Pokémon game for people who are too dumb for Pokémon games. Here at Nintendo, we heard what our fans asked for and we gave it to them. Here is list of concerns that we addressed with Pokémon Rumble World:

“Choosing just six Pokémon for my party is too overwhelming!” Here, scroll through a list of hundreds of Pokémon every time one gets low on health! That sounds way easier, right?

“Four moves is confusing. Can you maybe slim it down to just two moves per Pokémon?” Shit, we’ll do you one better and make half of them show up with only one move!

“My Mii is getting pretty lonely. He should be able to stand next to a fucking store and do nothing while weird-looking Pokémon do even more nothing near him.” WE DID EXACTLY THAT, JUST FOR YOU, VALUED CUSTOMER!

“I love making divine entities do embarrassing things, but Pokémon-amie only gives me like seven or eight options for mortifying the Pokémon Gods of space, time, life, death, etc. If only there was a game designed specifically for my stupid face.”

WELL, IDIOT, THERE IS. It’s called Pokémon Rumble Blast, and it has so many pointless animations that you won’t even think about Pokémon-amie any more. Who needs cupcakes when you can watch the world’s shortest game of hide-and-seek any time you want? No one, that’s who. Fuck cupcakes.

We know that you’re already done with Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and hungry for more, but it’s getting harder and harder to write games with negligible stories, so, rather than strain ourselves, we’ve hired a studio called Ambrella to make another game that you’ll play because you’re a weirdly co-dependent dumbass who can’t go more than an hour without taking care of some sort of digital pet. They’re the studio that made “Hey You, Pikachu!” a game about yelling at your Nintendo 64, so this game is guaranteed to be a hit! It’s all the fun and social aspects of Farmville, but with a Pokémon motif instead of something you can play without having to be afraid that hoodlums will view you as the weakest target, as well as resource-management that can be bypassed with your hard-earned money!

We here at Nintendo sincerely believe that you don’t know how to play video games, so we made this game even easier to play than the previous Pokémon Rumble games! Having trouble pushing the A button? Great! This game defaults to a setting called “auto-attack,” which makes your Pokémon attack whatever your palsy-stricken fingers happen to randomly point the analog stick toward all by itself, so you won’t miss out on one second of giving us your money, even if you are differently-abled!

“But, Reece, can I pay real-world money to unlock content that should have been available in the first place?” Of fucking course you can. We only started you off with three levels, so you better believe you can get in on all the content-purchasing action as soon as you load up the game for the first time! We’ll even give you the first gems for free then slowly increase the price over time, to really make it sink in that we are the pusher and you are the addict. Honestly, this moral position is really liberating! As long as we keep thinking of you as dirty fucking addicts, we don’t have to feel bad about these predatory business practices that prey primarily, not on the addicts I mentioned (that’s you, in case you forgot, you fucking addict), but on children, instead. It’s just like the drug war!


Pokémon MOTHERFUCKING RUMBLE BLAST: Because, here at Nintendo, we think all of our customers are goddamn morons.






Oh, man, I can not keep that up any more, and the sarcasm doesn’t play for what I have to say last, in summation. But, don’t worry, I’m still very fucking angry.

Nintendo, get it together. Sure, it’s cheaper than most games this malicious, but that doesn’t mean there is no malice in its design. You’re robbing people in the present at the expense of your future and you don’t seem to see it. You were supposed to be the good guys. You were supposed to be a bastion of quality standing against a sea of day-one patches and shitty download-only titles. You were supposed to be the ones who didn’t nickel and dime us with paid content like every other fucking developer. You were supposed to be the immovable wall between us and the money-grubbing shovelware enthusiasts at Treyarch and Ubisoft Montreal and DICE, but you’re becoming just like them. Worse, even, you have a full-on freemium game going on, here, and one that uses all of the nastiest tricks in the freemium book to part people with their money.

I did purchase gems from the store, using the two “introductory” packages or whatever they’re called. They are the same as two of the cheapest packs of gems, and they are half-off one time only. I paid less than two dollars, I was able to buy access to about two-thirds of the levels, and I even had about seventy cents worth of normally-priced gems left. But, they didn’t last long. One could try to carefully ration them, but many bosses will leap across stages and do lethal amounts of unexpected damage. Very few people would be able to make the choice to lose everything they’d just earned instead of paying the two cents to keep going. It’s even easier than actually spending two cents, though, because you paid for the gems long before you spent them, ideally. That gap in time creates a sort of disconnect, where the money doesn’t really feel like money, any more. It’s been Poké Diamonds for so long, you’ve forgotten that it was ever money at all, or that this is the twentieth time you’ve paid to stay alive in a game where you already had to pay for the individual fucking levels, and that makes forty cents worth of staying alive, which means that that miserable minute and a half you spent at work getting yelled at by your boss today was a complete waste because you spent that money on dying in a freemium game on your beloved portable gaming system.

There is little to no playing this game without spending money on it. Poké Diamonds are quite rare in the game and the timer on levels means that, if you try to earn them without buying them, you will either be completely enslaved to a schedule revolving around your 3DS, or it will take you months to be able to afford the later levels. This is the worst kind of game, and Nintendo, you should be ashamed to put your name on it. It’s not even trying to pretend to be a real game. It is unabashedly a phone game, and I want my two dollars back.

Zero out of ten. Like, negative twelve hundred out of ten. It’s not fun. It’s hardly even a game. It’s just a gaping hole for you to endlessly throw your money into, two cents at a time.

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