It’s not hard to find videogames that utilize the free-to-play model, but it is difficult to find titles that use that particular model adequately. Big time developer and publisher, Nintendo, has decided to team up with Ambrella to take a second crack at the negative stigmatized free-to-play model by integrating it into a franchise Nintendo fans hold near and dear to their hearts. But in Pokemon Rumble World the experience feels and plays exactly the same as past installments, but now with micro-transactions and an updated roster of Pokemon characters to play as the differentiating factors. A lot can be said about Pokemon Rumble World, too bad what has to be said about it isn’t very good. Here’s why.

37Pokemon Rumble World looks, plays and feels exactly the same as its predecessors. And as someone who played every Pokemon Rumble title, gameplay immediately felt intuitive but eventually became repetitive and mundane. After playing Pokemon Rumble World for roughly five minutes, I started to manifest that “been there, done that” mentality which was unfortunate and proof of the games lack of innovation. I’m not sure what Nintendo and Ambrella could have done to differentiate this title from past installments, but anything would have been better than playing the same card four times in a row. To be honest, if you’re in the same shoes as I you’re not likely to experience anything different from this title; except a moderately drained eShop account balance.

HNI_0005Paying to play a videogame usually lies in the eye of the beholder, but in Pokemon Rumble World, paying to play this videogame seems to be a frequent occurrence. In order for the player to collect them all, he or she must travel to different islands found in the Pokemon Kingdom. Doing so requires the player to purchase air-balloons with Poke Diamonds. Nintendo makes these purchases easy for the player…at first, but then hikes up the prices of Poke Diamonds to a whopping 28 dollars. This was a bit aggravating at first but certainly not the only way to obtain Poke Diamonds as completing in-game objectives also grant you this form of currency. This is considered to be a necessary evil, especially if your goal is to capture all 719 Pokemon.

Pokemon Rumble World offers an updated roster in characters but this time from every generation of Pokemon in the series. All of the coolest Pokemon are in this title and can be used for ultimate destruction against puny characters. Pokemon characters like Groudon and Dialga feel incredible to plays as but first requires the player to grind through the videogame and pay a bit of cash to unlock. I’ll reiterate, obtaining all 719 Pokemon in this game is absolutely possible, but it will cost you a pretty penny to do so.

At best, Pokemon Rumble World is a videogame that lacks innovation and sticks to what it knows in regards to its gameplay structure. By sticking to its roots, it piggy-backs off that same mechanic and over emphasizes on micro-transactions, making this experience no better than the shovel-ware found on mobile platforms. At heart, Pokemon Rumble World is still a Pokemon videogame but with a lot of baggage and an equal amount of caveats.