Top Critic Average
It's a beautiful game, but that beauty can't hide the fact Pocket Rumble still needs a bit of work. When playing with friends locally the game is an absolute blast. That's when it's at its best. It's all the other modes that weigh the package down. I'm not too keen to return to any of the single-player options until the AI is fixed nor do I wish to endure the spammy assaults of the same three or four characters I face online. With some fine-tuning, Pocket Rumble can get to where it needs to be, but Cardboard Robot Games should probably hurry because the Switch isn't short on quality fighters and the field will only grow more crowded as we continue the march towards the end of the year.
Despite being a useful tool in your training, Pocket Rumble's arcade mode is slight, but in multiplayer the game excels thanks to a diverse (albeit small) lineup of characters. Fighting games can be complicated things, off-putting to newcomers with their wide array of moves and techniques, but Cardboard Robot Games has crafted a fun and easy to learn experience here, bundled up in a wonderfully nostalgic audio-visual imitation of the old Neo Geo Pocket Color brawlers. By employing just two attack buttons and simplifying the special moves, it may not offer as much depth as some fighting games, but there's still enough to keep even a genre veteran happy here. As newcomer friendly as the game is, timing and correct move choice are still key, so experience is undoubtably a factor. Working well with any controller, the game is good fun and perfectly suited for quick bursts of play, whether that be in online battles or playing tabletop against friends. Admittedly the Switch is not short of decent fighting games, but Pocket Rumble still provides great entertainment.
Pocket Rumble - Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer