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A neat little curio that channels a cult piece of hardware, and some of the fighting greats.
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.
After a year of delays, the Switch version of Pocket Rumble unfortunately disappoints on multiple levels. While it has a distinct art style and some great multiplayer options, the overall lack of content and limited moveset hinder the game's true potential.
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.
It's one of the best fighting games available on Nintendo Switch even with its issues, and it's yours for a bargain price. If you want a fast-paced fighting game that has got huge amounts of character, you really can't go wrong.
This is great for newcomers and veterans of retro fighters as this one is easy to learn and hard to master. Just keep in mind, if you're looking for anything to collect or any sort of progression besides just ranking yourself up, you won't find it here. The authentic retro style and addicting gameplay, however, is still worth your time– especially if you want something that you can pick up and play in quick and insanely fun bursts.
"The most portable home console fighting game."
Review in Finnish | Read full review
As a whole Pocket Rumble stands up very well as an extremely budget-friendly fighter that has few frills but delivers what is most crucial. Looking and playing great whether in docked or handheld mode it’s light, easy to get into, and has a surprisingly-diverse roster with some very unusual characters. Throw in Online support that even competitive games with higher prices have been known to lack or implement with higher instability and it very much delivers a fair value for its humble price tag.
On the whole, Pocket Rumble is a game that fits snugly on the Nintendo Switch due to its portable inspiration and simple control system. I would even go a far as to say that I would love to see it streamed as a side tournament at some of the bigger fighting game events out there.
If you, like me, find a lot of fighting games intimidating to approach Pocket Rumble might just be the game for you. The easy to learn controls, but hard to master characters gives plenty of room to really sink into this one.