If it wasn’t already apparent before, then it’s infinitely apparent now: Pokemon is more than just a fad. The franchise has been alive and kicking for well over a decade, but, despite seeing several variants and spin-offs, there has yet to have been a game that brings the hordes of loveable creatures to life. The previously announced Pokemon Rumble U, however, has managed to take that concept and apply the trademark “gotta catch ’em all” mentality to the toys-to-life philosophy that was originally established with Skylanders.
While the game has been available in Japan for some time already (in fact, the title has already received a second series of action figures) there’s been no word on a European and North American release date — until now.
The Pokemon Company has announced plans to bring the eShop-exclusive to Wii U next month for roughly $17.99, setting it up to hit shortly after the arrival of Pikmin 3; another key release on the platform. The downloadable title will feature all 649 collectible monsters that currently make up the Pokedex in Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, so don’t expect to see any of the critters debuting in Pokemon X and Y to make an appearance.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this title is the ability to bring real toys into the game through the Wii U GamePad’s NFC capabilities. Despite any concerns that fans may have had about the action figures failing to make the transition to markets outside of Japan, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo have clarified that Pokemon Rumble U toys will be made available exclusively in select GameStop stores.
A grand total of 18 plastic monsters will be made available when the game launches August 29th in North America, with Pikachu, Victini, Deoxys (Normal Forme), Eevee, and Genesect being the only confirmed Pokemon thus far. Each NFC-enabled figure will cost gamers $3.99 a pop, but they’ll be sold in concealed capsule. This means consumers won’t know which critter they’ve snagged until after it’s been purchased.
While completely optional to experience Pokemon Rumble U, these action figures can be levelled up by players with in-game coins that are collected during play. Anyone who finds themselves travelling between domiciles frequently will be happy to know that, like Skylanders, the data of each Pokemon is stored in the toy, meaning that all of the hard-earned experience the monster has gained will transfer over to other games.
Pokemon Rumble U will be tackling the Wii U eShop on August 29th in North America and August 15th in Europe.
You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle to catch more news on Pokemon.