As many of you may know, the Skylanders franchise has been using the concept of transferring physical toys to virtual environments world for a while now. The idea has been met with extensive popularity and success, so it’s only natural for other developers to catch on.
Traditionally, the Skylanders series came packaged with a plastic peripheral called the ‘Portal’, which was used to turn the various toys into the respective digital monsters on the television screen.
The Wii U already upholds a similar technology deemed the Near Field Communication (feature) on the gamepad. This piece of technology hasn’t really received much attention since the Wii U’s launch as no game up to this point has so much as hinted at using the function. In fact, many Wii U owners probably didn’t even know the feature existed.
Regardless, it’s there, and judging by the Pokemon Scramble U trailer, it looks to be working quite well. Rather than having to find space for another space-consuming piece of plastic, the technology has already been included with the console’s control pad, which really lends to convenience if you ask me.
Although the new title is clearly heavily influenced by Skylanders, the gameplay is actually quite different. Skylanders can be classified as an adventure title, in you take your avatar and progress through the game by battling monsters and leveling up. Pokemon Scramble U takes a different approach, using the avatar in what appears to be various mini-games.
The new title will support a number of familiar companions from the established Pokemon series. There’s no doubt that players will be purchasing extra figures to unlock playable characters in the game. One unique aspect about the whole phenomenon is that the figures will be obtained via capsule machines, meaning that they will be distributed at random. Surely it will be a great little hobby for collectors.
I actually think that the capsule machines are a great implementation to the nature of the game since it encourages players to interact and share their figures; trading Pokemon is a long-running tradition in the series.
Pokemon Scramble U will be released on April 24 in Japan. There is no current release date for North America as of yet. The capsule machines will will charge ¥200 (approx $2 US) per figure.