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Pokemon Rumble U hits North American eShop Aug. 29

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Pokemon Rumble U, the latest entry in the beat-em-up offshoot series for Wii U — and the first game to integrate with the GamePad's Near Field Communication technology — will hit the console's eShop Aug. 29, Nintendo announced today.

The game, which will cost $17.99 to download, features all 649 Pokemon included in the series from the original generation all the way up to Pokemon Black Version 2 and White Version 2. Players will be able to add new Pokemon (in the form of living toys) to their team, fighting against mobs of hostile toy-Pokemon in a single-player or co-op campaign, or competitive multiplayer modes.

Players can also purchase one of 18 figurines depicting different in-game Pokemon at GameStop for $3.99 a piece. These toys can interact with the GamePad's NFC input, allowing players to import each Pokemon into the game and save that character's progress on a built-in chip — technology similar to that of Activision's Skylanders toys. Players can play through the game without using those figurines, but the NFC-enhanced versions of the characters will be stronger than their digital-only counterparts.

Pokemon Rumble U will also launch in Europe Aug. 15, though Nintendo told MCV that it is still deliberating on which "small number of figurines" will be sold in the region.