Review by Trixter800
"Pokemon on the big screen"
My tagline was no lie ... this really isn't much more to this game than Pokemon on the big screen. You got nice graphics, nice sounds, your Pokemon all in nice, 3-D, but when it comes to fighting, there really isn't anything noteworthy. Pokemon has been out for a while, and there's a pattern. Players finish the games in a few days, and have nothing to do for three years until the next generation comes out. For the first generation, it was Yellow. For the second - it was Stadium. For the third - Firered and Leafgreen. Now after about 10 years, you'd expect Pokemon is pretty popular. So obviously there will be addicts that finish it in two days, and then lose their interest for the next game. So, they released a Wii companion - Pokemon Battle Revolution.
Now, starting with the best aspect of the game - the graphics. Not having seen good old Pikachu in 3-D since the early GameCube days, it's a nice refreshing outlook to Pokemon. The graphics are great for a Wii game, and though aren't really comparable to the more advanced consoles, are still impressive. I'm personally not much of a graphics junkie, I think that this really helps immerse the player into the game more, as you're used to seeing your Pokemon in sprite form. One annoyance in the visuals department, however, is they still haven't fixed the unreal status conditions. If a Pokemon is asleep, the only difference is the typical 'ZZZs' and closed eyes. If they're knocked back into recoil, they just wander back to their previous spot. Nitpicks like these are scattered all over the game, but again, in general, the graphics were great.
Coming hand in hand with the graphics are the sounds. The sounds, and even music are not bad, even great. The only problem is that damned announcer. Repeating the same tones again gets annoying ... quick, and he doesn't change his voice tone at all. With one voice recording per Pokemon, the announcer sounds clearly edited and annoying ... quick. Not to mention the fact that he says the same damned phrase every time a Pokemon is knocked out. But otherwise, the music is great and fits the theme for each arena. Spooky for cemetery, and that nice, party, opening music you here at Gateway.
There's a lot of shallow gameplay going on, though. All dressed up with customizable clothes and gear, online battling, and flashy menu options, when it gets down to actual battling, there's nothing special. In fact, that's just about all you have to do. There's so immersive story to soak you in, Pokemon training and breeding, no Pokemon catching, or mini-games. Imagine if you were playing Pokemon Pearl ... and they took out everything except the battling. Everything, everything. That's just about what the game feels like, except in 3-D. However, at least they have put some variety in battling. There are luck battles, tournament styled games, and pre-selected battle cards a la Battle Frontier in Emerald. Those that have it even worse are those without Pokemon Pearl or Diamond, though. If you don't have Diamond or Pearl, frankly, don't get the game. You have to use pre-selected cards, and it is not fun ... at all.
Luckily, though, the game introduces online battling. If you're looking to kill some time, you can battle online competitively just like you did for Pokemon Pearl, and this time, in 3-D. Unfortunately, the game isn't really popular enough to warrant a steady fan-base, and it's hard to find people to actually battle with. But either way, online battling also brings up the score a bit, and is probably what you're going to be doing once you have finished the main part of the game.
However, another simple, fun aspect is the customization. An aspect desired in the main series for a while, you can waste a few hours just playing around with different clothes, hair styles, gear, and catch phrases. Sure, it's a gimmick, but at least it's a fun gimmick. And for the unlockable fans, there's plenty of that. Clothes and hair styles have to be unlocked through the course of the game, which may give you a reason for enduring playing through the tedious main story mode of the game.
But for the most part, the game is mediocre. The game is dressed up with great graphics and customization options, but in reality, it's nothing but Pokemon Pearl wrapped in a candy coated shell, but stripped of all the meat inside that made Pokemon ... Pokemon ... catching and training. If you're a fan, put this on your 'maybe list'. If you've never played, I'm afraid you probably should head to the 'Pokemon Pearl' section of GameFAQs, first, because this game is not for you.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/19/07, Updated 10/12/09
Game Release: Pokemon Battle Revolution (US, 06/25/07)
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