Review by Pkmn Tranier Abram
"Even Diehard Pokemon fans will have trouble accepting this"
The newest console game in the Pokemon series was promised to be spectacular. Destructible environments, flashy effects, realistic battle cries, and full on robust battles with other people around the world, THIS was what was promised to fans in the promotional video that came out before the game was released, though sadly it was not to be.
Being somewhat of a diehard fan myself, I was determined to get the game at launch, even after it was revealed that Genius Sorority was the developer, the same developers who made the somewhat lacking Pokemon console games for the Gamecube after Hal Laboratory stopped making the high quality Pokemon Stadium series on the Nintendo 64.
Since GS was a new company I could forgive Pokemon Collisuim as a game that did not deliver, being their first game after all, though to be fair, at least they tried to make it playable, offering an RPG Mode and a very limited Stadium Mode.
The sequel, Pokemon XD : GoD was an improvement, and a downright decent game on it's own offering a COMPLETE RPG quest with a few things to do after the main game was over along with many exclusive prizes to send to the GBA games they connected to.
Pokemon Trozei, the next Pokemon game GS worked on, wasn't a spectacular puzzle game(after all, it's hard to top Tetris Attack), but on it's own merits, it was a complete game that could hold you over for awhile and even offered connectivity to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue, in that you could get rare items between them for both games.
The level of quality from these games to the current Pokemon Battle Revolution, is disgusting in which you KNOW they could have done better, and yet they did not. This is not only judging by the high standard of quality from the Pokemon Stadium series of games, but own the level GS had set from themselves as well.
Graphics - 8/10
The effects, Pokemon, and locations look nice enough, though the execution overall is quite lacking. In Pokemon Stadium 2 when an attack would miss, it would show show a makeshift animation showing this. In PBR, it just switches to a shot of the Pokemon showing a message that it missed. Excuse me, but that kind of sloppiness isn't drawing me into the action there.
Sound - 5/10
The BGM is nothing spectacular, though not horrible, but the sound effects are a mixed bag. The attacks are great, but the Pokemon cries are exactly the same as the handhelds. In Pokemon Stadium 2, the cries were updated to make them sound like real animals, on a current gen console, you don't expect minimal 8 bit sound effects mixed in with CD audio quality explosions and sparks.
In the handhelds, raising Pokemon for your own enjoyment and for battles with friends and playing through the one player quest and it's minigames has always been the objective.
The Pokemon Stadium series elevated that standard not only in battling in 3D, but in being able to store you Pokemon on it, managing your boxes and items in the handhelds and on the game itself, offering a multitude of entertaining touraments and events, worthwhile rewards for completing them, minigames, a vast libary of information on the games ranging from full details on breeding to item lists and battle tactics, extensive multiplayer options, and more.
PBR only has the battling portion and the ability to upload copies of monsters, and that's it. If the AI were up to the task, I could...forgive this, but you know something is wrong when a Starly can beat an Onix in Rank 9 of the Little Cup with ease, when it clearly is at a disadvantage.
And the AI isn't the only problem. Most events are just plain boring or slight variations of events that weren't fun to begin with.
On to management of Pokemon, you can upload them via wireless communication, however once you do, if you need to switch items or something you must do it on the DS and upload everything all over again. Not the case in Pokemon Stadium 2 where one can just pick the item out of storage and equip it to the Pokemon right then and there.
There is a Battle Tutorial, but it does not cover many tactics, and what it does cover, is vague. In Pokemon Stadium 2, you could look up full databases on moves in combination with tactics. In PBR, you need an outside source if you are unfamiliar with the terms it uses. Seriously, if anything, the Battle Tutorial could have been as in depth as it's Stadium 2 counterpart, considering the game is literally about battles and nothing else.
Multiplayer - 0/10
For a game based on battling, it does not do it's job well. There are missing modes of play that are in the handheld games such as 4 players going in for team battles. There is only 1 VS 1 action here. That is simply inexcusable.
Online isn't much better. While Friend Code battles allow you to create custom rules to an extent(though not as robust as Stadium 2 or even GS's own Pokemon XD) Random online is just flatout unforgivable. There is an option for single battles 3 on 3 and Double battles, 2 on 2. with 4 pokemon on each side, anything goes.
THERE IS NO FULL ON 6 ON 6 IN RANDOM ONLINE.
THERE ARE NO OPTIONS TO SET CLAUSES ON FOR RANDOM ONLINE.
I played Random for 2 weeks, and stopped. Unless you like playing full teams of Mewtwos, or multiples of the same Pokemon, you won't be playing it for long. And the funny thing is, while the whole selling point of PBR was it's Random Online Mode, I found myself going back to FC battles on the DS, actually not caring about typing in the other person's FC each time. Sure, you could use FC's for this game, but you could do that on the DS games as well.
I went in expected to at least have some entertaining fights and got disappointment from the majority of them in almost every mode of play either because the ingame AI was too easy or the online was limited. Sure, you can get 3 Special Pokemon(however only one is unobtainable any other way) from the game and items(which are all one offs even though the game supposedly sells items, WTF) but at the end of the day, you just don't give a damn. The game itself is boring and easy, without comparing it to past games from Hal and GS.
Just, save yourself the money and get something else.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/11/08
Game Release: Pokemon Battle Revolution (US, 06/25/07)
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