Review by Blarg92
"Iím glad my brother bought this instead of me wasting my money on it."
Score: 2/10 Terrible severe problems prevent any real fun.
And that is a perfect description of this game. The game is shallow to begin with, and even what it attempts to do, it does poorly due to flaws in design. It was a major disappointment in every area.
You are on an island, and there are coliseums you have to battle in. That is the entire plot. In a way, it reflects the game, since the game's focus is battling, not traveling through a continent catching different pokemon. Of course, the lack of story doesn't detract much from gameplay, so if the game itself was fun this game's pathetic excuse for a plot could be overlooked. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
This game is turn-based, so controls aren't much of an issue. Nonetheless, they work fine. You point at the attack or option you want to select with the wiimote and press A. Pretty simple. You also have the option to use the arrow pad if you want, but really pointing at the T.V. works just fine.
The music in the game is terrible, even by Pokemon standards. I often muted my T.V. because the music annoyed me so much. The sound effects of the attacks are ok on the other hand. There is an option to turn off the announcer if he really bugs you, one of the few nice touches to the game.
The graphics are ok, but not great. At times, you say wow, that move looks awesome in 3D, but other times they feel kind of sloppy.
For example, the Pokemon themselves look good at first, but longtime pokemon fans might notice that they are just slightly improved versions of the Pokemon Stadium models. They even move the same way. It just made me wish I was playing Stadium instead, since that game was actually fun.
Another hint that this game was rushed is the trailer that got a lot of hype about destructive scenery, meaning the moves actually affected the terrain. For example, fire blast might leave the ground scorched. Unfortunately, this entire aspect was left out of the game.
Overall, the graphics aren't nearly as disappointing as the rest of the game, but considering that the 3D graphics is one of the few selling points of this game, they leave a lot to be desired.
There is no story mode; you only battle in this game (like in Stadium). There are several coliseums you battle through, with slightly increasing difficulty. The rental pokemon are absolutely horrible; they are rarely fully evolved (unless it's a pokemon that is so bad it sucks even when it is fully evolved) and they have terrible move sets.
In spite of this, the earlier coliseums are still easy to beat because your opponents will be using equally terrible pokemon. But when they start using tougher pokemon, you will be at an extreme disadvantage, and only the game's crappy AI makes it even possible to win (and still not likely).
Of course, if you have a DS and Diamond or Pearl, you can copy those pokemon over to your Wii and use them in the Coliseums. But if you do that, all of the coliseums (even the later tougher ones) will be so easy they're boring and you won't feel like finishing them.
Partially since this game was the first Wii game to support wifi, the online play is a major selling point of the game (in particular, matches against random opponents). This is unfortunate, because the wifi was sloppily done. The wifi of this game is the only part I even remotely enjoyed. However, this was quickly squashed out by the extremely limited and poorly designed nature of wifi battling.
The rules on random wifi are preset, and they are: 3v3 (meaning 3 pokemon per team) for singles matches (meaning 1 pokemon out at a time) or 4v4 for doubles matches. So, many of your battles will be won or lost before you start, just because you happened to pick the right 3 out of your team of 6 to counter the 3 your opponent happened to pick. Also, the strategy is very different between 3v3 singles and 6v6 singles (which is standard in most battling communities). Overall, I didn't find 3v3 nearly as fun as 6v6.
Another problem caused by the preset rules is that opponents can abuse cheap strategies like putting your entire team to sleep, which takes the fun out of the game. You can edit all of these rules in friend code matches, but if you are only doing friend matches you could just play your DS instead and not even buy this game.
Speaking of the DS, if you don't happen to have a DS and Diamond or Pearl then you will be forced to use the aforementioned terrible rental pokemon, which won't stand a chance against most opponents on random wifi, who do have a DS game so they can train their own pokemon instead of using rentals.
After you play through the game once, you unlock some extra challenges to play through. These include playing through the coliseums again on slightly higher difficulties, but in reality it will be just as boring as the first time through.
Another unlockable challenge is trying to defeat 100 battles in a row in a certain coliseum, which is a daunting task more because it is repetitive and boring than because it is actually challenging. If you do lose, it will usually be due to bad luck, not anything to do with actual battling skill.
Overall, it's hard to have any replay value when the game isn't fun the first time. But it's even less fun the second time.
This game is really just a D/P expansion, and not even very good at that. The only part that isn't a complete disappointment is seeing your pokemon in 3D, and that's hardly worth buying this game.
Buy or Rent: neither. But if you really think you want this game, rent it first. You could probably beat the game and be bored of it before you have to return it anyways.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 10/10/08
Game Release: Pokemon Battle Revolution (US, 06/25/07)
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