Review by Hex_Zero_Black

"New Pokemon Console game comes off as a passable experience."

Pokemon Battle Revolution (PBR for short) is the latest Pokemon console game, and the first to be released for the Wii system. It takes place in Poketopia, an area that exists for the sole purpose battling pokemon. Players can upload their team from Pokemon Diamond or Pearl from the DS, and use them to compete against the Single player mode or newly introduced Wi-Fi mode.

The graphics in PBR are probably the only redeeming quality of this game. The pokemon look true to their original models, and the trainers also look pretty good themselves. The attack animations are nothing special, but they fit the moves quite nicely. Players who have played previous Pokemon console outings will also notice that battles are more in-depth, with a few pokemon actually running up and attacking their opponent rather than the previous screen-switch technique used. The arenas themselves are passable, players will most likely not care about the selection, but there are a few options, which is always nice.

Much like the graphics, nothing special, but not bad, either. Another improvement veteran players will notice is the increase in the announcer's quality over past console Pokemon games. He's no longer as repetitive, and they also got the guy from the actual Pokemon anime, which is a nice little bonus. Most people won't find themselves caring about the music, but at least it's not grating on your ears.

Gameplay (Single Player)
This, is unfortunately, where PBR hits the fan. There is absolutely nothing that PBR brings to the table that it's portable counterparts cannot already do. The battles are slow (although, as stated before, faster than previous outings), and the dumb AI does nothing to help. The rental pokemon provided to one if they don't have a copy of Pokemon Diamond or Pearl are horrid, and if you do choose to use your own Pokemon imported from the portables, you will find yourself almost effortlessly breezing through all the coliseums (there are a few exceptions). The game does try to reward with you with PokeCoupons, used to purchase clothes for your trainer, or special items that can be transfered to your copy of Diamond or Pearl via Mystery Gift. Like so may other things in PBR, the PokeCoupon items are nice, but a dedicated player could obtain the items available using only the portable games.

Gameplay (Wi-fi)
This is the big thing that had so many people hyped about PBR. Wi-fi delivers what you'd expect from Nintendo's online service. Random battles can be either 1 on 1 standard battles using a team of 3 (An unfortunate limit, but understandable considering the length these battles tend to reach), or double battles with a team of four. There is absolutely no way to communicate with the opponent during random battles, Nintendo even went as far as disabling your pokemon's nicknames and custom catchphrases. Friend Code battles offer a little more options (1 on 1 standard or Doubles using a full team of 6, nicknames and catchphrases enabled), but, are limited by the use of the Friend Code system. Wi-fi manages to scrape by as a passable experience, but it is not the big game seller people expected it to be.

Overall Impressions
This game can be summed up in one word: Meh. Average, bland, half-finished, unpolished. Whatever word you choose to use, doesn't change the fact that Pokemon Battle Revolution underwhelms. But, that does not mean that this is a bad game, Pokemon fanatics will enjoy the extra battles and features that PBR offers. The improved graphics may be a major selling point and the Wi-fi is still something to be enjoyed, even with it's limited options. Give this game a rent first, then base your purchase off of that. Although, word to the wise: Do not buy this game unless you own a copy of Pokemon Diamond or Pearl for the DS. PBR loses many of it's charms when it is not used in tandem with the portable games.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/29/07

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