Pokémon Battle Revolution review
Shallow and not much story
Pokémon Battle Revolutions became one of the first Pokémon games to hit the Nintendo Wii, of course it was going to be super popular. People were hyped before its release; after all, it was one of a kind. That was, until we saw games such as PokéPark and other Pikachu oriented adventures arrive on the console. Up until last month I really wanted this game and whenever I went round my friend’s house, it was all I was interested in playing. Then came the ultimatum. The decider. Before I brought the game I had only played the game for half an hour at a time, and hadn't really experienced the story all that much, if at all. So when I finally had some money left over from purchasing Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, I was elated to be able to finally buy the game. Then I completed it. The problems start from there on after. In fact, no. They started half way through my play through. But, we'll learn of my opinions as we delve into the review. So for now, just be content in the knowledge that it's generous giving this an above 3 rating.
So, where do I begin? Well, it follows the same principle of the turn taking battle system as seen in all previous Pokémon games (bar ones such as Pokémon Snap and Trozei) and generically, there isn't much more to it than that. You can choose to either use your own Pokémon that you can transfer over from your Nintendo DS system from games Diamond and Pearl to SoulSilver and HeartGold or alternatively you can use a Rental pass, which gives you 6 first stage evolutions Pokémon to battle with. Once you have selected your team you can then start to battle in colosseums. But wait! We forgot to customise our trainer. This has to be the best feature about the game, it almost makes me want to forgive it for not having a story line at all... yeah right. Customising my trainer was fun for about half an hour, then after I had done all of that it just got boring and repetitive, and after a while I just needed up slinging any old thing onto him. You can choose from many different accessible items of clothing fro T-shirts, to hats, to fingerless gloves. Just think of some of bizarre combinations you can come up with if you're bored one Sunday afternoon!
Only once you have decided on what you want your trainer to look like can you enter the colosseums. Once we get there, we then have to fight our way through a dozen or so battles that make fishermen with Magikarps look like pros. However, credit is given where it's due. The type combinations were beastly and at times I had to fight my way though trainers with the type combinations stacked against me, but that was it. I do have to say through, some of the colosseums were utter tripe, but others were fairly decent and some offered you a semi-decent challenge in which you had to fight, sometimes with Pokémon from your opponents team and leaving which ones were chosen with precision timing, and others where the team given to you was totally random. But even then, the battles were ridiculously easy and the colosseum bosses laughably tame.
I do have one thing good to say about it though; the graphics are by far the best out of any Pokémon game we have seen thus far. The overall detail input into the P0kémon and colosseum designs are outstanding and what really gave this a 3+ rating out of a possible 5. The movements for each Pokémon were individual and characteristic, making the battle scenarios between otherworldly creatures just that tad more realistic, and it was a nice break from the static poses as seen previously. Although XD and Colosseum had tried to attain the same feature, the overall block appearance of the Pokémon paled the movements in comparison. Also kudos to the designers of the moves, we now have the opportunity to see some of our favourite moved in a more 3D range. Personally, Hyper Beam and Focus Blast are the most aesthetically pleasing, but they were all beautifully designed. Only problem is that moves such as Psychic and Bite still retain that XD and Colosseum look, something I was hoping they would have broken away from in this game. Which in some ways ruins it, but never the less, it's better than the up, up, side, side movements we’ve seen within the handhelds.
So, Nintendo, what's up with it having no story at all? Battling is good, but I want some story damnit! I don't want to just go from colosseum to colosseum battling trainers and actually getting nowhere in the process. The only possible reason I can think of this happening is because the developers were high and thought it would be a laugh. Surely they knew they were going right when looking at XD and Colosseum figures?! So yeah, I'd give this section a big fat zero. What I want from my games is a decent plot line, something that this has failed to give. Can't really say more than that.
However it does have some replay value, but that's only if you care about receiving the costumes worn by the coloseum leaders or want more rental passes, other than that, there really isn't much point, other than if you just wanted to kill an hour or so. I am disappoint Iwata.
Controls were extremely simple, just like previous games. Except this is a whole new level of simplicity, even for Pokémon. The player only needs to use the maximum of two buttons, and that's only if they really can't be bothered to move their hand. You can direct the Pokéball cursor with the flick of a wrist and press A to select the appropriate options, whether it be selecting a move or choosing which colosseum you want to challenge next. Oh, and not forgetting the optional B button if you don't want to press the on screen alternative.
Online play, what a fantastic feature. I love waiting hours to find a random person from Japan or Korea that has managed to hack their Pokémon and win feeling a sense of false victory whilst I sit their idly by while not being able to do anything. Granted, this isn't Nintendo's fault, but geez. Online play is good if you and your friend want a little friendly battle but nothing more. At a time it was used to competitively battle in a more 3D landscape and it as all fair game, but after 6 months it became something of a bore. Brilliant thing about the game is that your friend doesn't even need the game in order to play with you, or a Wii for that matter. You can simply hook up the Wii to your NDS with any fourth Generation Pokémon and you can play until you pass out, and without a rental pass to boot! Great compensation for the poor online community.
So in conclusion this game is really only for those who enjoy the battling aspect of Pokémon rather than the adventure side. Or if you just want to fill an afternoon in with something, the game doesn't really last longer than 12 hours at best. So it's perfect for just killing time, if you want anything else though you're better of with XD and Colosseum, or even your handheld games. This is more of a game to rent than a buy. Hopefully you won't be making the game mistake again Nintendo.
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