|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Genius Sonority Inc.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 26, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
July 9, 2007 - Pokémon has been the mark of a generation for quite sometime. Every now and then, these loveable annoying creatures with attitude spring their heads up to try and recapture the world over again. They have come close since their original inception here in the states. However, none of the previous attempts has rekindled the interest in Pokémon quite the way that the recent Diamond and Pearl titles for the Nintendo DS have. Therefore, it only seemed fitting that another console version would be rolling out soon after. This one would be different from the rest of the console versions; you would be able to play online. That alone sparked the Wii community, considering that this would be the first game for the Wii with online capabilities. So how does it shape up? Continue reading to find out.
The game opens up with you going through a series of menu lessons. These are designed to show you how to navigate through the many menus of the game. However, what they achieve is an obnoxious 30 minutes to an hour of tutorial before you even get to begin your game. This might have not been so bad except it is a lot of reading. I'm not saying that reading is bad, but the fact that your menu guide utters not a single vocal word will only prolong the process of getting started. The main reason I bring this up is the fact that once I first slid my copy of Pokémon Battle Revolution into my Wii I was genuinely excited to battle it out with some of my favorite Pokémon, but after the long menu explanations I felt my enthusiasm being sucked out painfully through a stir stick.
After you wake from your nap, the main menu tutorial is finally over, now to start battling it out, right? Not necessarily, you have a few more menus to traipse through, literally. There are submenus to the main menus that you have to learn about before you begin. I guess this is a good thing if you can actually experience the full game. Unfortunately, if you are new to the Pokémon franchise and you wanted to make this your first experience considering the online functionality, you will be turned off quicker than a light switch. If you do not own a copy of the Diamond or Pearl for the DS or a DS, you will not be able to fully enjoy the game the way it is intended. You can, of course, pick up the title and battle it out without these things, but you will be forced to play with the Pokémon you are given instead of picking your own Pokémon.
Personally, I hated this aspect of the game. After all, I hoped that I would at least be able to pick the Pokémon I wanted to battle with. Instead, I was given a Renter's Pass. The title of the pass made me feel somewhat cheap in saying that I did nothing more than rent the game, when I plopped down 50 bucks to play this game. To further invoke my wrath towards this game, I was not even allowed to design the character I wanted to be. I was instead given a generic looking male character, and, after several rounds of playing coliseums, I was able to adjust his appearance. This could have at least been a nice addition, but unfortunately the pricing for the items was insane to start with, which meant that I would have many hours of playing through the coliseums to achieve enough points to change to look of the character.
The Pokémon you are given are nothing to laugh about though. So at least when you do start playing you have a fighting chance of doing well in the game. Let me say this to start off: if you have never played any of the previous Pokémon games on the N64 or GameCube, then the battle system may cause you to take the strap from around your wrist and hope that you have to, at some point, swing around your Wii remote to cause damage to your television. For those of us who are familiar with those games, the turn based battle mechanic will be nothing new. In all honesty, the way you battle with your Pokémon becomes more of strategy than a survival of the strongest. The apparent weakness of your Renter's Pass Pokémon becomes more apparent when you play your first online match. While it does not take as long to find a match, it takes even less for you to compete, especially if you encounter someone who does have a DS and a copy of Diamond or Pearl. Literally, your matches will be over before you even land a hit in most cases. To me, this was a huge letdown from Nintendo.
Graphically, Pokémon Battle Revolution doesn't really advance the series much past their GameCube endeavor. The Pokémon are bright and colorful and good representations of their anime selves, but the trainer animations do seem a bit spotty from time to time. Couple the poor animation of the trainers with the lack of dialogue from them, and you will not care about the trainers at all. Of course, you can edit what your character will say if they win or lose, but after a few battles, you will most likely stop caring what the words sprawling the screen even say. The music, of course, is as epic as the television show, and the announcers will sound as intoxicatingly "clever" as they do in the show.
If you are a fan of the Pokémon series and you already have Pokémon Diamond or Pearl, then this game will only further aid you in enjoying your experience. However, if you do not have those then you might want to give a reason for them giving you a Renter's Pass and just rent the game. Be leery of the online gameplay, however, as you will face several members of the exclusive Pokémon elite and make it out barely alive. Let's hope that Nintendo's next venture online is a little more player friendly and not just for an exclusive club.
CCC Project Coordinator