Game Review

Pokémon Battle Revolution Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stuart Reddick

There’s a lack of evolution in this revolution.

Pokémon Battle Revolution was first announced back in June of 2006, and it sounded as though it was going to be the ideal console Pokémon game: destructible environments, Wii-DS connectivity, online battling – everything we wanted from the franchise. Satoru Iwata lived up to his promise of releasing the game in the Japanese launch window, but it seems to be the only promise that he kept.

When Pokémon Battle Revolution hit the shelves, there was a lot of hype surrounding it. Imagine then how despondent we became upon the realisation that it was nothing like what was promised: the destructible environments were absent from the final game, online battling didn’t work most of the time, and the Wii-DS connectivity was not what we had imagined. From the offset, this title’s base was weakened, yet we still hoped there was a spark of magic somewhere – after all, it could still be a great game!

Unlike its recent predecessors, Battle Revolution isn’t a console adventure linked into the portable gaming experience, but more of a gateway to see your Pokémon battle in 3D. Anyone expecting something like the Nintendo Gamecube titles will be sadly disappointed to hear that the game lacks any significant form of adventure mode, and instead offers more of a Pokémon Stadium-like experience. The game focuses on the battle aspect of the franchises: delivering the ability to transfer Pokémon from your Nintendo DS adventures to the big screen, battle friends or random players online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, or host a local battle royale with up to four DS players.

Granted, that doesn’t sound all that bad, but Pokémon Battle Revolution really isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. If you don’t own Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum for the Nintendo DS, your experience with the game will be rather forgettable, as you’ll have to work with pre-made profiles created specifically for the game. To be honest it’s rather awkward working with these squads because you have no control whatsoever on the moves and stats of each Pokémon – hardly an enjoyable experience. So it goes without saying that you should own one of the DS’ outings before you even think of purchasing this game.

With that issue aside, Pokémon Battle Revolution is still far from perfect: for one, the single player campaign isn’t terribly exciting. In a nutshell, all you ever do is battle trainer after trainer until, eventually, you make it to the leader of the coliseum and – no surprises here – battle them. The purpose of doing all of this is to gain accessories that can be used to customize your character – not too much to get enthusiastic about. For Pokémon freaks that simply love to battle, Pokémon Battle Revolution will prove to be ideal, but for everyone else who loves the exploration part of the franchise, they’ll ultimately be disappointed.

Probably the most eagerly anticipated feature of the game was its online mode, which simply turned out to be a stripped-down, basic version of the singly player 'experience'. While the prospect of players battling head to head with random opponents around the world, or teaming up with friends for a more friendly battle, was a fantastic idea, it just didn’t work. There's no list of waiting players or even an amount of fighters per stadium in the worldwide mode, so meeting up with an opponent can be a difficult task; there are times when matches can take only a matter of seconds, yet there are also five-minute waits with no indication as to the chances of someone joining.

Needless to say, Pokémon Battle Revolution has very little going for it when it comes to gameplay. Essentially what you’re getting is a bare-bones version of Pokémon Stadium on Wii. Besides the new Pokémon, battle animations, and graphics, there is little new to this title; everything has already been done before – considerably better too!

However, there is one aspect of the game that offers slight redemption for all its shortcomings: the graphics. In case you haven’t already noticed, Pokémon Battle Revolution is one of the most visually impressive titles on Wii – even in motion, it holds up well. Character animations are very fluent and there are plenty of strong visual effects. Unfortunately this is about the only thing that is good about the game.

Conclusion

As it stands, Pokémon Battle Revolution feels more like a stripped-down version of Pokémon Stadium (released almost a decade ago). The gameplay feels very repetitive, and the dependence the game has upon its Nintendo DS siblings makes it unsuitable for those without the handheld games. Though the incorporation of online play was a welcome feature, it needs to work with a bit more thought and consistency for it to become truly enjoyable.

All in all, Pokémon Battle Revolution is one game you’re probably going to want to avoid; even massive Pokémon fans should approach this with trepidation.

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User Comments (26)

Atlantis1982

#1

Atlantis1982 said:

If anything, this is the most dumb downed version of the 'Stadium' games with hardly any nifty features like playing the GBC games on the first two (or was it just Stadium 2) with the transfer pack. Then you have the single player adventure side with the Gamecube title (which I wouldn't mind grabbing if I ever get back my Sapphire title), but this one...

Nothing, no niche feature or anything besides wifi battles which SHOULD of been in Pokemon Pearl/Diamond to begin with instead those DS titles had a borked online feature. Platnium, I believe improved on that, and thus my continuing hatred of the 'third' iteration.

WarioFan63

#2

WarioFan63 said:

even massive Pokémon fans should approach this with trepidation.

I dunno, all the massive Pokefans I know love this game.

Terra

#3

Terra said:

I rarely ever sell or trade in my games but this game was the exception to that rule for me. That's how bad it can be. It's just so repetitive. I got my Magmortar and Electrivire before i did that though, so it wasn't all bad.

AVahne

#6

AVahne said:

if only it was an actual rpg like the other console pokemon rpgs,then it would've been worth more

MrPanic

#7

MrPanic said:

Yeah, this game really sucks. The only good thing about it is seeing your pkmn in 3d. A total waste of money if you ask me.

StarDust4Ever

#8

StarDust4Ever said:

It seems like nowaday nearly every pokemon title gets a 4/10 - Wonderful news in my opinion, as I loathe everything remotely related to pokemon.

It annoyed me to no end in high school when I would go to Walmart to look for new game boy color games and find over half the game selection in the store's limited shelf space filled with stupid pokemon games - yuk :O

XD375

#10

XD375 said:

StarDust - did you even play the games or did you just judge it by the cartoon?

Also, this is the first time I've seen a mainstream Pokémon game get this kind of score. People rave over the main series games usually. Does this deserve this score? Maybe it does, but it's okay as an expansion to Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

Big_A2

#12

Big_A2 said:

"I dunno, all the massive Pokefans I know love this game."
All the massive Pokefans are idiots.

SmaMan

#13

SmaMan said:

In my opinion, it all started going downhill after. Stadium 2. Stadium 2 was my favorite out of the whole series. I still go back and play it time to time with my Pokemon Gold cart. (and believe it or not, the save works fine after all this time!)
I never really got into the console RPGs. And I thought a title called Colosseum would have more stadium-related stuff in it.

XD375

#15

XD375 said:

Not all of us are idiots. ;-; You just dissed me, my girlfriend, and a number of my other friends.

Ricardo91

#16

Ricardo91 said:

<Flips the bird at BigA2>

I originally planned to get this game, but I'd have to agree that this looks like a big waste of time and opportunities. It especially sucks that they didn't bring back the minigames from the original stadiums: Thw Wii's motion controls would've made for the perfect chance to do so.

mastersworddude

#17

mastersworddude said:

Yeah i rented it and when i was playing through i was like "How many trainers are there?!" but i got Magmortar, Electivire, and Surfing Pikachu before i brought it back though.

Kaura

#18

Kaura said:

I'm getting this fully aware of what it is and what it isn't because I want to battle with my pokmans. Feel free to insult me.

The Pokémon company really knows how to make a succesful, money-printing franchise.

Hazuki

#19

Hazuki said:

i would buy it again(sold it a while back, when i was still trading in games), but the lack of platinum support stops me from doing so.

Deviant_Mugen

#21

Deviant_Mugen said:

Yup, this score is pretty accurate. This is one of the few games I regret buying. At least I got an Electivire and Magmortar out of the deal...

Alpha2797

#24

Alpha2797 said:

I liked the Pokemon Stadium games better especially the second one but this game is like a Stadium minus the minigames, handheld compatibility, the ability to use almost any pokemon you want(you have to use your ds game for this) and gym leader battles. A four is a reasonable score but I think I'd give it a 5.

Aqueous

#25

Aqueous said:

This was a great game, customize-able characters and with no way to get a ds online (the router connection tool won't work for pokemon), this was a great way to have online battles and I never had problems with it

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