Review: Viva La Revolution!
Pokemon Battle Revolution represents a landmark for Nintendo as it is both the Wii's first online game and the first to support Nintendo DS connectivity. Aside from these innovations, the game is nothing special. It claims to bring ?your Pokemon battles to the big-screen.' The game accomplishes this, but little else. In general, people who have rigorously trained their Pokemon day and night (including yours truly) will find more enjoyment than those just checking it out to see how the online Wii battles work.
For those players unfamiliar with the Pokemon-style rock-paper-scissor system, each Pokemon has its own unique element(s) and abilities that allow them to have an easier time against other Pokemon. Fire beats grass, grass beats water, and water beats fire, etc. Although there is a huge amount of strategy involved in Pokemon battles, the game still relies a lot on luck, especially with the use of items. In-game controls are limited to selecting what moves you want to use, which isn't the greatest use of the Wiimote.
When players first boot up the game, a receptionist working for Poketopia will greet them. This receptionist allows players to choose their first battle passes. For those with a copy of Diamond and/or Pearl for the DS, the game allows you to copy your own Pokemon into the game and create your own custom battle pass. Using these passes, players can go through the game's various modes which consist primarily of a single-player coliseum mode or the true highlight of the game, Wi-Fi battling. One of the most enjoyable elements in the game is the ability to customize your own Pokemon trainer from the six or so provided templates for your battle passes. Although you'll most likely run into the same character model online, the varying amount of clothing and color variations allows each player to remain unique.
For Pokemon fanatics, a large part of Battle Revolution's appeal is the the Wi-Fi mode. You will find a wide variety of people to play online ranging from newbies to veterans that will give you to some of the most intense battles you'll ever have. Nevertheless, Nintendo could have done a much better job with the Wi-Fi. In an attempt to keep children safe, interaction with other players is limited to exchanging ?friend passes' which allows players to see each other's Pokemon battle passes. Much to the disappointment of hardcore players and veterans, there isn't any way to talk to your opponent during battles much less the ability to type. The limited interaction greatly hurts the online portion of the game.
As an added bonus for players with a copy of Diamond/Pearl, players can use their poke coupons, accumulated from single-player mode, to purchase TMs, gifts, and accessories for their Battle Revolution avatar.
Graphically, the game lives up to a pokefanatic's dream as one of the better looking games on the system. Each attack is rendered in striking beauty as you witness your Pokemon hitting another. Moves such as Hyper Beam and Draco Meteor appear as devastating as they've ever been while small attacks such as tackle aren't as epic. Each Pokemon is scaled to their correct proportions and have a high level of detail.
The sound, on the other hand, is literally non-existent. The game uses the same Pokemon cries that everyone has gotten used to, as well as a semi-annoying announcer. Most of the time you'll be left listening to music in the game. Although each level has its own theme music, you'll be clamoring for your iPod soon enough.