Nintendo in many ways has been in front of the curve in terms of gaming innovation, as the Nintendo Wii really has taken a completely new approach to the way in which people play video games. However one area in which Nintendo has not been overly bold is in the online realm, which besides a handful of games, has been non-existent on any Nintendo console. With the Wii, Nintendo has promised online gaming but so far it has been almost a year since the initial release of the console and in June we are seeing the first game go online. The game is Pokemon Battle Revolution, and it hopes you will take your Pokemon online to battle it out with the rest of the world. Does this first attempt make for a worthy one? Read our full review to find out!
Nintendo with all of its success on the handhelds has not managed the same sort of success on the consoles with their Pokemon titles. I was a huge fan of Pokemon titles on the Gameboy Color and Advanced and even some of the recent titles on the DS have been good, but for some reason they can’t seem to be able to take that immersive experience onto the console. Instead they give a very dumbed down and seemingly small package for the consoles, which leaves many including myself very disappointed. So can Pokemon Battle Revolution succeed on the Wii?
In general, this is a game that goes for the fans of the franchise and for someone like me who is very new to the world of Pokemon is going to have a tough time getting started. This is because Nintendo has really tried to reward fans who have stuck with the franchise over time, and you can see a lot of work has been done to meet the needs of hardcore Pokemon fans. With that being said, they also created a game that was very hard to really get a group of friends together to enjoy a battle online. Nintendo has decided against using a "name" system in that you create friends with a unique Wii Code that is twelve digits long and is somewhat of a hassle to get into. Not only that but if you don’t have any friends (sorry to hear that), you’re stuck with a very long matchmaking process that takes a good deal of time to get into. All in all you have a game that although is online takes sometime to get online and figure out a few of the weird quirks of the game.
Once again I reiterate the fact that this is a game created for the fans in mind. The offline features are pretty straight forward - you enter into different matches and do your best to beat out other Pokemon trainers. The computer AI is surprisingly on top of things and can make for some very competitive matches. However the best competition is online where there are some true "fanatics" who take their Pokemon very seriously.
All in all the mechanics of Pokemon Battle Revolution are pretty straightforward, and if you have any idea on how battling takes place in a Pokemon title then you have a good idea of what to expect from this game. Although much hasn’t been changed from the whole battle formula, it still holds the same depth that we have found in previous titles. All in all you have to say that although Pokemon Battle Revolution has a few shortcomings online, the gameplay is still solid and gives fans of the franchise a new experience to cherish. The game isn’t perfect, but as a whole both online and offline the game holds strong.
I have to say once again that Pokemon Battle Revolution does a solid job of bringing some very vibrant visuals onto the Wii. Many of the games we have seen both first and third party have been more than disappointing, many have looked worse than the average PS2 title. Digressing from that however, Pokemon Battle Revolution is an extremely well rounded visual experience that holds some great Pokemon character models and just some great vibrant colors that suit the game well. Variety isn’t the game’s strongest suit, but all in all it’s a good looking game.
I am still hoping that Nintendo offers more to the Pokemon installed base on the Wii in the upcoming years - how about a full fledged Pokemon experience and not just battling? Or an expanded online experience that goes further into the capabilities of the Wii rather than the somewhat limited experience that we are receiving right now. In the end, Pokemon Battle Revolution is still exactly what fans of the franchise wanted - a full fledged battle experience that dips into the online realm. The game is pretty good for a first effort, but going forward we should expect more from Nintendo.
As mentioned very early on in the review, Pokemon Battle Revolution was developed for the Pokemon faithful in mind, and although you can try battling through this game with little experience the game definitely favors the more knowledgeable. For that I have to say if you’re a Pokemon fan, you should definitely go check this title out, otherwise unless you want a taste of online gaming on the Wii you can probably steer clear.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.