Pokémon Battle Revolution
Pokémon is one of those top licenses available on about every handheld console ever produced by Nintendo. Of course I’m talking about the many versions like Red, Blue and naturally the most recent Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, every one being a decent RPG where you collect a bunch of creatures, train them and let them fight for you. This last aspect (the fighting) is what Battle Revolution on Wii is all about. In the past we’ve seen Nintendo failing multiple times when trying to bring a Pokémon game to their bigger consoles. They just never managed to reach the level of the handheld games…
I can tell you this: the game is absolutely worthless without the DS games. The majority of Battle Revolution is built around the connectivity between DS and Wii. To illustrate: If you haven’t bought Pearl nor Diamond and you buy this new Poké-Wii game, it’ll be like buying tomato soup with meatballs, but without the tomato, meatballs or hot water. You’ll have a game very much resembling a bowl filled with cold water.
You can do something with Battle Revolution without the handheld games, but your possibilities will be very limited. First of all you’re stuck to preset collections of Pokémon called “Rental Passes”. So your choice of what type of Pokémon you’ll be taking to the battlefield will be limited by the combinations offered on these. If you happen to be a happy owner of the DS games, you can create your own “Custom Passes” by selecting your very own favorite Pokémon found on the DS. After all this chatter about “Passes”, this might be a good time to tell you what they’re for. To enter Pokétopia, an island designed for international Pokémon lovers and enthusiasts, you need to possess such a sort of entry ticket. On the card you’ll find data about yourself, like your name and date of birth, and the six Pokémon you’re carrying.
As said before, this game is all about letting your Pokémon fight. Something I find very important in action games (like this one) and certainly when some kind of violence is involved, is the presence of tension and speed. If you’re looking at Pokémon battling it out in Battle Revolution, you would almost start thinking the two are trying to pet each other. It’s literally to cry for. No speed at all (nor gameplay, nor animations) and mostly weak effects without any flair. The arenas where these battles are fought aren’t much better either, they miss a “wow” effect. It’s like the developers made it disappear magically (the “wow” effect that is). When you’re playing alone, you can participate in little tournaments taking place in these domes. When you manage to win one (and believe me it isn’t hard to become the champion) you’ll earn some points. These are the currency used on Pokétopia. You can buy items at the shop both for your trainer as for your Pokémon. However, these items don’t really offer anything special as they’re mostly clothes for your trainer and ridiculous, useless stuff for your Pokémon (which are only usable on the DS).
That about covers the single player. The multiplayer options are just as scarce, but hey, it’s one of the little Wii games actually having a multiplayer so I’ll give it credit for that. You can fight each other online in furious, bloody Pokémon battles… Ow, right, drop the furious and bloody. The same repetitive gameplay of “pointing and clicking” from the single player has returned in full force. Because of this, about everything there is to say about this game, has been said…
Pokémon Battle Revolution is everything but a revolution for this franchise. Instead of adding new, fun elements which can be amusing to everyone (and not just owners of Pokémon Pearl and Diamond), they’re holding on to old values and removing interesting possibilities. The only new thing which is actually fun is the connection with your DS, but this won’t add to the lifespan of this even in the best of cases. Pokémon Battle Revolution isn’t worth much with the DS games, but it’s even worse without them. I’d say this is worthless.