Pokémon Battle Revolution – Staff Review

Though the main series of Pokémon games has been released for various portable Nintendo systems, titles such as Pokémon Stadium allow players to fight one another and take on various challenges in full 3D. Upon moving to the GameCube, this subseries abandoned some of its lesser features, such as minigames, in order to add story modes to the mix. Unfortunately, players hoping for Pokémon Battle Revolution to raise the bar for the series, or even just reach the level of its predecessors, will likely be disappointed. Not only is there a lack of a story mode, there is very little to fill the gap. The area that the action takes place in, Pokétopia, doesn’t even offer the components that the story mode replaced during the transition to the GameCube.

What Pokétopia does have to offer are a series of small colosseums, each with its own theme and rules. Some of these are very generic and simply involve defeating opponents in a variety of ways without special conditions, while some have special rules such as trainers only being able to use rental Pokémon or having a constant fog that lowers accuracy for both sides unless precautions are taken. Of special note are two colosseums that vary significantly from the rest.

The first of these places all six of the player’s Pokémon and all six of their opponent’s onto what looks like a spinning dart board. Unless the player is very good with the timing, this typically results in both sides ending up with an odd assortment of each other’s Pokémon in whatever order was haphazardly selected. Unfortunately, there isn’t as much strategy in this unless the timing is mastered, and players will likely end up just selecting their own if they do.


It may sound similar at first, but the other notable colosseum offers far more strategy despite the shared random component. Each trainer is allowed to hand-select their party from a randomly generated roster of Pokémon. Since both sides pick from the exact same selection and can even each choose the exact same Pokémon, it requires a lot more careful planning and is likely to be popular with those who enjoy a bit of added strategy.

There are ten colosseums in all, and it will take most trainers five to ten hours to complete them all, depending on how powerful their imported party is or if they are using a rental team. The game may sound short, but a few additional challenges are unlocked after completion which can easily double or triple playtime. There are also many rare items to be won, and they are all typically very expensive.

The battle system itself is the same strategic system seen in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl and involves creating a balanced and powerful party by taking element types and movesets into consideration as the player takes on various challenges. The action varies between one on one and two on two battles in order to test trainers in a variety of situations. As with the playtime, the difficulty of most colosseums varies heavily based on the player’s imported party or rental ticket. Despite this variability, most challenges have only moderate difficulty at best, with the exception of a few tests that are unlocked after completion.

Unlike similar challenges in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, Pokémon Battle Revolution does not automatically adjust levels of party members. This makes things a bit inconvenient for trainers who have a high level Pokémon or two mixed in with several Level 50 Pokémon trained to that level in order to take on the Battle Tower. Though the controls themselves are solid, there are several other convenience issues with the interface. These range from not being able to see outfits and certain other items before they are purchased to only having the Pokémon currently in the trainer’s party available in DS battle mode, which makes it a bit of a hassle to adjust a team between battles. Unlike its predecessors, Pokémon Battle Revolution doesn’t have a convenient built-in Pokémon box feature either. Furthermore, the rental tickets are very limited this time around.


One area that Pokémon Battle Revolution has definitely improved in is its visuals. Pokémon and many moves look a bit better than in previous titles, and more can appear on the screen at once. The colosseums themselves have received a particularly nice amount of detail this time around as well. There are also several subtle details, such as the HP bar’s graphics changing based on the element that is was hit with add up to make the title look better as a whole, though most is only a minor upgrade from the GameCube titles.

The music, on the other hand, is nothing special. It doesn’t really stand out, but there’s a decent amount of variety and it isn’t bad, just not very memorable. The sound, for the most part, also does its job without being particularly good or bad. One area of note, however, is the announcer who returns with his commentary on battles. Most players will probably get sick of him rather quickly, but there is fortunately the option of turning him off, so everybody’s happy.

Pokémon Battle Revolution has seen a nice upgrade in its visuals and has an interesting new colosseum or two, but the lack of a story mode or much other content makes the game feel a bit empty. The gameplay is fun, but there is very little that hasn’t been seen before, and it can thus get a little dull at times except for those that really enjoy battles since there isn’t a whole lot else to do. The interface issues give it a bit of an unpolished feel as well, though being able to link with the DS is neat. The severely limited rental options and lack of a story mode make Pokémon Battle Revolution a very poor choice for those that lack Pokémon Diamond/Pearl. Trainers that really want to bring their team from Pokémon Diamond/Pearl into 3D along with a customized trainer, for fun or to make use of the WiFi mode, will find the game competent enough in those fields and will even be able to get some rare items out of the deal, but the game as a whole is a large step back for the series aside from that.


  1. Jerry Swain:

    1. First post!
    2. Hooray, first review!
    3. It’s too bad this game didn’t amount to too much. I was kinda looking forward to it, but then again I haven’t been playing Pokemon D/P much lately.

  2. Angel0886:

    Yay second post.

    Jerry has +100 win for being first post. :p

  3. MysteriousStranger:

    3/10 is about on par for what I expected of this one.

  4. randar23rhenn:

    I really wish they’d just make one of the main series games for consoles.

  5. Michael Beckett:

    I agree. I loved the storylines of the two GameCube Pokemon games, even if the gameplay wasn’t quite up to snuff.

  6. Duke Gallison:

    I decided to sacrifice my Pokemon virginity and pick up Diamond, which I’ve found surprisingly good. I realize, though, that there are also plenty of bad Pokemon titles, so I think I’ll skip this one.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.