Pokemon Battle Revolution is anything but a revolution. It feels like a step in the wrong directions sometimes. Mostly, however, you just feel like the game wasn't complete... like it could use a lot more than we got. Simply put, Battle Revolutions isn't bad, it's just a glass that's half full. This is a game for only the most die-hard of Pokemon fans only.
Let's get the first big annoying thing out of the way. If you don't have Pokemon Diamond or Pearl, then I highly suggest buying those before you actually dive into this game. Otherwise you'll find your experience to be a pretty daunting one. If you don't, you get passes with random Pokemon on them. This is pretty sad considering other Pokemon games in this genre let you rent Pokemon. Instead here, you're given six random Pokemon with random stats and moves. You've no say in the matter, and that's just lame. At least transferring your Pokemon from your DS games is no pain at all.
Let's get the second really annoying thing out of the way. The menu is alright and everything, but your guide through the menu is really really annoying. The guide has to explain everything. And when I say everything, I'm not kidding. If you're a seasoned gamer, you know what most of the stuff the guide is going to tell you is, yet you still have to sit through it anyway. The good news is you only have to sit through it once.
Previous Pokemon Stadium games also gave you a more RPG like experience. There was actually more to battling than just the sake of battling. Here in Battle Revolutions, that's all you're doing. You're battling just to battle... and you're battling endlessly. There's no real reason why. Of course, this isn't a HUGE problem, though, because in the long run battling is quite fun. I just wish there was some kind of objective here, and some kind of reward to show your achievements to your friends. Not found here. Of course, there will be some who really love this. After all, the point of battle revolutions is to do just that: Battle.
Seeing all your favorite Pokemon from Diamond and Pearl is a real treat indeed. The game has a cartoon like look, but that doesn't mean it isn't impressive. In truth, it is. It doesn't take the Wii to its limits, but again, no Pokemon game ever really pushes a system to its limit. But the game looks good for what is. Visually the game is great. It's the other aspects of the graphics that I sometimes find pretty lacking. It suffers from the same thing Pokemon has suffered from for years. There's hardly a whole lot of animation going on. You simply watch your Pokemon step forward and perform the attack, and then you see the other Pokemon take damage. There's no interaction between the Pokemon. It's a limitation that doesn't make combat less exciting, but over the past few years you do kind of wish your Pokemon would actually... you know... look like they're battling each other rather than just standing there idly. Regardless, combat is still pretty solid, and much like the DS games, pretty addictive.
As far as DS and Wii connectivity go, this game shows that it can be done. As you can transfer your Pokemon from your DS to your Wii wirelessly. However, you get the feeling so much more could've been done with it. Unless Nintendo plans on making a "DS Player" for the Wii, I can't imagine why they wouldn't let you play through your DS games on the big screen. Again, it's not a big set back, but it is a step back from other Pokemon Stadium installments. There's also the excitement over using your DS as a controller, but even that feels incomplete sometimes. Simply because you can't use your DS as a controller in the main game. You CAN, however, use the DS as a controller when playing against a friend. It feels limited, though. Otherwise you can use your Wii-Remote like an NES controller or use the motion sensor controls to point and click.
Now there's the online experience. This is the first real true taste of an Online gaming experience on the Wii. Unfortunately, like the rest of the game, it feels a bit... incomplete. The only thing you can do online is battle. And the battles are all random. To be honest, if all I wanted to do online was battle... I'd just boot up my DS copy of Diamond or Pearl, and they let you do more online than this game does. It just feels like the online mode in this game was a test to see if they could actually do it. The test is a success, but the experience is pretty stale overall.
This isn't the kind of game you buy for curiosity's sake. A lot of it really does feel incomplete. There's so much potential here, but the overall product feels as though it were rushed. Previous Pokemon Stadium games had a lot more substance to them. Pokemon Battle Revolutions is, for the most part, fun. It just doesn't include a whole lot of content worth getting excited about... because the things that we were getting excited about aren't really all that exciting. You're pretty much only going to buy this game to battle... but why spend 50 bucks to do so when you could just as easily spend 35 bucks on the DS games? Besides, without those DS games you can't enjoy the full experience of battling in this game anyway. It's a good "test" to see what the Wii can do, but hopefully the next Pokemon Stadium game will actually push the structure to its limit.