Wii did go online, and just hopes you didn’t notice.
Pokémon Battle Revolution is not only the first pokémon game to come to the Wii, but also the first online multiplayer game on the system. Sadly that’s just about all that’s new in this game.
When you start off the first thing you need is a trainer card. The trainer card will carry all your information, including your pokémon team. The game gives you a rental card right out of the gate, but to get the most out of this game you really need to create your own using pokémon from Diamond or Pearl. If you don’t have either of those, your stuck with the rental cards and the game is going to get real hard real fast. If you do have Diamond or Pearl, you can make a custom trainer card and create copies your pokémon to use in the game. You can also customize you trainer in a kind of inverse mii type fashion, meaning you have control of clothing and accessories but not facial features. There is also an option to customize the text that comes on the screen whenever your trainer does something in battles, such as win, lose, or switch pokémon. They don’t appear in random wi-fi battles though.
The single player mode consists of a number of different coliseums, most with new battle modes. Few of said modes really do anything to change the standard proven formula pokémon has used for years, but some do make things a little interesting. For instance one coliseum puts you and your opponents pokémon on a roulette and where you drop the ball determines your pokémon and the order. It’s an interesting concept but you quickly learn how to time your release to get the pokémon you want, defeating the purpose. Perhaps the most promising mode is the “martial arts” style. You select the order of five of your pokémon and then have a series of one on one battles, where the first person to three wins, wins.
As the first game on the Wii to have online play it leaves a lot to be desired. Your online choices are limited to friend or random battles. Random battles are against players that, for the most part, all use the same team filled with legendaries and perhaps their starter pokémon. Friend battles require you to register the corresponding numeric code for each friend. The code is different from the Wii’s friend code so you will have to register people already on your system. The battle modes on wi-fi are your standard 3 on 3 singles, and 4 on 4 doubles, and that’s about it.
All in all Pokémon Battle Revolution is little more than an expansion pack for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. A rather empty expansion pack at that. There is almost nothing in this game that wasn’t already in Diamond and Pearl, and at full retail price even the most loyal pokémaniacs are sure to feel cheated.