A great 3-D experience for fans of the franchise
+ great story
+ the first true Pokemon adventure in 3-D
+ Colosseum mode is pretty extensive
- things just take a little too long sometimes
- only 48 shadow Pokemon
Pokemon Stadium had been Pokemon's only foray into the wonderful world of 3-D before 2004, when this game came out. They only had battles and minigames, no real adventure. But with Colosseum, a full 3-D adventure and story was added to make for a really great game.
The story is actually good, believe it or not. The evil corporation Cipher has made some Pokemon evil (shadow Pokemon) and it's up to you to stop them and snag as many of the evil ones as possible, bringing them back to normal along the way. The story remains at least a little engaging throughout, but it really bugs me that the main character doesn't say one single word in the whole game.
The gameplay is basically the same in battle as any other Pokemon game, but every battle is a double battle. This is cool sometimes, but some single battles every once in a while would have made for a bit of good variety. The game is in full 3-D, which is really cool to see essentially for the first time (Stadium doesn't really count, it wasn't an adventure like this).
The game's visuals are pretty good. The GameCube isn't pushed to its full potential here but they do a fine job. The battles animations go in a fashion that's way too set-and-stone with absolutely no variety at all. Every Pokemon has a couple animations for attacking, one for getting hit by an attack (which goes every time they're hit with an attack no matter what it is), and one for fainting. The lack of physical contact between the Pokemon is heavily disappointing, as it would add much to the battles.
Aside from the great adventure mode, there are lots of colosseum battles as well. You can do sets of battles or do the Mt. Battle Vs 100 challenge, which takes a long time. There is really a lot to do here and it's a nice supplement to the single player. You can also play this mode with multiple players, and GBA games can be connected and the Pokemon from those games can be used in battle.
Pokemon Colosseum put the franchise in a great new direction. Not only did it give us the first true 3-D Pokemon game; it introduced us to a whole new region of the Pokemon world that would be worth revisiting for another shadow Pokemon themed story. So to sum it all up, Colosseum should disappoint no Pokemon fan.
FINAL SCORE: 8.2/10