Pokemon Battle Revolution - online report

So here it is, seven months after the Wii launched and we're just now getting our first online game - and it's one that's been out in Japan since December 2006. But for the endless Poke-masses, such a delay means nothing. We'll be battling our super-powered 3D Pokemon online regardless of how long Japanese gamers have been doing it. The real question is, how well does Wii's online setup work? We cracked open the new Battle Revolution box, loaded it up and set out to answer that question.

The first thing you see is an option to choose either Coliseum mode or a DS battle mode. Neither screams "click me for online play," so we chose DS battle. That was wrong. So, back to Coliseum mode. From here, you enter your profile name, accept a trainer card with some loaner Pokemon and finally enter the main menu. At last, we were able to port over our Pokes from our DS, or use the loaner (loaded with a level 50 Grotle, Monferno, Prinplup, Luxio, Gabite and Staravia) for some Poke-throwdowns. We opted to begin with the free Pokemon handed over via the rental pass.

After clicking on the Wi-Fi Connection box, we were sent to a cool blue screen with soothing piano tunes. Hardly what we'd want to get psyched up for a battle to the death, but it's coolly inspirational as well. After a lengthy wait, we logged on to the WFC and were presented with two more options - battle "someone" on the WFC or battle a friend who's been registered with the brilliantly designed Friend Code setup.

Seeing as we haven't started a save game on the US version yet (read all about the Japanese exploitshere), there are only three battle arenas open - Lagoon, Gateway and Main Street. We sided with Lagoon, then opted for a double team battle with a level 50 cap. Even after all these clicks and options, we still had to select which battle pass. So, obviously we're going with the rental, and after a quick search for opponents, we were teamed with a foe... armed with a level 50 Palkia, of all things. So, how bad did we lose?