Pokemon Battle Revolution (PBR) is a curious name for Nintendo's latest beastie battling game for home consoles. You see, there's nothing too revolutionary about it. It's just like all the other Pokemon Stadium/Colosseum games, but with updated graphics. If you don't own Pokemon Diamond/Pearl then there's no reason to buy this game. If you're only casually into the DS titles, it's still a tough sell. Only hardcore Diamond/Pearl players that have sunk dozens of hours into their Pokemon will get full value out of PBR.
The game strips away all the adventure and exploration of the handheld titles and focuses on battling. These battles integrate the same mechanics as the handheld games, implementing a deceptively deep rock-paper-scissor like system, numerous stats, and a multitude of moves. Newcomers are given access to some stock Pokemon and can earn more as they progress. Unfortunately, very few of them are interesting. Veterans can upload their Pokemon - accessories and all - from their DS to their Wii. Unfortunately, the battles are total cake. Even with the stock Pokemon and their lame moves, it's a breeze to beat the game in less than ten hours. For players with properly raised Pokemon, the game doesn't become remotely challenging until the third or fourth time around.
The Pokemon and their attacks look brilliant. This is arguably the best-looking game on the Wii. For trainers that have put a lot of time into their creatures, it's quite rewarding to see your Pokemon on the big screen, unleashing their powerful attacks. You'll have moments where you'll think things like, "Look at my Lucario! He's totally waxing that legendary psychic with Dark Pulse! I taught him that!!!" If you understood most of the terminology in those three sentences, PBR is for you. If not, then a few hours of trite battling will leave you quite bored.
There are several rewards for repeatedly going through the relatively unchallenging battles in this game. You'll be able to download a special version of Pikachu to your Diamond/Pearl cartridge after you beat the game for the first time. This Pikachu knows two moves that it can't learn under normal circumstances (Surf and Volt Tackle) and holds the excellent Light Ball accessory.
As you progress, you'll also earn new backgrounds for your trainer IDs and currency called Poke Coupons. These can be used be used to buy new clothing for your avatar and to purchase additional items that can be downloaded to the DS game. This is another case of the game being far more appealing to hardcore Diamond/Pearl players. Buying new clothes isn't a big deal at all, but purchasing additional attacks, berries, evolution items, and more can be very useful to ardent Diamond/Pearl gamers.
The only aspect of this game that can be considered revolutionary is its online play. Similar to Diamond/Pearl, this is the first game in the Stadium/Colosseum series that can be played online. You can battle random players with all your Pokemon set to level 50 or challenge your friends (through Nintendo's dreadful Friend Code system) with a slightly wider set of rules. This is, by far, the most fun we had in the game. While so much of it depends on who you play, the 30+ battles we played online were much more challenging and enjoyable than competing against the dopey AI in the offline game. Having said all that, we would have liked to have seen more options in online play - rankings, matching up skill levels, voice chat, etc. are fairly common online offerings found in other games.