Pokemon Battle Revolution review

  • Fantastic looking Pokemon and attacks
  • Excellent goodies for Diamond/Pearl
  • Potentially challenging online play
  • Stock Pokemon are laughable
  • Fortune Battles are annoyingly stupid
  • Online options are lacking

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.

The other multiplayer option lets you and up to three friends duke it out on your television while controlling your Pokemon with your DS. This feature is more necessary than neat - battling would be pretty stupid if you could see what moves your opponent was selecting.

Viewing Pokemon Battle Revolution as its own game is a mistake. It only offers a few days worth of play on its own and isn't much fun at all to newcomers. The game is at its best when used as an accessory, albeit an expensive one, to Diamond/Pearl. Earning items in PBR and transferring them to your DS, properly training your Diamond/Pearl Pokemon and testing their mettle online in PBR -- these are the two areas where the game excels. Even though millions of people have purchased Diamond/Pearl, not all of them will be able to get the most out of PBR. We can't recommend this game for most players, but if you've sunk dozens or hundreds of hours into Diamond/Pearl and have your Wii connected to the Internet then it's a good, not great, complementary purchase.

More Info

Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Role Playing
Franchise: Pokemon
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending




  • shawksta - January 14, 2013 1:20 a.m.

    I loved Battle revolution for its 3D performance and the fact that its basically Online battles and randomly while Diamond and Pearl were stuck with friends only till Black and White 2 It has potential and i really wish they can really give it real content to make it its own real game in the future
  • eagle eye - December 12, 2011 7:01 a.m.

  • RedChaos765 - April 18, 2010 11:15 a.m.

    When I got the game I expected it to be awesome, but it just can't compete with Pokemon Stadium 2 for N64. Even the rental pokemon from Stadium 2 could obliderate the rentals in PBR. Now I only use it to watch my Arceus own everything in 3D. They could at least leave the adventure in so it could compete with Stadium 2.
  • Thegoldshine - November 11, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    I totally agree.
  • Thegoldshine - November 11, 2008 1:37 a.m.

    I think I will get it though. I have spend more than 110hours on my game(that may not seem like a lot for hardcore gamers of PokeD&P) but for me, that is a lot of hard spend time. I have decently groomed pokemon, which know pretty good moves. (Although that IV and EV stuff is too hard for me to grasp.) One of my accomplishments that I am proud of is that in Pokemon Diamond I caught Dialga with a Ultra Ball(No Lie-NO Action Replay). Ok well thanks. ~Thegoldshine~
  • purpleshirt - May 19, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    is 686 hours enough?
  • behx2011 - February 2, 2009 6:07 a.m.

    well i reeeeeeally wished i had read this review before i ended up spending 50 dollars on it! now i just feel quite dumb. i don't own a DS so i pretty much just wasted my money....i thought i would be like Pokemon Colleseum or the other game that was for the gamecube that was pokemon i really wished they wouldn't have gotten rid of the adventure like the other two really pisssed off about this

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