Pokemon Colosseum Review

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Graphics: 7.5
Sound : 6.5
Gameplay : 8.0
Multiplayer : 8.5
Overall : 7.9
Review by John K

It has been almost eight years since Pokémon invaded the Game Boy. Since then, Pokémon fans have been screaming for a 3D version of this fantastic adventure game. With Pokémon Colosseum Nintendo finally meets its fans wish.

Diehard Pok̩mon fans will object that there were two instances of Pok̩mon Stadium on the N64 but remember my words Рadventure. The N64 titles were little more than 3D battle games based on action rather than the charm of the Game Boy adventures.

Shadow Pokémon

A wicked organisation called “SnagEm” has found out a way to make Pokémon evil (surprise!). These so called Shadow Pokémon have their hearts closed artificially to make them more brutal and vicious.

But the REAL surprise for experienced Pokémon trainers is the player character. This time you are one of the bad guys who wants to redeem himself. You are an ex-employee of this evil organisation who stole the Snag device. With this Snag device, you can steal Pokémon from other trainers. It doesn’t take long to realise that you can use this Snag device to capture Shadow Pokémon from the fiends and help them to regain access to their hearts.
After you caught some Shadow Pokémon and learned a bit more about Team SnagEm, you learn that you can open up a Shadow Pokémon’s heart by fighting along side with it. After you have opened up a Pokémon’s heart you can go to the magical forest where Celebi resides to get the Pokémon in touch with his heart again.

Not really a 3D Pokémon

Although this is the closest thing to a 3D Pokémon adventure, this isn’t entirely the case. In the previous Pokémon games on Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, you could walk around freely in the big world of Pokémon, but in Pokémon Colosseum you have to move from one city to another via a map screen.
Not being able to move freely in a world takes away the possibility of catching wild Pokémon naturally, so your only chance to acquire new Pokémon is by Snagging the Shadow Pokémon away from the bad guys. There are around 50 Shadow Pokémon which you can catch, but there are almost 400 Pokémon available in the game. This is a major setback, because it totally contradicts the statement “Gotta catch em’ all”.



Story

In previous Pokémon games there was little to no story. Basically you had to travel around, catch Pokémon, collect badges and battle some sort of elite trainer. Pokémon Colosseum is the first Pokémon game that has a story and I must say I’m glad it does. The old formula was getting a bit old and big N has spruced up things a bit with the story in this game.
The character you play can’t detect which Pokémon are Shadow Pokémon and which ones aren’t, so, after you rescue her, you have a partner with the gift of seeing Shadow Pokémon. Of course this girl interferes with Team SnagEm’s plans and they try to catch her. When your opponent calls out a Shadow Pokémon, your partner will warn you that it’s a Shadow Pokémon and you have to try and catch it.

Hyper Mode

Shadow Pokémon’s hearts are closed, so they aren’t in touch with their emotions. The more closed their hearts are, the more often they go into the so called Hyper Mode. When the Pokémon are in this mode, they will only do the “Shadow Rush” attack and will not listen when you try to make them do another move. There is an upside to the Hyper Mode, which is the fact that they hit with a Critical Hit more often. Calling a Pokémon’s name will snap them out of Hyper Mode and open their heart up a bit.

Battle Mode

Next to the story mode, there’s a Battle Mode like in the previous Pokémon Stadium games. You can transfer Pokémon from your Ruby or Sapphire as well as the upcoming Fire Red and Leaf Green games to battle against the GameCube or up until four of your friends. There is a slight downside to this again, since you can’t play with other’s using the normal GameCube controllers and you can’t play with “rented” Pokémon like in the Stadium series. Another thing we’re missing is the Mini Games which made the Stadium games so much more fun.



Graphics

Nintendo has done a marvellous job converting all the Pokémon to 3D. The Pokémon aren’t at supreme graphics, but they look good for 3D conversions. The special effects that come from the moves of the Pokémon are fantastic.
The towns are made with enough detail, but sometimes a bit dull.
The character models have a nice “anime” touch to them and are smoothly detailed.

Sound

The music in this game is average. It won’t entertain you much, but it won’t annoy you either. You will probably want to put on a CD, because the music in this game will get boring soon. A more varied music selection would have fixed this problem easily.

Conclusion

Pokémon Colosseum is certainly a step in the right direction to a good 3D Pokémon game. If you are a fan of Pokémon, this game will keep you entertained for a while, especially if you have friends with Game Boy Advance and Pokémon games for the GBA. If you never played a Pokémon game before, go sit in a corner for half an hour and when you come out, rent this game. You will get more fun from the GBA games than from this GameCube game, but it is worth a rent.
Hopefully Nintendo will make the next 3D Pokémon game better and we will finally enjoy a true 3D Pokémon game.