|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: June 22nd, 2004
|Pokemon Colosseum is the second GCN Pokemon title, but the first 3D Pokemon RPG. The game mixes more mature
themes with 3D graphics, but does that make this a worthwhile game? Check out the full review here!
Let's start off with the bad. The sound effects aren't even worthy of a GCN game. There are very few sound effects that
I've never heard, and even those don't always seem to fit the attack exactly. There's hardly any sound effects when you're
walking around, except maybe some water. That really degrades the experience because I'm used to hearing sound effects
for just about everything in GCN games, and there's certainly a lot missing. Now there are some okay sound effects for
some attacks, but they were nothing compared to the Pokemon Stadium series. When it starts to rain, it sounds like a
loud annoying roar, not heavy rain like we know in real life.
The good thing is that the music makes up for the bad sound effects. The music is well orchestrated, and is catchy. This
music is almost as good as what I hear on Ruby/Sapphire versions, and more than decent for Gamecube. The only reason
why some music gets annoying is simply because the battles take forever, and the samples aren't any longer than the
GBA game's music. The music seems to overshadow the sound effects mostly, which is good, because that's the only
redeeming aspect for the sound in this game. There isn't even Dolby Surround to help it out. I guess Nintendo didn't want
to waste money buying Surround sound considering it probably wouldn't have made the poor sound effects much improved.
When I analyze 'control', I am also analyzing the ease of use for this game. That being said, you should know that this
isn't going over well. Basically, the battles in this game are slow. They are very slow. This is due to annoying animations
that constantly replay on the screen, like sandstorms, or hail. Those take forever. It shows the Pokemon getting hit, and
then walking back into position. This is only about eight seconds, but when it happens to four Pokemon, it's an extra
thirty seconds for five turns in a row. This is very annoying. The same concept applies to moves like Spike Cannon. They
keep hitting 2-5 times, and it's rather tedious to see it get hit that many times with the same slow animation. You can also
apply this concept to abilities like intimidate. Basically, the whole battling process is not quick.
I was at first worried that the aerial view would make some objects hard to see. They have a pretty good camera that flows
well, so there's hardly ever a problem. When it comes to finding hidden stuff, though, it's rather easy because you can see
where there are extra paths, that shouldn't be there normally, are. Other things like the pause menu generally isn't
confusing, but it is sometimes slow. What gets annoying is that outside of story mode, the battle mode contains a 100
versus mode. It makes you go through so many menu screens just before you get to the next battle. It is very annoying.
Really the only positive aspect is that moving around is easy, and although you can't save anywhere, it makes sense. I
don't get why it takes 48 blocks. Since you can only hold 90 Pokemon in your three PC boxes, and there's only one save
file. I still don't understand this, but it shouldn't be a problem for most people, who have a Memory Card 251.
Connectivity is also easy, if not very fast. The trading process is also slow, and connecting to a GBA pak is also a waiting
game. Overall, you will be annoyed, unless you're a patient person. After a while, you just feel like you shouldn't have to
wait this long just to make your next move in battle. It's a poorly done system, and should have been more like Pokemon
Stadium in this aspect.
Considering how great the graphics were on Pokemon Stadium
2, this is only slightly improved from that. Compared to what
we could have seen, this is just slightly above average. When it
comes to battle moves, there really isn't much to them. When I
saw each individual attack on Pokemon Stadium 2, I knew each
one was different; each attack was a definite, and well-visible
attack. Now when Pokemon shake their head wildly about to
launch a major attack that we know, it doesn't seem as 'major'.
Basically, there wasn't much emphasis on the design of attacks.
Some of the particle effects are neat, but there could have been
more of that, too.
I am also disappointed with the models. Most of the older ones
imitate exactly as they were in the old games, which is okay. I
thought they could have been a bit more creative and think of
some new animation moves for the Pokemon. The newer
models look average, but there are some that just don't seem
right. Swampert looks nothing like I expected, and there
probably wasn't enough supervision with this. The trainer
models are also poorly done, although I can see how they tried
to vary them to make everyone look different. At least they
put Progressive Scan in, but even that isn't enough to save the
score. It's in the 'Good' range.
When it comes to an RPG, I expect at least twenty hours of the main game, and tens more hours in extra leveling-up and
other things. Well, I got about 24 hours, but I didn't get the extra hours. It really shouldn't be 24 hours, either, because a
lot of time is taken because of the slow battles. I guess the only way I can amount the other hours is for the Battle Mode,
because Story Mode is short. Really the only thing to do when you're done is try catching any Pokemon you may have
missed. However, there are only about 40 and then maybe 10 more Pokemon already seen in Ruby/Sapphire versions.
Most people will have already caught most of them by the end of the game, anyway.
Pokemon Colosseum's real feature is transferring Pokemon to Ruby/Sapphire. You can trade Gold/Silver Pokemon to
Ruby/Sapphire versions after you beat Story Mode. This is a pretty neat feature, because this is the only way to get some
of these Pokemon even after the release of FireRed/LeafGreen. Once you get to that point, you can start playing your
Ruby/Sapphire Pokemon on this game. This is still pretty cool, but you can already play your Ruby/Sapphire Pokemon on
the GCN by transferring them through Battle Mode.
Battle Mode is half-hearted because you have to have Ruby/Sapphire Pokemon to battle each other; there's no longer
rental Pokemon. This is probably another ploy to try to get you to buy one of the GBA versions. Battling on the Gamecube
is like the GBA, except you can set actual rule limits and time limits, whereas the GBA versions are just free-for-all.
That's really the only incentive. They say that the game is multiplayer, but they really mean only if you have a Game Boy
Advance, Pokemon version, and cable. That's a bummer. It's also a shame, because Battle Mode is small. There are some
colosseums, and Mt. Battle Vs. 100, but that's it. This game really will get old after you beat Story Mode, unless you want
to battle extra trainers, and maybe catch a few more Pokemon. However, for fans of the series, this is the only way to get
some Pokemon. More hours can be added for those who want to heal all shadow Pokemon.
The design of the game has to revolve around Pokemon battles. This game tries to imitate an RPG, but it fails in a lot of
qualities. The first is replay, but you already knew that. Secondly, the animations are slow making the game boring. Like
I said, the essence of the game is suppose to be battling. The battle design was good, except for the slow pace. This game
was an attempt to make a direct connection to the GBA Pokemon versions by providing an aerial view. This is almost as
good as real Gamecube RPGs that we know, but the flaws like easily revealed paths, are there.
Since the battles are bad, the rest of the game is well...bad. The battle mode is poorly done, and so is the multiplayer
modes. If there's one thing good to say, it's that this game is somewhat fun while it lasts. The fact that this is a game that
has so much potential, but has so little, makes me frustrated. You travel around on a vehicle thing, but what happened to
walking through grass and dirt to the next town (It would just be dirt, actually). This was a fun aspect, but it was taken
out, probably because they wanted you to have to heal the shadow Pokemon that you steal back during battles, instead of
catching in the wild.
This aspect is not very much fun. They just heal after plenty of battles, and then you take them to a stone in Agate
Village, and they are completely healed. They must be healed to transfer back to Ruby/Sapphire. This aspect makes you
have to raise them more, which makes it more rewarding when you take it to your GBA versions later. The other cool
thing is that all battles are 2-on-2. This will annoy some, but this makes the game better because those battles are much
more RPG like, than the traditional 1-on-1 battles. Overall, I'm slightly disappointed with the design because it revolves
around slow battling, but it doesn't completely stink because of other points mentioned above.
The score above should show you that this game was a bit of a letdown. Despite some pros, it's really only worth buying if
you desperately want the Gold/Silver Pokemon before September. If you are considering buying this to play Pokemon in
3D, don't. Stick to GBA battling. Trust me, the 3D can only last so long in your mind until you realize that this wasn't
worth $50. My advice is unless you're a Pokemon fan, stay away from this game. I even know Pokemon fans who wouldn't
like this. There are few who will be patient enough to stand this, and the mature themes really aren't much matured.