Good things come to those who wait…stupid little cliché isn’t it? You wait all your life to die and in the views of many that isn’t very good at all, a hot meal…if you sit about all day whilst it gets cold and then eat it, the food wont be good, it will be cold. We could go on and on, but we have a game to review (and we are late doing that for starters).
Long we have set about twiddling our thumbs musing about the possibility of a full-blown Pokémon adventure on our beloved little GameCube machine and now the time is here. To be brutally honest the lack of excitement here at Cubed3 for this game is quite staggering. Surely something that has been craved and dreamed about for so long finally being here and playable would have us rolling about the place in pure ecstasy …no.
Mixing elements from both the Stadium games and the GBA outings for this franchise, Pokémon Colosseum is a whole new kettle of fish. You play a little Poké-brat who goes about barren desert landscapes on a bizarre looking motorbike. The slightly ‘seedy’ feel to the game is all part of the games style. The game revolves around the idea of Dark Pokémon, the little rebels can’t be trained like your average Pokémon. The only way the little beggars can be detected is to find someone with certain psychic abilities to pick them out for you. The game sets you off on a truly epic journey…well you might think it is, but it isn’t really. The game is divided up into a number of towns strewn across the vast barren landscape. The game does the ‘moving’ for you, with cut-scenes kicking in as you zip between zones.
What we really liked about this game is the busy and bustling nature of the towns you visit. They are all a bit unique and all very interesting. Not only are the visuals nice and vibrant, but also there is a lot to see and do. You can raid people’s houses, visit the Pokécentre and take in various battles and the like. You are also assigned tasks and alike which ensure that the game doesn’t end up being a simple task of running about a lot and stealing Pokémon; that wouldn’t be much fun now, would it?
A good way to describe this game would be as one big rescue mission. As you travel about taking part in battles you ‘take nicely’ other people’s Pokémon…but only if they are the Dark kind. Using a Thieving Machine of Magic and Mystery you single out Dark Pokémon and snatch them from other trainers.
When you start off the game you have a very substantial total of two Pokémon (that you stole from a factory that you see exploding at the start of the game), these little fellas are Espeon and Umbreon. They will do for quite some time, but the game only really kicks into action when the stealing starts.
So far we have had violence, motorbikes, barren lands and indeed stealing. The Dark or Shadow Pokémon that are being used by other trainers are ‘there for the taking’ and part of the battles is stealing these Shadow Pokémon. No longer does Pokémon simply involve going about finding Pokémon whilst rummaging about in the undergrowth and then fighting it against any random person you see. This is a more structured title, which admittedly wont appeal to a lot of people.
When you have a nice little team of Shadow Pokémon around you it’s all about getting them to be better and better. We always enjoy seeing our Pokémon grow and evolve, developing new powers and abilities is something very rewarding and seeing it in lovely 3D in a full on adventure is all the more satisfying. And of course without very good Pokémon with lots of experience points, progression in the game is impossible. There are some very tough foes on show here and you will need to make sure your Poké-pals are in tip-top condition in order to get any sort of success.
All the Pokémon are on show here (hell knows how many that is, but it is a lot), but due to the Dark Pokémon theme only a limited amount are available. Not many Pokémon and Shadow/Dark and so it is quite a hunt to track them all down.
Outside of that, the Dark Pokémon is technically cursed and will need to be cured. Only by doing a lot of training and working very hard can the curse be lifted and the Pokémon removed of it’s curse…boy can it take time. Talking of time, the main game should last most people over 30 hours, with all the curing, moving about and stealing there is a lot to do. Outside of that there is of course the updated Stadium section to enjoy with a wide range of tournaments on show.
Yes the battles can be so slow it hurts at times, but we love our Poké-gameplay. This game shines in this particular department. Everything is wonderfully polished and well thought out. What is most important is that it is both enjoyable and playable.
Nice! Whilst it can get a bit bland and simple in places this game certainly looks quite nice. There are some lovely pieces of animation and the like, but it is all let down by textures that fail to impress and an overall lack of detail.
We laugh at even having to score this game on sound. It is pitifully quiet, the Pokémon just bugger about making stupid noises (as they tend to) and the music is a bit…interesting.
Big, but for one or two wrong reasons. There is a lot of time to be spent doing very little if you're not careful, which is a real shame in a game that should be so action-packed. Still, there is masses crammed in and it is all very enjoyable, not to mention the multiplayer tagged on as well!
Good, but not great. Everyone was expecting a massive ground breaking title that would shake up the Pokémon franchise, well this ain't it folks. Whilst the Dark/Shadow idea is very neat and adds a real drive and purpose to the game, the whole thing is pretty much what anyone might expect from a full-on 3D RPG of Pokémon. Not that we are complaining massively. This is a hugely enjoyable title and will no doubt delight Poké-nuts the world over, and perhaps even convert some former Poké-nots.