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Pokemon Colosseum


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Since no one else seems to be talking about this title, I'll toss my 2 cents in on it.



Ever since I picked up Pokemon Red/Blue way back when, I have been hoping for a Pokemon RPG with full story mode to be released for N64 and later the GameCube. Pokemon Stadium for the N64 was fun and we liked the mini games and all, but it was so limited as to what we could do. When I heard about Colosseum I was afraid it was going to be more of the same, just for Ruby/Sapphire. I was greatly surprised when I picked it up and played for the first time.



From the opening scene of an explosion in a building, and someone stealing a machine, then being chased off by a bunch of people, I could tell this was going to be different. After the cutscene was over and I got control of my character, I saw the person who blew a hole in the building was me !!!


You begin the game at Outpost Station, there is not a lot to see here, and the background outside does not give a lot of clues to how beautiful the graphics in some areas of the game are. After playing for a few hours, I have seen that most of the graphics are in darker shades and also using a lot of tans and browns to show the desert area of the new land. A lot of the towns you visit have some beautiful graphics utilizing the power of the GameCube, but still not to what I would think is the full potential it could be. Running water looks really great and the buildings are very well rendered. When you arrive at the Outpost you see two men talking about pigging out after a job, they leave and you are able to wander around and talk to people inside the outpost.

When you finish up there and leave you see another cutscene. This one is your transportation in the game. It is a futuristic set of wheels similar to a motorcycle/pod racer crossbreed. Your two Pokemon travelling companions seem to be enjoying the ride. 8)


Unlike previous Pokemon games, there is no Professor Oak to give you a Pokemon. And there are no wild Pokemon in the game. So where do you get your Pokemon from ? You begin the game with 2 Pokemon. Umbreon and Espeon. Two evolved forms of Eevee, one of my favorite Pokemon from Red/Blue and other versions. I will cover where you get the rest in a little bit.


Upon your arrival in the next town, you come across the two men you saw at the Outpost Station. They challenge you to a battle. After you beat them, they run away leaving a big sack on the ground. You help a towns person open it up and inside is a girl. You find out she wants to travel with you for protection. After exploring the town and meeting the mayor, you find out this girl was kidnapped because she can see Pokemon with strange auras. Here is the premise of the game.



Pokemon Colosseum introduces Shadow Pokemon. Shadow Pokemon are regular Pokemon that have been abused and had their hearts artifically closed off to emotions. They have become fighting machines. They will even attack people. You were a member of the new bad guys in this story line called Team Snag'em. For whatever reason ( I don't know if it is ever revealed as I have not finished the game yet. ) you turned against your team mates and stole the SnagMachine from them. Here is where you get your Pokemon from in this game. You steal Shadow Pokemon from their trainers and heal them. When a Pokemon is freshly snagged, their hearts are totally closed off, you have to use them in battle and treat them well in order to open up their hearts. They do not raise in stats at all or learn new moves until their hearts have been opened and then unlocked in a special ritual you have to do later in another town.



Random encounters with wild Pokemon do not exist in this game. In a way, I like this, but also it is a drawback for me in game play. I have no choice in what order I get Pokemon. You have to battle the trainers as they come, and whatever Shadow Pokemon they have, you snag from them. There is no randomness to it. If you accidently faint a Shadow Pokemon you wanted, you either have to hope you saved not too long before the battle, or you have to wait and see if you encounter that trainer again later.


The game has paid a a lot of attention to detail on the Pokemon. Visually they are very well rendered, even if a little strange looking. And the fainting animations have made me laugh out loud for some of them. One of the little critters named Zigzagoon which looks like a wet raccoon does a great " Ohh.... oh ... you .... got ... me ..... ", staggering around before falling. after playing all the games since Red/Blue, any improvement in the battle graphics is welcome. Lots of smoke and poision clouds, fire attacks look very impressive as well as the water attacks. I was pretty pleased in this department. Sadly though, what is lacking is in the sound. I was hoping that with the GameCubes impressive powers, they would include something like the cartoon when the Pokemon talk. But they do not even utter their names. Like all the other verisons they just give a cry, and even that is kind of lame sounding. :(


Overall game play in the RPG mode I would say is a 9. Having to use the Shadow Pokemon over and over till you get their heart unlocked can be a bit tedious. But while it does not add a lot to the game other than being able to level the Pokemon up eventually, it does not take any thing away either. This game is a lot of fun IF YOU LIKE POKEMON. And even if you don't, it is a nice relaxing time waster. Will it convert a lot of Pokemon haters over to the dark side ? I don't think so. If you have no interest at all, it is nothing spectacular. But it is a nice addition to the Pokemon line up of games, and it has some new innovations that I hope to see in future versions.

It can get a little boring playing a goody-two-shoes all the time like Ash is in the cartoon and previous games.


Graphics I give a 9 also. The land is a desert, there are very well rendered graghics in the game in the battles and the towns, so I am a little forgiving in this area. I do wish some of the attacks were more animated, but some of the fainting scenes make up for this.


Sound I give a 6. I am very disappointed in the sound of the game. Yes, there is music, and it is different from the GBA/GB games, and also using some of the familiar tunes from the previous games, but it is nothing ground breaking. One plus is when you are near running water, you can hear it and it sounds nice, but big whoopie. :roll: Including the Pokemon saying their names instead of just a cry would have been a huge improvement in my book.



Replay value I give a 7. Only because the random battles have been removed. This is a game I will probably play over a few times, and I think it will be a pretty big hit with kids. But I do wish they had left in some random battles. I liked the surprise element of finding a rare or uncommon Pokemon while I was wandering around.



? I feel like I am going to get my money's worth out of this game no matter what. I take it to work and play and I am enjoying my time spent on it. As stated, I don't think it is going to convert anyone over to being a Pokemon fan if you are not already, but it is a very nice entertaining game with both the Colosseum mode and a full fledged RPG story too. So it's two, two, two games in one. That is always a bargain for me. :tu:

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