16 – Pokemon Colosseum (Nintendo GameCube)
Set in the desert region of Orre, Pokemon Colosseum follows the story of Wes, a former member of an evil team behind the darkening of various Pokemon into “Shadow” versions of their former selves. Wes must “snag” these Shadow Pokemon from their current trainers, saving them from that darkness and gaining them as allies. It’s a darker adventure (no pun intended) than the main series handheld games, but in the context of a console game, Pokemon Colosseum worked. It heavily focused on story and battle, with no puzzles or overworld, and Pokemon could be traded to the handheld titles on the Game Boy Advance to fill out the Pokedexes.
In many ways, Colosseum is the closest we’ve come to a console main series title, but it still falls short of expectations for such a game. The graphics were weak, even for the time, the storyline is painfully linear, and a limited number of Pokemon were available. But the unique take on battles and story focus provided an interesting alternative to the tried and true format of the handhelds. It’s too bad we didn’t see the story-based console trend continue beyond the GameCube.
Next: #15 - Pokemon Stadium