People will disagree with me here but i speak not from a Pokemon game perspective.
Pokemon Colosseum is a fresh installment to what has become a sterile series. The typical, collect gym badges and battle the elite four trope has been completely pushed aside in favor of a new plot and setting. Whilst the games plot isn't anything special, the setting really does the game justice.
Pheanic City is a great concept, a city built on an oasis in the middle of a desert, it provides a great contrast to the craggy deserts and the shanty towns in the other portions of the game.
Explaining why Pokemon Colosseum is a great game is no easy feat because from a Pokemon fans perspective it is a step down. There aren't as many Pokemon available this time round and being a console title, there isn't any interactivity with other players. These problems shouldn't trouble those who prefer to play alone, but those who don't will probably ignore this game which is understandable. However Pokemon Colosseum makes up for this with it's new features, the ability to "snag" shadow Pokemon from other trainers is interesting and it makes battles feel more intense, especially since battles in Pokemon Colosseum are all double battles. The game play is basically the same as battles in other Pokemon games but with a few changes, the run option has been replaced by a call option which you use to wake up your Pokemon and snap them out of hyper mode.
Go Espeon, beat up that trainer so i can steal her Pokemon!
The presentation of this game is fantastic, though it is a shame that they reused the same models from Pokemon Stadium 2, they still look great, the new models also look great. The best part of the game is the art design. Genius Sonority decided to go with a more darker setting this time round and the art style really shows it, though it does seem somewhat odd at times (some of the buildings look like they're made out of tin cans, perhaps to give more of a steam punk feel) it really shows off the "ghetto" style that they were going for with this game, just look at Pyrite Town and you'll see what i mean, not everywhere is bright and colorful, yet even the places that aren't are very well designed. However not every location is gritty and barren, there are some locations that are bright and colorful and they are also very well designed.
Pokemon Colosseum is an accurate depiction of America in the last 6 decades.
The soundtrack doesn't fail to disappoint either. Most Pokemon games opt for an adventurous, joyful feel with it's soundtrack. Pokemon Colosseum on the other hand has more catchy, jazzy tunes that blend in well with the environment, it is a strong contrast from the other Pokemon games because it gives the game a darker tone, yet it isn't dark in the sense of being totally dull, the soundtrack is very memorable and despite being rather quirky (for a Pokemon game) manages to create a fitting atmosphere whilst keeping it enjoyable and ridiculously catchy, i swear, you'd be lying if you didn't click your fingers to the Pyrite Town music But the best of all is definitely the battle themes. Pokemon Colosseum has in my opinion, the best battle themes in the series, they all have a heroic and coolness feeling to them, it really fits the intensity of the battles well.
Fun fact: Pyrite is a worthless mineral with strong similarities to gold, otherwise known as fools gold. Fitting name for those to foolishly walk into this town expecting a warm hospitality.
As for the storyline itself, you play as Wes who is the coolest trainer in the series (watch the opening scene of the game and you'll see why) and you are on a journey to.... well you're just taking a stroll after casually blowing up your former gang's base and you're trying to lie low whilst everything dies down and what do you know, it's all over the news, you're a criminal and you damn well know it (if you've seen the movie Hancock, Wes plays a very similar role). As you can see, this is not the typical setting of a Pokemon game, and it's nice to see a character who has some kind of identity rather than just some kid who leaves home to become the ultimate Pokemon trainer.
Yu-Gi-Oh might have card games on motorcycles, but Pokemon Colosseum has Pokemon on unicycles, and that is before it was cool (ok maybe it's a shotgun but still).
On his way he notices a bunch of shady looking goons with a sack, Wes chooses to follow them but not before heading to his local bar in the middle of the desert to.... Pokemon Battle! (come on did you really think booze would be involved in a Pokemon game?). Anyways Wes gets to Pheanic city where he finds the goons and realizes that they kidnapped a girl names Rui who conveniently has supernatural powers and essentially serves as the talker in Wes' place since Wes is just too cool to talk. Wes simply tags along as a Pokemon mercenary (presumably) for Rui as she plans to take on cipher with Wes' help and steal all the shadow pokemon, robin hood style.
The game itself is pretty short but there is some end game content that increases the games longevity, still the game is easily worth a purchase even today, I'd also recommend the sequel, Pokemon XD Gale Of Darkness.
Lifespan: Quite Short
Would you replay? Yes
Overall Score: Great