Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed
Developer: 8ing and Codeglue
Publisher: Outright Games
Genre: Arena Fighter
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 7
Release Date: 16/10/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Back in the 1980s when Transformers, G.I. Joe and He-Man and The Masters of the Universe ruled the roost, there was also a range of toys that brought sci-fi and dinosaurs together in spectacular fashion. Zoids hailed from Japan and ended up encompassing the world with its impressive range of wind-up mechanical creatures.
Whilst the popularity of Zoids has dropped off the radar here in the UK, over in Japan they have remained as popular as ever. Spawning multiple anime adaptations and heaps of new toys the Zoids franchise shows no sign of slowing down. The latest incarnation is Zoids Wild with Blast Unleashed being the Switch exclusive tie-in that aims to bring Zoids back to the West.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is an arena brawler that features one-on-one robot action. The way the mechanical cast of monsters and humans fight is suprisingly similar to Pokémon brawler – Pokken Tournament. We take our chosen Zoid into the arena and are given the tools to battle everyone else. It’s as simple as that!
We have a fairly standard move set at our disposal such as light and heavy attacks, dodge, and a guard block. Each Zoid also comes equipped with three unique special moves that work on a gauge to stop spamming the same attack. Successfully landing attacks or defending yourself gives you energy that slowly fills your special gauge. Once filled this allows you to enter a power-up state which allows you to unleash you Blast Move. Each Blast Move is a hugely powerful move that really decimates your opponent’s health bar and with clever use can really tip the odds in your favor. Whilst it’s all fairly familiar to other fighting games, it all comes together in a simple and appealing way.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed also resurrects the old fighting game style of having to unlock the other fighters as you play. It adds longevity to the game and it’s a great thing to see your work paying off as the roster opens up. The only downside to this is that the game starts you off with a paltry five characters which is a disappointment if you’re planing to jump straight into the game’s multiplayer mode.
Into the Wild
In terms of the transition from anime to game, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is very faithful. Whilst Wild is aimed towards the younger viewers it achieves this by focusing on cooperation and friendship. This is seen with the characters riding atop of their Zoid rather than being hidden away inside a cockpit. The cast also looking like their animated counterparts and the Zoids themselves, with their cel-style graphics, they look every bit as cool as you’d expect them to. For fans of the show or even old-timers like me who fondly remember the Zoids of the ’80s, the game is a treat to spend time playing and opens up a few conversations about Wild and the 1980s Zoid heyday. The game also has enough weight in its combat and variation within its cast to keep you playing for a long time.
The story mode is pretty extensive and it’s great that it doesn’t feel like a throwaway component to the multiplayer mode. Whilst it’s clearly designed to appeal to the younger gamers, newcomers won’t find it a chore to play through. The story is performed via talking heads and on-screen text which is full of light harmless fun, and snappy dialogue that feels straight out of the anime show.
As I mentioned earlier Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is aimed towards the younger player and/or fans of the show. With that in mind it’s a very accessible game for younger players. My eleven year old was able to play through most of the story with relative ease even though she doesn’t have much fighting game experience. This however changes when you play the local multiplayer, and battles can be pretty engaging and tense when in the hands of a competent player. It’s entirely possible to string combos together that can end the round within a few seconds, though this depends on connecting with your Blast Move. The biggest disappointment is that the game sadly doesn’t have an online component. This is a surprise move considering that every game seems to come with an online multiplayer in some shape or form.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a fun game to play. Whilst its game play is aimed towards the younger gamer, there is a surprising amount of variation and weight behind it to keep both newcomers and older gamers entertained. The style of combat is both simple and in-depth as a competent player can pull off some extremely flashy moves. Whilst the lack of online multiplayer limits fights to singleplayer or local 2-player, competent players will soon burn through the content that is available.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed on the Nintendo eShop by clicking here