Developer: Eighting / Codeglue
Publisher: Takara Tomy / Outright Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: eShop download
Category: Fighting, Action
No. of Players: up to 2 players
Release Date: October 16, 2020 (JP) / October 16, 2020 (EU & NA)
As a continuation to the Zoids IP and coming to life as a manga that was followed up by an anime, Zoids Wild only celebrated its second anniversary in April 2020 and already by the end of 2020, two exclusive games will available on the Nintendo Switch in Japan and now one of those games is making its western debut.
Previously released as Zoids Wild: King of Blast, and now renamed Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed for Western audiences thanks to developer Codeglue and publisher Outright Games, the Zoids are now ready to battle it out in the west, but are we ready for them? It’s time to find out.
Being the fifth instalment of the overall Zoids (short for Zoic Androids,) franchise, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a game that takes biomechanical creatures, typically based on real-life animals, prehistoric beasts and legendary creatures and sees them going head-to-head in combat against each other, serving the bidding of the ones bonded with them and the ones that deem themselves the masters of their Zoids.
For the most part, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed tells the story of Arashi, a young lad who wishes to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a Zoid Hunter, whilst joined by a lion-looking Zoid called a Liger and their courageous journey is about to unfold.
Being a fighting, action game, the initial premise of Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, is an easy one to follow. The majority of gameplay revolves around battles between two Zoids with a requirement being put on the player to win two rounds to claim victory. In the event you win a round but lose the second one, then it’s time for sudden death in the form of a third round, with the victor being the last one standing.
Both combatants have a life bar and the first to have theirs deleted and just in case you do manage to prove victorious, how you performed with have an impact on what kind of a rank you’ll be given, based on your final score, which factors in damage taken, how quickly you can beat your opponent and how fierce the battle was.
With regards to button commands and combat inputs, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, makes use if your basic guard/block (L), quick attacks (Y), heavy attacks (X), guard break (A) and dodge (B.) As for the final button input players need to know about is R for Wild Action. One press will activate your Beast Bond if you are Team Freedom and Dark Beast Engage if you’re on team Dark Metal Empire.
As for the second press of R in combination with L, this will activate your Wild Blast attack, a special attack that can deal an immense amount of damage, but there is a big difference with regards to what happens afterwards, based on what team you choose to side/play as at the time.
Team Freedom, players can constantly fill their gauge for Beast Bond and use it as many times as they want and even when they activate the Wild Blast manoeuvre, as long as the gauge is still partially full, you can continue your assault.
Dark Metal Empire characters, however, because they prefer force over bonds, they don’t have a Beast Bond gauge to fill up, but their Dark Beast Engage state is available as soon as the round begins and the second you use their special attack, the power-boost comes to a drastic end and there is no filling the gauge for another chance to use it in the same round.
Then with regards to the other gameplay elements of Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, there are some arena-based battles where there is only one round, but your character is required to attack multiple enemy Zoids, one after the other. As for the other main element of gameplay, its mostly map and menu navigation and choosing what Zoids and in what colour, you wish to use them in, for Battle mode.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
As is the custom for most modern fighting games, more emphasis is now being placed on a story or adventure mode and Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed does not skip on its story content. Being the main bread and butter, Story mode offers players more than 190 stages to battle through, divided across many different story paths, with a different character and Zoid pairing being the focus of their own journey.
What’s more, this expansive story mode is a great way of unlocking new Zoids to use in Battle mode, a mode open to two players who want to jump right into battle each other, but you can also unlock other things, such as photos to fill your Photo Album, get more Zoids to look at with Zoid Viewer and you can unlock new music tracks as well.
By all means, come and play because you want to stay for the Zoids, but if you want to see it all, do it all and get everything, get ready to play another fighting game that will keep you busy for many weeks to come and even if fighting games aren’t too your liking, don’t get discouraged just yet. There is a practice mode for the players looking to “get good,” and once you have, you can always try your hand at a continuous battle, 7 back-to-back challenges intended to test your skills.
Sporting a varied soundtrack comprised of tracks befitting the show and fast-paced music to set the pace of the action, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed’s soundtrack seeks to engage the player and get them pumped and even if you tire of some tracks, there are still 27 songs to acquire to complete the game’s music gallery.
As for the voice acting, there is some present, but don’t expect anything special, or for it to match up with the dialogue that appears on-screen via text boxes that show up as part of sequences that play out typically before and after battle.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
As a series that owes its existence to a manga turned anime in 2018, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed chooses to fully embrace its anime beginnings by having its entire art style be a faithful recreation of the anime adored by its fans, and it does look pretty glorious.
I’m not a complete fan of the human designs for the main heroes and villains, but the designs of the Zoids is something I can get behind. They’re fearsome, majestic and watching them go at it in arena-based 3D combat, is a delight. Overbyte is my favourite to use and the animations for each Zoids transformation is a nice sequence to behold, as long as you don’t eventually find them tedious.
With regards to performance, however, while the combat runs pretty smoothly, there can be a couple of annoying delays and in-game saving feeling like it’s taking a little long in some instances.
While Zoids Wild has a long way to go before it can be idolised like the more popular DRAGON BALL FighterZ, it’s not a bad game or even a bad series. As a fighting game, it does exactly what it sets out to do, there’s a great variety of Zoids and if you can learn to master the combos, you’ll be dealing devastating and over-the-top attacks in no time.
Whilst unlocking every Zoid for Battle Mode might prove to be a tedious task, with graphics true to the anime series, a variety of great Zoids to use in battle and a content-packed story mode, there is plenty to like about Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, even if you aren’t too keen on the series.
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*A download key was provided by the Publisher for the purposes of this review
To check out more reviews by the Miketendo64 Review Team, feel free to click here.Tags: Codeglue, Eighting, Nintendo Switch, Outright Games, review, Switch Review, Takara Tomy, Zoids Wild, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed
This post was written by Jack Longman