Based on the cult anime series, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, captures the action and fast paced combat fans know and love. The anime has been around since the early 1980s pitting mech animals, dinosaurs and insects against one another in battle. Now you can power up your Nintendo Switch and duke it out in 3D arenas with mechanical beasts. It’s time to harness ruthless mecha power and do battle in Zoids Wild!
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed Review Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Outright Games
Modes: Single player, local multiplayer player
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone 10+
The Zoids Wild story
Zoids Wild is a classic story about good battling to overcome evil. This all takes place in a 3D battle arena with Team Freedom (the good guys) facing off against the Iron Empire (the bad guys). The action unfolds around the pilots and the giant mecha they control and battle with. Although the story mode is lengthy, it doesn’t flesh out much, you’ll need to go into the experience already knowing a lot about the anime. The lack of a backstory, especially from a game drawing from a series with a rich anime history is disappointing.
A branching story
On the upside the mode does have some unique twists and a story that branches. The story path is incentivized well, letting you face a variety of new characters, unlocking them along the way for use in other modes. Other fighting games tend to have a very linear story path, but Zoids’ story can branch in different directions. I found this a refreshing way to navigate the story which put a different spin on things.
Controlling your Zoid
The controls are streamlined to give you quick access to devastating attacks for each of your mechs. Like most fighting games, it’s all about stringing big attacks and combos together. Each Zoid has three unique moves to help add a little variety to the robo battles. Unfortunately, due to the lack of depth in the combat, most showdowns end up in a frantic button mashing affair.
Shallow combat system
The controls are a little too simple, after hours of play there is a lack of depth in the combat system. The difficulty does start to ramp up as you progress, but the fighting formula doesn’t evolve much. If a younger fan is playing this might help keep levels of frustration low. If you are a player looking for a significant challenge Zoids might prove a little too easy.
Extremely powerful ultimates
The more momentum you build with combos, the faster you can unleash a devastating blast to claim victory. These ultimate blasts are a little too overpowered because if you manage to land one the fight is pretty much over. Ultimates have the ability to eliminate half of your opponent’s health bar. This gives them little to no chance to mount a formidable comeback. If you can look past the imbalances, the fast-paced action still offers a lot of enjoyment.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed Game modes galore
It’s great to see how much content is packed into Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, there is a lot to do, see and unlock. The experience has three central modes: battle, story and continuous battle.
Battle is a one to two player local mode that lets you duke it out against the CPU or a couch co-op buddy. Unfortunately, the game does not feature any online modes, so showdowns with other human players can only happen locally.
The story, or “mission mode” is where I spent most of my time with the game. It brings together the modes branching paths, character cutscenes and lets you unlock more Zoids. It also unlocks some fun extras in the game’s gallery like pictures, music and dialogue. The gallery is a really nice touch, it also lets you explore each Zoid in a 360-degree virtual tour.
The look and sound of battle
As you might expect the graphic style does its best to stay true to the TV show’s art style, and it succeeds. The character models, environments and flashy effects look great as you battle, offering up the visual eye candy anime fans are used to. Everything is very clean and well organized when it comes to menus and overall visual style. The anime-style finishers are excellent, offering a visual feast every time they are activated. Load times are fast but it would be nice if the story mode loaded you directly into the next fight instead of back into the main menu.
The sound design matches the action well, with the Zoids deliver thundering attacks that boom and clank in a satisfying manner. The high tempo techno music that permeates through the game’s menu and battle modes matches the fast-paced action really well. I did find the redundant character dialogue a little much, I think fewer lines were needed during battle. It would have also been nice to have more of the written dialogue during story sequences receive the voiceover treatment.
Final thoughts on Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a fun anime arena fighter with quite a bit of content to dig into. Fans of the series are likely to get far more out of the experience, but it is a stylish fighter that those new to the series will also enjoy. The art direction that mimics the TV show’s offers a lot of great visuals. Unfortunately, the fighting system lacks depth and it comes down to who can mash buttons and access the ultimate finisher the fastest. The formula could work if there was a little more variety in combat. It would have also been ideal to have online multiplayer supported with so many fighters of similar ilk sporting this mode. With its flaws aside, it still is a fun game with a great art style that hardcore Zoids fans are sure to enjoy.
+ Great visual style
+ Sound design accentuates combat
– The fighting system lacks depth
– Ultimates are too overpowered, ending fights abruptly
– No online mode
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF ZOIDS WILD: BLAST UNLEASHED
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3/5
Overall Rating 3.5/5 (70%)