Zoids is one of the few mecha anime franchises that has been successful over the years outside of Japan. Starting out as a toyline in 1983 by Tomy, the franchise has expanded into multiple model lines, six anime series and multiple games.
Family friendly publisher Outright Games is bringing the latest game adaptation of the Zoids Wild series exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed – originally called Zoids Wild: King of Blast – focuses on the story of Arashi and his Liger in the Zoids Wild series. However before this sixth series began the Zoids franchise has a huge history outside of the toy line with the anime beginning in 1999.
From Zoids Chaotic Century to Genesis each series brought a new generation of Zoids, but following the tropes of good vs evil with dramatic battles and emotional storylines. The Zoids franchise has seen many game adaptations spanning back to the Game Boy, mainly focusing on battles and building your own Zoid, which proved hugely successful.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a 3D arena fighter allowing fans of the series to recreate spectacular battles from the anime. The game looks stunning with eye catching anime-faithful graphics that fans love. Each Zoid character model is superbly designed with all the intricate details included. Attacks are executed with glossy animation, and while there will be a lot going on at times, nothing gets lost in all the chaos.
The addition of anime characters popping up at key moments in battle is a charming addition to fights, adding some humor to the battles. Clearly a lot of time has gone into making each character model, however all the stages are very flat and dull. With no interactive elements or unique locations battles can become very repetitive, especially in story mode where missions will take place on the same stage over and over.
Character voices have been included from the anime and while this does give each battle an extra lift, it would’ve been nice to have an option to use the original Japanese voices as fans may prefer them.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed has a few modes to take part in, players can go head to head against their friends in the Vs mode. The Mission Mode has been divided into two sections, Continuous Battle and Story. Continuous Battle basically plays like an arcade mode but players will be able to upgrade a different attribute including power, health and your energy gauge after each win.
The main bulk of the content will lie in story mode, there’s almost 200 stock battles from the get go and players will get a chance to play as the Dark Metal Empire. Story mode will keep players occupied for a long time, especially if you want to get 100%.
Saying that, there’s not really any depth to each mode, they all just consist of endless battles over and over, with no key objectives to get extra points. Players will be able to unlock other characters but that’s it. Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed really could have done with a Zoid customisation mode like its predecessors, it just would’ve added a bit more depth and longevity beyond story mode. But on the plus side, this version of the game includes all the DLC characters and stages so no need to purchase them.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed emphasises recreating the fast and furious battles from the anime, and the gameplay caters for that. The fighting mechanics are very straightforward, players will be able to chain together quick attacks with heavy attacks.
There’s also a guard break button to stop constant blocking. Each character has three Wild Actions that can also be chained into your combos but they can’t be spammed as they worked on a cool down system. Dodging is important because it will allow players to pull off a counter with a quick attack.
Every character has a Blast Gauge and once that is filled, players will be able to activate their Beast Bond or Dark Blast. Each Zoid will be filled with energy and their blast effect will be activated, enhancing a different attribute. While in this mode players can unleash their final blast attack.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed gameplay is really simple and easy to grasp, there are a few extra features like poison characters and being able to stun them, but this is a very easy pick-up-and-play experience. This is a good thing because fans of the series who are predominantly children will enjoy the fact they engage in amazing anime-style battles, linking together stunning looking combos with ease.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed has done a great job in creating a faith anime fighter for the fans, with the in-depth story mode and inclusion of DLC characters adding lot of value. Saying that, seasoned gamers will probably get a couple of matches out of this before finding it massively repetitive, but fans will keep picking this up to complete all the modes.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is out now for Nintendo Switch