Shin

Zoids: Battle Legends


Game Title: Zoids: Battle Legends
Console: Gamecube
No. of Players: 2
Difficulty: Easy
Genre: Action “Mecha”
Publisher: Atari
Age: Teen

Story
75/100
The game gives you the option of playing through a Misson Mode or going straight into 1 on 1 battle. Playing Mission Mode will let you unlock more weapons and Zoids and more to use in 1 on 1 battle. So it’s kind of worth going through the story.

You get the option of playing on two sides of a war, the Republic or the Empire. Which ever side you pick you’ll start off small with really weak Zoids and work you’re way up. Each side of the war has a secret Zoid that they must protect from the other side. You’re job as a pilot will be to go on mission (“traveling” from one point to the next). While on you’re journey you’ll have the option of working with other pilots. As you progress the story you’ll unlock more Zoids and more weapons, and fight harder enemies and such. What’s awesome about the Mission Mode is that the missions aren’t just one battle after another. Sometimes you’ll have to take out towers (while battling) or find secret bases, or protect cargo ships; it will really test you ability as a Zoid pilot to see if you can do something besides aim and fire.

The story itself is pretty neat. There are several plot twists and it’s interesting to see how they all come together at the end. The (only) problem is that the story is only seen through pathetic cut scenes, before you have to head into battle so you’ll have to pay attention to the cut scenes if you want to know what’s going on between the Republic and the Empire (and a mysterious group, “Oooh!”).

Either way both sides (the Republic and the Empire) are pretty much the same, their choice of Zoids differ a bit but nothing major. Both sides will fit and take on pretty much the same challenges so it’s really doesn’t make much of a difference which side you choose to play with. If anything take the Republic first (their sort of easier) and when your use to the control play as the Empire.

Gameplay
80/100

Since you don’t actually as the character you choose to, the only place where you get to put your skills to the test is in battle. The battles are some of the mecha type battling out there. First off the Zoids are pretty realistic (although that is probably more of a Graphics thing than Gameplay). There are a few glitches but nothing too serious. Once you’ve selected the Zoids you want and customized it to your fitting you’re off into battle. You get several different mode of play to test your skills in, and here they are:

Mission Mode
See Story….

Tournament Mode
In the tournament mode you have the option to work with an AI partner of your choosing. You’ll fight 12 battles and after the 12th you’ll be declared champion. The characters you get to play with and face in battle are from the anime series. After you defeat one tier you’ll unlock characters for the next and so forth. And like I said before if you beat Mission Mode you you’ll unlock more things such weapons, Zoids, and characters. (Yay!) You’re opponents are chosen for you and so in the terrain in which you’ll be playing in.

Versus Mode
In this mode you have more freedom and a few extras Zoids that you can’t use in other modes. You can play against another player or the AI. You can choose from the set of default Zoids or import the Zoids from the Zoids you bought in Tournament Mode (those Zoids are saved on your memory card). The second player can always import Zoids from their memory card. Unlike Tournament mode you’ll get to pick the terrain. If you complete Mission mode you you’ll unlock more stages to battle in. Versus mode also allows you to play with the “Ultra Zoids”: Zoids that can’t be bought or used in Tournament Mode.

Fist Mode
You can call this Zoid Sumo wrestling Battle. O.o Basically you and an opponent will select Zoids to play with and then you’ll select stages to battle in. The twist is the stages. The stages in Fist Mode are pretty much a (simple) small platform where you cannot fall over, if you do you’ll automatically loose. This makes it hard if you strategy is to jump and dodge attacks, you have to be careful.

Overall gameplay is ok. Much better quality than most Mecha style battling. There is a bit of a slow response time when you Zoids falls or dodges, which can become a bit annoying but nothing you can’t get over.

Graphics
80/100

Alright the “cut scenes” suck, but this game isn’t about what happens out side of the battle it’s what happens in. If you even watched the anime you would want to get up and clap at how accurate the Zoids look in the game to how they were in the anime. They really couldn’t have done much better. The Zoids look smooth and look like the real thing. The terrain is also pretty neat and looks very realistic. There are a few questionable things that happens during battle that might make you think that a few more touch up are in order but overall the graphics are amazing for a mecha game.

Controls & Camera
80/100

The directional pad is used the move your Zoid, the A button is used to fire your active weapon, the B button to jump, Y button switch your active weapon with another, the X button to activate your Zoid’s signature move (Strike Laser Claw etc), and the Z button is to give your Zoid’s option (boosters, camouflage, land mine etc). Overall the controls are easy handle and once you get use to them they become almost second nature.
The Camera is controlled by the L & R button, and there isn’t much to them. The R button keeps the camera focused on you, so you’ll only see in front of you. The L button focuses the camera on your opponent. In certain battle situations you’re going to want to switch between the two. If you aiming a cannon at an opponent you’re going to want to use the L button if you’re running from an enemy you’re going to want to use the R button for camera options, that sort of stuff.

Music and Sounds
75/100

The background music isn’t bad, pretty much what I expected to hear in this. What is a pain on the ears is the voices. If you even watched the anime series for this game you’d want to blow up the TV. Truly a sad day in voice acting. I suggest you just play this entire game on mute, because the voices are really bad people. What’s worse is that even if you never saw the show in your life you could tell that the voices on this are crap. :/ That’s probably the only down side in this department though.
As you know the Zoids makes noises too and that pretty seems to be ok and pretty accurate.

Replayabilty
80/100

After you finish Mission Mode there really isn’t much reason to play it again, since you don’t get anything or much more. The game then becomes all about the battles. You can either continue playing Tournament mode to jack up battle points to buy power up for your Zoids and use them against the AI or import them to Verus Mode. You can continue to play Versus Mode and just chil with that. You can always use two memory cards and import the Zoids from each and battle a friend using their customized Zoids. Even though the game doesn’t continue after you’ve unlocked the final Tier in Tournament, you could always go back in Verus and try new battle combinations to keep you busy.

Overall
75/100

You must be asking, why a 75 out of 100 when you have everything such good marks! Well the game is alright, pretty nice to play once in a while but the presentation wasn’t too good. The menu was simple and as a player you didn’t have many options open to you. There is also a lot of sadness because many of the Zoids you saw in the anime weren’t in this game. You also couldn’t fly with any Zoids, even if the Zoid had wings. The back cover says you have these Zoids to choose from but in reality you only a say about 20-30 and different versions with few modifications of the Zoids to use
Also the fact that Mission Mode, outside of battle, was just dialog with pictures also annoyed me. The game was good and I enjoyed playing it but they could have done better–and in fact they did with Zoids Versus III, which sadly won’t be released into the US. If you’re a hardcore fan of Zoids (you know you bought all the model kits and such) this game will certain be a great gift, but if you’re looking for a good action/mecha game I suggest else where.

By Cherubim

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