I’ve never heard of Zoids Wilds. It’s an anime TV show, apparently, but I’ve never seen it. I have since done my homework and watched a few summaries on YouTube, but I can’t see myself spending any amount of time watching it. It’s a cartoon and I’m a grown man. Besides, me and my four year old are currently in the middle of Miraculous on Netflix. It’s good!
From what I can gather, and what I’ve seen in the game’s extensive story mode, is that it’s the tried-and-true child-friendly formula of youngsters teaming up with monsters of sorts and fighting with them. Instead of it being murderous monsters that fit inside little balls, or dinosaurs entrusted to teenagers, it’s robot-mecha beasts and their Riders. Why are these kids allowed to have such cool toys? I wasn’t even allowed a Beyblade as a kid because mum said they were dangerous…
There’s even a bad group, a la Team Rocket from Pokemon, though you actually get to take control of the bad guys through the game’s story battles, but more on that in a minute.
Zoids Wilds: Blast Unleashed is a 3D brawler, so rather than being stuck to moving either left or right, you can run around the arenas – which makes sense as you are fighting with massive beasts. It works well, too, having big arenas to do battle in. It allows ample chance to duck away and avoid a raging enemy, but it also gives you the chance to charge up a powerful attack and make it count from a distance.
The controls are simple and I had no problem quickly finding my feet. You’ve got light and heavy attacks, as well as special moves that can be pulled off by combining the R bumper with an attack button. Then, there’s Wild Blast. Once your Blast bar fills up, you can pull L and R together and you’ll get a temporary buff to your mech. It’s simple but elegant and I’m thankful that the game didn’t want me doing gymnastics with my appendages, like Street Fighter V. The simplicity of it all means it’s an easy one for younger players to enjoy without much hassle.
There are a few game modes but the mainstay is the enormous story mode – and it really is enormous. The story is split between different episodes, with each episode focusing on one character that you will play as for the duration. For the most part, each branching story has 10 episodes – some have fewer, some have more – and given the number of playable characters, you’ll be here for a while working your way through them.
I haven’t even scratched the surface and I reckon if I played an hour a day for the next week, I’d still have a ways to go. But, I don’t think I’ll be making that commitment. Not because it’s a bad game, though.
The fights are all well and good and it’s impressive to see the game running on the Switch – it looks great in handheld and docked modes – but over 100 battles? I’m a busy guy with lots of games to review, and, for me, the story isn’t a big deal. I’m not invested in the anime so I don’t really know the characters, and so there goes my motivation to sit and listen to hundreds of lines of dialogue. This is a game predominately for fans, and if you’ve binged your way through the TV series, you’ll probably enjoy the different stories being told here.
I say story, but it’s really a series of connected battles with some static-image cut-scenes. They are voice acted, however, so that’s a big plus, especially in a licensed game. Fans will enjoy hearing their characters crying out during battles, as well as during the introductory segments.
There’s multiplayer but sadly, it’s only for local split-screen. That’s a bummer for those who haven’t got a Player 2 handy, but there’s more than enough content in the single-player modes to keep you busy until Nintendo releases a LABO friend for you to build.
I liked Zoids Wilds: Blast Unleashed, even if I didn’t really understand the context of each fight – I skipped a lot of the intro cutscenes. Still, the fighting is very cool and early on, I felt like an absolute master at how I was winning fight after fight. It does get more difficult the further into the story you go, mind you, but you can up the challenge sooner in the regular battle mode where you can choose your rider and zoid, opponent, difficulty level, and stage.
Zoids Wilds: Blast Unleashed is a good brawler that will be best received by fans of the source material. For everybody else, it’s worth a look if you enjoy fighting games – and robot mechs in a Japanese aesthetic. That’s a small ven diagram, or is it?
Zoid Wild: Blast Unleashed Switch Review
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a fairly simple fighter that’s easy to pick up and play for a few minutes at a time. The story mode is super long with over 100 battles, but continuous play gets a little tiresome, so it’s best tackled in bursts. A great fit for the Switch’s mobility, but not the best for a long session on the telly, unless you’re playing local multiplayer.
- More content than anybody really needs!
- Great graphics
- Lots of story for fans of the anime, and it’s voice acted!
- Gameplay is simple but satisfying, with the latter stages taking more skill
- Some of the earlier battles are far too easy and can be finished within seconds
- A little repetitive, so best played in short bursts if you don’t have a Player 2
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Nintendo Switch in both docked and undocked modes.