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Zoids: Battle Legends Package Art
†GENRE
††Action/Role-Playing
†DEVELOPER
††TOMY Entertainment
†PUBLISHER
††Atari
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Zoids: Battle Legends

Zoids: Battle Legends is a game based off of the popular Anime series Zoids. Fans of the series will find that this title really hits home. With 17 characters from many of the seasons and just about every model Zoid youíve seen on the show, this is a game of massive variety, customization, and all out Zoid brawling.

visuals

The visuals in Zoids: Battle Legends are a double-edged sword. On one side, you have nearly flawless looking Zoid models with great lighting effects and weapons that will knock your socks off. On the other side, however, the environments are pretty dry looking and donít sport all that much detail. Considering the fact youíll be paying more attention to the battles at hand, though, you wonít notice it much. The environments are massive so youíll have plenty of room to duke it out against the computer or with a friend. The effects are relatively nice but they sure wonít raise any eyebrows. As for the frame rate, heavy action on screen causes it to drop considerably. If this were ironed out, it could have made a very decent looking game.

audio

Zoids: Battle Legends has some nice music. The tunes are rockiní and will have you tapping your feet as you attempt to annihilate your foes Ė I wish I could say the same for the sound effects though. Youíll be hearing a lot of the same explosions and there isnít much variety in Zoid mechanical noises either. There is one thing that got on my nerves incredibly and that was the fact that I kept on hearing this annoying whooshing noise every few minutes. I have no idea where it comes from and it happens no matter what Zoid I use (your guess is as good as mine). The audio has its weak points, but it does make up for it in some aspects; I guess itís really up to you to decide which is more important, music or sound effects. Personally Iíd go with the music Ė Iím just that kind of guy.

gameplay

There are a few different single player modes you can run through, but your first time through there wonít be much running. In story mode, you can choose to take a side with the Republic as a member of the ďRottiger TeamĒ or the Imperial as a member of the ďBlue Unicorn TeamĒ. Either way, I found story mode to be exceptionally difficult at times and wound up taking the easy road and playing Tournament mode instead. It was fun for awhile, but the Zoids I found really didnít get me anywhere.

In Tournament mode you have the option to play as one of 17 different characters including Bit, Leena, Fiona, and Van. In tournament mode, you will be taken through a tournament style game where you slowly work your way up from the bottom and try to become the champ. The best part about Tournament mode is that there are no continues to waste and no starting over if you find yourself beaten to a pulp. You can continue to fighting a certain opponent until you finish them off and your reward is a hefty sum as well as the chance to move on. The first time through was very difficult for me and I became very discouraged. But as you play through and find a Zoid that works for you (mine was the Blade Liger), youíll be able to whip through and save up your money without having any worry about losing.

That action itself plays out just like the Anime; you and a partner will team up against a couple of foes and the two of you will work together to smite opponents. You can tell your partner (of whom you can choose and modify as you wish) to bombard and deliver a full on frontal assault, combat and remain in close quarters melee combat or support and guard you. I found these commands didnít do much of anything and it seemed I ended up doing most of the work, all of the time. The AI isnít that bad when youíre fighting against an enemy, but your partner just seems like a useless junk heap most of the time.

Just like in the Anime, there are massive environments to battle it out in. Failure to stay within the set boundaries, however, will result in a forfeited match and you will automatically loose. Throughout the game you will have the opportunity to choose from over 40 classes of Zoids, many of which have different models. You will also be able to equip them with a choice of over 100 different weapons, parts, and system upgrades. But with all of the variety comes a priceÖ well, two prices. One is the cost of the part and the second is what the selected part will do to your Zoid. Heavier armor will cause your Zoid to be more sluggish and heavier weapons will do the same. There are ways of countering this, but Iíll leave that for you to discover.

There certainly are a lot of customizing options in this game; at first you might find it overwhelming. There are tons of parts to choose from so youíll have plenty of variety; making up your mind is probably the hardest part. The menus are a tad clunky but you can get used to them in a matter of minutes. Other than that, there really isnít that much to complain about in the gameplay department. Controls are responsive and quick, and the lock-on system works quite well (it can be toggled on and off during gameplay). Despite the lag and a small bit of beginner difficulty, there really isnít much to nitpick about.

multiplayer

Now hereís where this game gets really fun. If you have a buddy to sit down and play with, youíll have it made. You can use Zoids youíve uncovered in the story mode or your very own custom Zoids from Tournament mode. You and your friends will have a blast playing this title together, assuming you both like the Zoids anime and have a small bit of background information. The only problem is that the game suffers from major lag in closed in areas while you attempt to blast your friends to bits. Other than that it literally is a blast.

overall

Overall, I found Zoids: Battle Legends quite enjoyable. The Zoids look fantastic but the environments and effects could have been better. The music was spot on and fit the Zoid atmosphere very well. Unfortunately, I canít say the same for the sound effects and that incredibly annoying whooshing noise. I really had no major complaints and if youíre a Zoids fan you should definitely own this title; donít pass it up. For $19.99-$29.99, who would?

final score 7.0/10





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