Review – Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed

Remember Zoids? That show about animal mechs from the 80’s that never quite got to the same heights as all the other mech shows at the time? Well, the series itself may be mostly quiet just now, but the games keep rolling out every so often. This time, in the form of the international release of Zoids Wild: King of Blast, now titled Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed outside of Japan.

 Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is an arena combat fighting game, where you take control of a Zoid and their pilot. If the name wasn’t obvious enough, you then battle it out with another Zoid and see who loses all their health first. Pretty simple concept, right?

Blah blah blah, LET’S FIGHT!

Blast Unleashed features a few game modes, all just consist of beating the utter hell out of other Zoids, but it’s good stress relief. First, you have your basic 1v1 mode. Pick a Zoid, pick a Zoid to fight against, show them who’s boss. Like most fighting games, each battle is comprised of a “best two out of three” tussle. If you decide to start the game by playing this mode, you might find it weird that there aren’t many characters available at first. That will be explained further down in the review.

The next game mode is the story mode. Essentially, you follow a timeline through a bunch of different characters’ stories. Story mode features mild amounts of voice acting in some of the dialogue sections (definitely not to be considered cutscenes), and just short of two hundred different battles to take part in. The mode includes battles with other pilots, battles with stray Zoids, and endurance battles. The first two are pretty simple, as previously mentioned with in the arcade mode: best two out of three. The main difference being, when you have a pilot, you have different abilities that you’re able to use, such as speed up and power up, which can give you a slight edge in any battle, but not as much as learning how the combat works.

Flawless victory.

Throughout the story, as you complete the first chapter in each character’s series of battles, you’ll unlock them for use in other modes, meaning that the game wants you to continuously invest through each storyline in order to fill up a meaty roster for you to use in the arcade mode. You’ll get other unlocks while progressing through the story as well, such as gallery pieces to view in your free time. The last game mode is a good old continuous combat challenge, where you’ll fight seven Zoids back to back and prove you’re the master.

ITS TIME TO D- wait, wrong anime.

One key thing about the combat is learning how to perform combos, just like in any other fighting game. The main different is, combos don’t generally consist of something like combining light attacks with heavy attacks in such a straightforward manner. Using your light attack will essentially trap you in a 3-4 hit sequence and then knock down the enemy.

That being said, if you look at your attacks, you will notice a little bar or gauge under each of them. By holding down a trigger and then pressing the attack button, you’ll unleash a stronger attack. This is how you’ll combine moves and perform combos, as they’re quick to perform. Using it one attack away from the end of a combo that would normally knock the enemy down gives you a few extra strong hits to help drain your foe’s health bar. The overall gameplay is deeper than one would expect from a game like this.

The different stages are mostly the same, outside of the look and the background. There’s no obstacles in the arena, so battling in the desert or the woods doesn’t make any real difference outside of what may be in the background. That being said, the backgrounds are generally rather well rendered, with wild Zoids living out their daily lives while you battle it out right next to them. It’s not unlike the mechs in Horizon Zero Dawn, except they’ll join in for the fun.

I like turtles.

Overall, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed was quite a bit more fun than initially expected. More than just a simple licensed title aimed exclusively at fans of the franchise, this a fairly straightforward but robust arena fighting game that might get the younger generation into the genre the same way Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi did for the Nintendo GameCube and PS2 generation.

Graphics: 7.0

The game looks good, but there’s little to no detail put into the actual battlegrounds.

Gameplay: 7.5

It takes some getting used to, certainly not as smooth as a lot of arena fighting games, but satisfying in its own right. It features some neat strategic elements when trying to perform combos.

Sound: 5.0

Minimal voice acting and a lack of anything actually memorable as a whole.

Fun Factor: 7.0

All in all, a good stand alone fighting game that may be fun with friends, when we can have friends over again.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is available now on Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed was provided by the publisher.