When I was a kid one of my favorite anime shows was Zoids that at the time aired on Cartoon Network as part of the Toonami block. My brother and I watched every episode of Zoids: New Century and Zoids: Chaotic Century and we even collected and built the actual Zoids kits with my favorite being the Geno Breaker. I eventually fell out of it and never saw the other Zoids shows that came later including the newest one Zoids Wild. I still have fond memories of the series though and that’s what made me take notice of publisher Outright Games and developer Codeglue’s new game for the Nintendo Switch, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed.
As I said above I have barely any knowledge of the new Zoids show that this game is based on so if I get anything related to that wrong please forgive me. When I started up the game, I was treated to a short but sweet animated scene and then placed on the main menu and asked what did I want to do? You can choose Battle, Mission, Gallery, and Options. The core gameplay here boils down to a 1v1 3D arena fighting game. You pick a Zoid and pilot to control for a fight and fight it out against another. There are five unlocked from the start to play as but you can unlock a total of 16. When I watched the show, the pilots were inside the Zoids but here they ride them instead although I’m sure those who have watched the new version that this is based on know that already.
The Battle Mode lets you jump into a quick match against the AI or another player locally. There is no online multiplayer support in this game which was a bit of a disappointment. Once you select who you want to play as you can change some battle parameters like how much health you start with, CPU difficulty, time limit, number of rounds, and so on. There is also a total of 14 arenas you can battle in like a valley, desert, volcano, and more. I like the different scenery in each of the locations but there is nothing different about them from a gameplay perspective so they won’t affect the fight. Battles are decided by whoever’s health runs out first.
The Mission mode takes you to a screen where you can practice, play a seven round survival battle, or dive into the story. The story mode is where you’ll likely spend the bulk of your time as it has dozens and dozens of battles to play through. By playing these, you’ll unlock the other characters to use in the regular battle mode as well as items in the Gallery that you can view on the main menu. The story mode features a lot of character portraits with some text boxes for you to read. There is some voice acting at times but for the most part you have to read everything. I wish there was more animated scenes or at the least all of the text to be voice-acted. I will say that the graphical presentation of the actual Zoids when in battle looked pretty good.
When you get into the fight the controls are pretty simple. You have a quick attack, a heavy attack, a dodge button, guard button, guard break, and wild action. You can combine different button inputs to perform combos but keep in mind there is a cooldown meter you’ll need to keep an eye on. The wild action is activated with the R button and is a type of powerup move. It will give you a very strong move to perform as well as various other special attacks. The ultimate move can only be used once per activation of your wild action so make sure to land the attack when you use it. I found the combat to be fun if a little simple but the wild action does help change it up a bit.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is an enjoyable 3D arena fighting game but might be a bit simplistic for some. I did find the combat to have a bit of depth to it but probably not enough for more hardcore fighting fans. The lack of online support, full voice-acting, and some rather simple arenas also hold it back a bit. Still, I enjoyed controlling the Zoids that were here and if you’re a fan of the series there is a lot of content here in the Story mode to sink your teeth into.
*Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is available now on Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed$39.99
- Fun, simple arena fighting game that anyone can enjoy
- Decent variety of Zoids to play as
- Zoids look good and peformance was smooth
- The story mode has a ton of battles to play through
- Not a lot to do outside of the story mode
- Arenas all feel the same
- Lacks the depth more hardcore fighting game players may be seeking
- Not enough voice-acting
- No online multiplayer support