Retro Review: ZOIDS: BATTLE LEGENDS

Retro Review: ZOIDS: BATTLE LEGENDS

Retro Review: ZOIDS: BATTLE LEGENDS

As requested by Tommy, this week we are exploring Zoids: Battle Legends!  Zoids: Battle Legends Released back in September 4, 2004 exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube.  Based on the anime of the same name, can gamers who never watched the show find something to enjoy in this mech brawler?

Background

Choose to join the Republic or the Empire, jump in your Zoid battle mech and fight for control of the planet Zi!  

Gameplay

Zoids: Battle Legends has two single player game modes: mission mode and Zoids battle.  In the mission mode players will choose to fight for either the Republic or the Empire with 32 missions between them.  Regardless of the side you choose, you will play and meet several characters from the Zoids anime to play or fight against.  The objective of each mission is simple: destroy all enemy Zoids in the area.  Unfortunately this is easier said than done.  While combat controls are simple enough-- jump, dodge, melee, fire-- they are marred by a terrible camera and lock on system.  The camera is set to a fixed position behind your Zoid and severely limits how far you can see in a level, while the crummy lock on system has trouble prioritizing targets and reduces your combat ability.   To further hamper combat, you have no control over your targeting as your reticule is fixed in a single location, forcing you to rely on the lock on system.  As you progress through the story you will unlock more characters, Zoids and upgrade parts.  Zoids battle mode has 12 missions that players can play alone or with a computer controlled partner.  After completing a mission, players are given points to spend on Zoids or upgrade parts.

Zoids: Battle Legends also features two multiplayer game modes: VS mode and Zoids Fist.  Both modes let you play against a second player or a computer controlled opponent.  They also let you choose between all the characters, parts and Zoids you have unlocked so far.  The only real difference between the multiplayer modes is that in VS mode you choose levels featured in the mission mode and Zoids Fist features smaller levels you can knock an opponent off of to score an easy victory.  While the multiplayer modes are the best part of Zoids: Battle Legends it still suffers from all the problems present in the single player modes.

Sound

All the audio work in Zoids: Battle Legends is completely forgettable.  Music is generic and not the highest quality.  Sound effects are as generic as they come and sound fuzzy.  Voice work is downright awful and you are better off turning it off.

Graphics

Graphics in Zoids: Battle Legends are subpar.  While Zoids models look nice, they have no real textures to speak of.  Environments are generic and horribly textured.  Shadowing is as basic as it comes; just squares under Zoids.  With all the horrible texturing the 2D cutscenes end up being the best-looking thing in this game.

Conclusion

While Zoids: Battle Arena isn’t the best game it has an enjoyable multiplayer mode.  If more thought had been put into the audio, graphics and controls this game could easily have been a must own for mech genre fans.

TL:DR Terrible controls, audio and graphics keep this game from greatness.

Buying Guide

Alright, I convinced you, huh?  How can you play this game?!  Zoids: Battle Legends released exclusively on the Nintendo GameCube.

GameCube (~$10-35) – The only version of the game.

What are your thoughts on this game? Leave a comment below!

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