Zoids Legacy

-Atari (2004)

 

 

Summary:

A dangerous experiment in Zoid manipulation causes the past, present, future, and the future’s future of Planet Zi to collide. 

My Thoughts:

I’ll admit that I was hooked on the two Zoids series, Zoids: Chaotic Century and Zoids when they originally aired on Cartoon Network years ago. Each show is set in a different time period and show how the Zoids can be used as tools of war and those of competition. Chaotic Century is a serious story about a time of war where the Republic and Empire fight using the mechanical animals. The more comical Zoids takes place hundreds of years later where battling Zoids is a sport. There is also a third series that I only caught a few episodes of, but it continues the sport Zoids battling of the second series.

The main character of Legacy, Zeru, hails from the time of the second Zoids show, so most of the story takes place during that series. Zeru meets up with all the main characters from the show. Zoids’ main man Bit and his teammates all eventually team-up with Zeru to save the planet. The difference is that the characters’ names are their Japanese originals. Most of the names are the same, but Brad is called Balled, and the War Shark Zoid is named War Dick. Is there any better way to wage war than with something called a War Dick? I think not. Zeru also travels through time at points and meets up with Zan and his crew from Chaotic Century. If you have watched either of the shows you’ll recognize the many episodes that Legacy’s storyline intersects, but some of the dialogue has been slightly altered so it seems that Zeru was there all along.

I was surprised at how many characters joined my party during the game. Not only were there all the characters from Chaotic Century and Zoids, but also many new characters. You can have six Zoids battling at one time. When I had fifteen different characters at once I didn’t know what the heck to do. I experimented with them, tried their Zoids in different combinations and positions on the field and found a team I liked. However, my experimentation never really ended because I completed the game with forty-seven different and playable characters, each with Zoids of their own. Forty-seven! That’s crazy! My Zoid count was even higher because there were some that I found or made myself.

The Zoids themselves look perfect. They are very detailed with all of their weapons, machinery, and bolts clearly visible on the GBA screen. The best part about the game is that you can do virtually anything you want to customize your Zoids. You can change the Zoid’s color, and improve or change individual weapons and armor. You can add huge guns that will practically immobilize your Zoid if you really want to, but provide an excruciating amount of firepower that will topple any opposing Zoid with one shot. My Zoids became so powerful that I was usually able to defeat a squad of six fairly powerful enemy Zoids with only using two individual attacks. Sometimes all it took was one.

Any kind of Zoid you can think of makes an appearance in the game. Eventually you can make each and every Zoid for your own collection. The amount of money it takes to build and upgrade Zoids is very high though, so expect to do a lot of battling during the game. Are you obsessed with Command Wolves? Then create an entire legion of them. I don’t know why on Earth you would want a purple Lightning Saix, but what’s important is that the option is there if you do. Since I’m a big fan of Godzilla, I made sure that my Gojulas, a big Godzilla-ish Zoid, was green like big G himself.

The Zoids series is full of Ligers, but Legacy introduced me to Ligers I never knew existed. There are the Shield Ligers, Blade Ligers, and Liger Zeros (complete with all the extra armors), and Zero Xs that Zoids fans know and love. However, there are also Spark, Trinity, and Zero Empire Ligers. There are also a bunch of other Zoids like a dinosaur type Zoid call Bloody Demon, and various other Zoids I didn’t know about. Eventually Zeru will obtain a brand new Zoid called the Blitz Tiger, which is the damn coolest looking Zoid I’ve laid eyes on.

Early on in the game Zeru obtains an Organoid (self-aware Zoid) companion named Pulse. Pulse is a robo-cat that can increase the power of whatever Zoid Zeru is piloting. Zeru is able to customize him as well. Selecting certain lines of dialogue during conversations will influence the growth of Pulse’s abilities and he will change color depending on what stat is the highest. You can also change the type of growth that almost every character goes through. For example, you can have one character be better at defense, another at offense, and someone else at almighty.

The bad thing about the Zoids is that they are extremely limited in their animations. The Zoids do not move when they attack. Weapons will fire and hidden weapons on the Zoids will pop out, but that is the limit of their animations. An attack that uses teeth or claws will result in the entire stationary Zoid being “moved” while speed lines travel through the background. There at least should have been an animation where the Zoids were running or jumping into battle when they attack. The lack of animation gives the game that old Final Fantasy on the NES feel.

The story seems to loose its focus at times. Zeru and his teammates are always searching for his girl and trying to unlock the mystery of the merging time periods. There are so many Zoids competitions you can participate in that it just seems like the main story is sometimes completely forgotten so Zeru can battle with his Zoids. Also, some of the dialogue, while not too horribly mistranslated, is kind of awkward. Many of the characters talk in sentence fragments during the battles saying things like, “You stop!” “Can’t hear Zoids,” and “Got caught.” A few words are misspelled, too. Words like “stop” and “with” should be easy to catch when reading through the script. You can also make Zeru’s battle cry anything you want.

Although it does have a few problems, Zoids Legacy is an excellent game for the Zoids fan. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy it, though. For those gamers tired of the typical fantasy/magic setting of most RPGs and want something different, it’s worth checking out.

Score: 8.0  

-Shawn     

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