Zoids is one of the most unique (and one of my favorite) franchises from the mecha sub-genre, an opinion I share with millions of fans around the world. Like a lot of Western fans, my first exposure to the franchise came out of order with the English dub of Zoids: New Century before hopping back in time to “Chaotic Century” and “Guardian Force.” Needless to say, even as a fan, I had a lot to learn about the 35+ year history of Zoids before getting a chance to check out the latest game, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed.
Thanks to the folks at Outright Games, the leading publisher of kids’ interactive entertainment who are bringing a port of the Japanese title Zoids Wild: King of Blast to the West, I was able to get an early look at the game before its release this fall. The brand new 3D fighting game based on the smash hit Zoids Wild anime series arrives exclusively on Nintendo Switch this October 16th. It’ll bring a robust story mode, nearly 200 action-packed story battles, 1v1 matches with 2-player support, and anime-faithful graphics to fans of the franchise everywhere, and you can pre-order it right now.
While I didn’t get a hands-on demo for Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed, I did get a thorough walkthrough of the title’s many components. But to get you oriented, here’s the official synopsis:
In Zoids WIld: Blast Unleashed players will let loose the wild mecha power and animal instincts of Zoids, in breathtaking, head-to-head battles against friends or in a new single player Zoids story that follows the war between Arashi’s Team Freedom and the power-hungry Team Dark Metal.
Since this is a Western port, the most important thing to mention is how much time the Devs spent communicating with Zoids fan communities to make sure they nailed the localization, names, and other details the fans were looking for. The English dub is solid, but there are also various languages available in subtitled options for players around the world to enjoy. A good thing, too, because the story mode in Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed will be one of the main draws to the title. It’s obviously important to fans of the franchise and to the world of Zoids, so rest assured that players will get to enjoy nearly 200 battles in story mode alone, featuring at least 400 rounds of combat. And speaking of story, this version comes with all the DLC from the Japanese release already included; no extra purchases required here! But while the story certainly factors into the battles themselves — like following the game’s 16 characters (10 of which you have to unlock through story progression) through their individual branching story paths, or learning to master Blast Effects powers and abilities, or playing both as and against the Dark Metal Empire — it’s the battles that provide the other major draw.
While difficulty in the story mode comes purely with progression, battlers will be able to tweak difficulty settings — ranging from 0 for Training to 5 for a real test of your skills — for head-to-head, 1v1 mecha battles, either against an AI opponent or a friend. That’s right, Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed will also feature local 2-player support! And you’ll be able to quickly get into the action thanks to lightning-fast load times and rapid battle mechanics that cut to the chase.
Combos are key to victory with this game, and they come in a variety of flavors: The kid-friendly title comes with relatively easy combos that players of all skill levels and ages can pick up, but there are also combo strings that will take practice and dedication to master. Certainly that will pay off, as will mastering your character and their Zoid as they build their individual power meters in order to unleash special attacks, the Blast Effects. These boosted power states can be modified before heading into battle, giving you the option to boost various stats like strength or speed, and opening up powerful move sets that can devastate your opponent or save you from certain defeat. Build all of that to your Final Blast to seal the deal and get the win, and then set it all up again to go for another round!
Outside of the story mode and the endless battle opportunities, fans of Zoids will get to unlock and enjoy things like cosmetic skins for characters and Zoids, concept art from the franchise and highly detailed models, and even music. So even if you’ve finished story mode and are a master battler in the arena, you’ll find lots of content to enjoy as you strive for 100% completion.
This is a game that should definitely be on Zoids fans’ radar, especially if you’ve been looking forward to a Western port since the original game’s release just last year. Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed launches October 16th 2020 exclusively on Nintendo Switch and can be pre-ordered now from: www.outrightgames.com/games/zoids-wild-blast-unleashed
Check out the previously released trailer here:
Unleash the mecha power and animal instinct of Zoids in spectacular battles this October 16th! Pre-order now, exclusively on Nintendo Switch
Dave Trumbore is Collider’s Senior Editor overseeing Games, Animation, and all those weird Saturday-morning cartoons no one else remembers. Test his trivia IQ on Twitter @DrClawMD