Games based on movies aren’t quite as abundant as they once were. Maybe developers have realized that they rarely turn out good. Pacific Rim is the type of a movie anyone would agree that should get a game, not as a cash-in but as something set in that universe. A downloadable game came out earlier this year for the Xbox Live, which was met with pretty negative reviews. It just saw release on the PSN however, so I’m here to tell you if this game is truly deserving of all the bad press.
The story follows the film 100%. Sadly it’s arcade style with no cutscenes. I suppose that’s expected when a game is only $10 to download. So obviously the gameplay is going to have to make up for a lack of story and features. The gameplay despite popular belief is actually really solid. Many complain that it’s too slow, but I didn’t find it slow in the slightest. The giant monsters and robots move as you would expect them to. Sure, it’s not zooming fast, but what people call ‘the slowness’ actually puts greater impact on the blows.
Moving past the gameplay, why don’t we take a look at all the features. There are two sets of single player missions, normal and survival. You can fast blast through normal in about an hour, survival is where the true challenge lies. It’s pretty challenging to get through three powerful opponents back to back without a health recharge, so props to Yuke’s for implementing such a challenge factor. Thankfully the game allows local play, so you can play against your brother/sister/friend in person. As for online, it’s really tough to actually get a battle going sadly.
My biggest negative with this game is that it forces you to buy characters instead of earning them. That’s right, in order to play as Otachi or Striker Eureka, you have to buy them. ($4 a piece.) This is a good concept on why sometimes DLC hampers a gaming experience, because instead of earning things by skill you have to buy them even though you expect a full game. For a game with not many modes, you would think they would let all the characters from the movie be unlockable. There are 8 characters; 6 robots and 2 monsters. Reasonable for $10, but still disappointing that you can’t play as Otachi or Slattern without buying them.
Overall, the Pacific Rim video game isn’t quite as bad as they say. For $10 you get a pretty fun fighting game. It lacks in a lot of areas, such as features, characters, and stages. (There are only two stages to pick from.) There is an interesting feature where you could create your own Jaeger, but it doesn’t make up for a lack of stages and having you buy characters. But, the gameplay is good and isn’t cheap. It’s simple, but really satisfying especially when you crash your opponent on top of a ship or against an iceberg. This is a great tease for a game with a bigger budget. So, if you like Pacific Rim, I think you’ll want to give this game a download.
Daniel is a huge fan of all things kaiju. His favorite monsters are Otachi and Knifehead. You can follow him on Twitter: @Destroyer_199