Pacific Rim is the perfect example of a quick cash-in on a blockbuster summer movie…that ended up being not quite as popular as everyone had hoped. Yuke’s Co. created a simple game based around it in the hopes that the franchise name itself would sell the game. What you have here is a product meant only for hardcore fans of the movie and even then that’s pushing it.
+ Simple one-on-one monster fighting game. It plays like all those classic monster games we used to play back in the 16-bit days (King of Monsters, etc.), but obviously looks a lot better. If you always enjoyed fighting with giant monsters, chances are you’ll love this game.
+ Multiplayer through Xbox Live means instead of battling the A.I., you can challenge your friends instead, and as we all know fighting games are much better with buds.
+ Leveling-up system adds very basic RPG elements, which allow players to increase their stats. You can also customize your Jaeger (Robot) or Kaiju (Monster) to a certain extent, however more advanced customization features are locked behind a DLC gate.
+/- Energy conservation adds about the only interesting layer to an otherwise dull fighting system. There are no combos, and most fights break down into a monotonous cycle of block, attack, or wait for your energy to fill up and deliver a power attack. That’s about all there is to it.
– Virtually no effort was made to polish the game. It looks as though the assets from the disappointing IOS game were used, which is inexcusable for an Xbox 360 game released in 2013. On top of the shoddy visuals, there’s no voice-acting either which means the limited storyline is revealed through a couple lines of text in-between missions. The story was slapped together for the sole purpose of allowing players to select characters from both sides of the fight.
– Poor collision detection. Occasionally power attacks you were sure should have connected won’t.
– Repetitive from beginning to end. Kill a monster, pause for a little story progression, and then start all over again with the next creature.
– Makes no sense whatsoever. You start off as a Jaeger fighter, but then switch over to a Kaiju without explanation. While it’s understandable the developer didn’t want to follow the movie’s plot in order to allow players to play as both types of combatants, some explanation would have been appreciated.
– There are only three Jaegers and two Kaiju to use in the game’s 12 stages. Other selectable characters are available, but only through DLC.
– Very little incentive to replay the game after completion, or even finish it. It’s so repetitive because of the simplistic fighting system, and overall generic feel.
Pacific Rim is a game that could have been so much more had more resources been poured into the project. This was clearly a game that had a low budget and was meant to earn a nice profit based solely on the name alone. Multiplayer remains the game’s sole redeeming factor, and offers glimpses of what could have been. If you absolutely adored the movie, you might get a few laughs out of this, but for everyone else, odds are this won’t be for you.
Final Score: 4.5/10