Zatch Bell Mamodo Fury
There are a number of game genres that have a seemingly infinite number of titles within their respective libraries that lack any depth, thought or effort present in their final products. These genres include movie tie in action platformers, licenced kart racers and licenced fighting games. Zatch Bell Mamodo Fury is the latter and follows the trend of its predecessors, offering a wide variety of characters, a semi-comprehensible storyline and very little else.
The game plays much like games such as Dragonball-Z Budokai, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja or Granblue Fantasy Versus. It offers the same focus on pinning a huge roster of fighters together to serve as much fanfare to players as possible but sadly, the developers seem to have forgotten that in order to create a successful game, you need to make it fun.
Basic, Boring, Brainless
The game’s campaign presents the player with the familiar concept from the anime. You must pair up with your Mamodo demon partner and read incantations in order to win battles and fight for the role of Mamodo king. It’s a decent concept that any writer worth their stock should be able to write a cohesive campaign around with ease. However, this game fails to deliver anything close to that, with a series of disjointed fights that seem to happen with no motivation, intensity or stakes, leading to a series of really drab affairs.
In fairness, this isn’t an uncommon approach within the fighting game genre. After all, most players don’t come to a brawl looking for an emotional drama, they want action. This game takes another pathetic swing and misses entirely, offering fighting mechanics and core gameplay that is shallow, ridiculously simple and mind-numbingly repetitive. You’ll have a choice of 6 actions per character and no real way of putting combos together at all. We have seen some patronising and simplistic mechanics in our time but this is truly laughable.
The most effective way to win most often turns out to be spamming the fastest attack, leading to the player repeatedly smashing one button as fast as they can. In short, this game is a glorified series of quick-time events when boiled down to their key components.
The game also makes the baffling decision of locking all the content outside of the story mode until the player unlocks it through story mode progression. Which means that if you just want to play casually, see what environments you can fight in or play with friends, you will have to put that idea on hold until you earn the right to do so, by which point we doubt you’ll have any desire to explore any of this games added content.
It is a shame as the environments, the roster of varied characters and the general art direction is the highlight of this title. You’ll be able to unlock any character from the anime you could possibly want and play in unique and wonderfully rendered areas. It’s just so upsetting that the game feels it needs to hold you ransom until it deems you fit to access this content.
A Middle Finger To The Fans
While it might not be one of the blockbuster animes out there, Zatch Bell is still a very popular franchise. It’s one with a loyal fan base which will often buy anything that is released involving their favourite characters.
Bandai Namco has sensed this and took full advantage, producing a bare-bones title that lures played in with sound visuals and a large roster of fighters only to disappoint with a weak story, abysmal gameplay and content that is locked until you play their terribly written campaign. Do yourself a favour and stay away from this one at all costs.
- Visuals aren’t bad
- The large roster of characters to choose from
- The gameplay is basic, boring and repetitive.
- The campaign is mindless and poorly written
- A lot of content is inaccessible until you play for a considerable amount of time