Pacific Rim: The Video Game 360 Review

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Pacific Rim: The Video Game is a game so disappointing that those who choose to play it may need help from an Oxfam campaign to fully recover. Please text “OXFAM” to 53000 now, to give just €4. People who played this need your help now. Thank you.

This should not really come as any surprise, as Yuke’s have been churning out rather substandard wrestling games for the past few years – and have gone as far as making Booker T look so damn ridiculous it has turned into a rather funny meme.

There’s always some solid marketing behind those WWE games, though, and because of that – along with the large subsection of the wrestling crowd that think John Cena is some kind of Superman – they sell. The games are a bit rubbish, though – and have been for quite a while. As years pass and publishers change (bye THQ!), Yuke’s seemingly remain unable to plug all the holes in their most popular product and continually fail to turn out anything of quality.

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So why did I open this review talking about wrestling? Simple, really. Yuke’s work with that licence has damaged my opinion of the company severely. I instantly was wary of this one as soon as I saw they were involved. While it may be unfair to blindly lambaste a game before even playing it, that is exactly what I did before even touching Pacific Rim: The Video Game. Sometimes it pays to go on your gut instinct, as this time I was not wrong with my blind assumptions. There is something very wrong here. There is barely a game here, to be honest.

So what is this game actually about? Well, it takes the main conceit from the film – giant robots (called Jaegers) fighting massive creatures (known as Kaiju) – and turns it into a one-on-one brawler. That is not inherently a bad idea, but it needed to be executed in much better fashion.

Things all start to fall apart when the game takes the already-tame but nonetheless serviceable story of the film, and condenses down the narrative to haphazardly-drawn static images close to what you’d experience if you read a “Where’s Spot” book front to back. Where’s Del Toro? Is he involved with this game? No, he is probably hiding in a basket with Spot.

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The bigger problem, though, is that the game controls badly. It is not just inadequate; it is nigh completely useless for a game of its genre. Controls are at times tedious, almost seemingly mocking you. If you are familiar with expert Street Fighter players, counting frames to get their move off at the exact femtosecond to have the most impact possible, then this game is the exact, polar, magnetic, true, other-end-of-the-universe opposite of that. You press a button, and then maybe about a second or two later, the game will decide to present you with the move you chose to input.

I understand animation priority in games, and it has its place. However, it simply does not work here. Because of decisions likely made early in development, the game is an aggravatingly sluggish experience. It is not the right kind of sluggish you want from lankey huge monsters fighting each other, either; it really is just abysmal.

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Positives? Well, at least it never crashed once as I played it, so there is that. But that sole positive does not really help when the game itself feels fundamentally broken in every way possible.

Maybe I am being too harsh and I should step back a bit. I will not go as far as to say that Pacific Rim is akin to a game critic tasked with writing a review, then choosing to write “BLAH BLAH BLAH” for a paragraph before submitting their work to an editor and seeing what they do. However, it is somewhat comparable.

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

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Is Pacific Rim the kind of game you could mindlessly play when listening to a podcast? No, not really. Nor is it a game to grab solely to get you through the summer drought – there is much better out there if that is your chief complaint. To be brutally honest, there is no fathomable reason to even approach this one at all. There really is nothing here to recommend whatsoever.

For us to fight monsters, Yuke’s have created a monster of their own. I wish the apocalypse had never been canceled. No one should have lived on to see this hideous travesty of a game.

2/10

by

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Version tested: 360

Also available on: PS3

Developer: Yuke's

Publisher: Yuke's

Genre: Action