Pacific Rim
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2013-09-11 Xbox 360 Fighting E10 (Everyone 10+) Yuke's / Warner Bros.

Behold movie tie-in games in all their glory! I jest, though, we all know by now that this is normally not a good idea. Pacific Rim: The Video Game was rushed to XBLA to coincide with the launch of the movie, which I really had no interest to watch, and after playing this... well, I still have no interest to watch it, nor play it anymore.

Pacific Rim is a one-on-one fighting game that pits giant monsters (Kaiju) against massive robots (Jaeger). There really isn't a story to go on about, the game basically becomes an excuse to have the creatures fight one another.

There really isn't much in terms of content to begin with either, so all you get are two playable Kaiju, three Jaeger and a few stages. Everything else is paid DLC, boost items, extra mission, customization sets, extra parts, more characters, new arenas. Even if you want extra colors for your Jaeger, the game will ask you to shell out more money. For 800 MSP, what you get feels a lot like a joke to me.

On a good note, even if you only have five preset characters and limited arenas, there is an interesting number of combinations to play with as you customize your Jaeger by mixing and matching parts from the giant robots from the movie. The Kaiju can't be customized in the same way, but they can be upgraded. Since you earn experience from fighting, you can level up and add new abilities, which actually have a certain influence on the gameplay itself, so tinkering with that can be somewhat rewarding, since you are customizing the fighting style to your liking.

Everything you do while in combat, be it dodging or attacking, gradually drains your energy, so obviously if you run out, you can't attack. You recover by landing successful hits on your opponent or by getting hit. Waiting for higher levels of energy will let you dish out really powerful attacks and even instant kills. But that is the key word: waiting and patience is a virtue. Especially for this game.

You would expect a fighting game to be fast-paced, but this isn't the case. The pacing is fairly slow. The characters move slowly, attack slowly, you very slowly get up after being knocked down. I get it, these are gigantic monsters and shouldn't be moving at the speed of light, but as a fighting game, it doesn't really work.

As for other available game options, you have your standard single-player, with "story" and survival modes, and then local and online multiplayer. Story and survival are worth at least one playthrough so that you can unlock new parts and abilities for your Jaeger.

Unfortunately, the small amount of unlockables isn't really a redeeming factor among everything else.

I was pretty appalled at the lack of sound. There is no voice, hardly any effects and one tune that repeats throughout the entire thing - while fighting and in the menu screens. One song to rule them all, one song behind them, one song to play through all, and in repetitiveness bind them. And repetitive is probably not enough to describe it.

Bland, repetitive and severely lacking in content, Pacific Rim: The Video Game is another below average and rather shallow attempt at cashing in on a movie franchise.