ZatchBell! Mamodo Battles
Anime licensed mayhem with a twist. All-new impressions.
Preview by Travis Fahs (Email)
October 12th 2005
The Basics: Zatch Bell: Mamodo Battles marks the latest fighting game to wield a popular anime license from developer Eighting. Much to the dismay of Dimahoo and Kururin fans, Eighting is best known for their work on the Bloody Roar series and the Gamecube fighters based on the Naruto liscense, both franchises known for accessible gameplay and questionable depth. Zatch Bell, however, has more promise.
Players will simultaneously control two characters onscreen as they square off against another pair. Teams are fixed, and 13 pairs of partners will be ready for players to control. These characters work as a team and are able to assist each other in performing moves. Bandai promises that players will be able to develop the relationship of these partners as well. Expect an extensive story mode, featuring an script written especially for the US release which will tell an original side-story to the popular anime. Fans of the rapidly growing trading card game will also delight to learn that Bandai will be tying the two together by allowing gamers to enter codes from the cards to access special content.
What do we think? Mamodo Battles has a ton of potential. It has some original ideas that will give players a reason to pay heed. What's more the action itself looks fast, fun and stylish. At this stage, it's safe to say that it's sure to be a direct hit with the license's target audience (6-14 year old boys), but I remain skeptical, if optimistic, if their big brothers will be able to enjoy it as well. Bandai has assured us however, that the game's systems will provide plenty of depth for those with the patience to learn its subtleties. If Eighting is able to deliver on these promises, Mamodo Battles could be a great pick-up-and-play fighter with some real staying power.