ZatchBell! Mamodo Battles
Anime licensed mayhem with a twist. All-new impressions.
Preview by Travis Fahs (Email)
October 12th 2005
Last Updated: 8/19/05
The Basics: Based on the anime, Zatch Bell: Mamodo Battles is a basic fighter with a twist. Each player controls two characters running around a small, flat fighting area while beating on the opposing team and casting pyrotechic spells. The teams consist of one human character and one "mamodo", short puppet-looking guys who provide the magic books for the earthlings to use.
Zatch Bell will have 18 different stages and several teams to choose from, and there's a trading card system that allows unlockable hidden characters as well. Bandai is promising a fast paced, pick up and play style of gameplay, all dressed up in cel-shaded graphics. And that's pretty much all the facts available so far.
What do we think? Not a whole lot, honestly. The dual-character fighting engine is interesting, and watching both characters slug it out with the opposing team certainly makes me curious about the "pick up and play" control scheme. Battles look like they should be fast and filled with both standard melee attacks and giant magic effects. The thing is, licensed fighting games have a pretty wretched heritage to overcome, and they generally show up, sell to the show's fans, and disappear, never to be seen again.
The character design is interesting, the gameplay twist has promise, and the graphics look perfectly serviceable. If Bandai can overcome the dreaded Curse of the Licensed Video Game, they may have something here.
··· James Cunningham
Zatch Bell Trailer (Zipped, 11.24MB)