It's strange, but it feels like in the last few years, North Americans have been progressively watching more and more anime. Even old people know about Goku by now. To make matters even more puzzling, every kid on the block now has a backlog of every quote, event and episode of each one of their favorite anime shows. Shonen manga like Mobile Suit Gundam, One Piece, Naruto and Bleach obviously come to mind.
Konjiki no Gash Bell! (or more commonly known as ZatchBell! here) is another one that's been getting some remarkable attention, although much less than the former mangas. What's even more commonplace nowadays is how each anime also gets its own video game. Sadly, they usually end up being shallow experiences only meant for real diehard fans. And ZatchBell! Momodo Fury is no exception.
It's a good thing that you don't have to be a huge fan of the anime to understand what's going on, since ZatchBell! Mamodo Fury offers a brief explanation as the game progresses. Every thousand years, one hundred demons (known in the series as mamono) descend on the Earth to do battle to see who can reign supreme. The whole catch is that these mamono things are more or less pokemons which need trainers to use their spell book to be able to fight. If their book gets destroyed, they're more or less "disqualified" and shipped back to the demon world. Strange, yet all too familiar of other animes.
There's nothing terribly wrong with ZatchBell! Mamodo Fury, but at the same time, nothing keeps you from really playing it for over an hour.
The game is basically broken down into battles against other momodo and their human partners. Characters are all fully-voiced, but the voices often feel out of place and a little cheesy. Awkward moments of silence and dialogues spoken a little too dramatically for the intended content. Battles are very simple and require your human character to issue spell commands to your mamodo. You can run around freely on the map, dash as well as other secondary commands. As you gain new skills, they are for the most part usable by using the same skill spell you've used since the beginning, with the exception of holding the button for a pre-determined time to access said spell. This leads some battles to be a little tedious and tiresome, since you'll be holding the spell button to use a certain spell, only to either miss it by a fraction of a second and use the neighbouring spells, or just get attacked in the process. Opponents are for the most part, easy and upon defeating them, you're awarded points for stat allocation for your mamodo. Yes, RPG elements.
There's nothing terribly wrong with ZatchBell! Mamodo Fury, but at the same time, nothing keeps you from really playing it for over an hour. It's another average anime to game transition meant to garner the interests of die hard fans of the shonen manga and TV series. And if you've never heard of the series before, your best bets are to settle with one of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai games. The latter are also based off of anime, but are much more interesting and polished games. Not only do we advise Zatchbell to fans only, but even then towards the most purist of fanatics since its apparent how shallow the game is, regardless of someone's inane fandom towards a series. The one thousand-year tale is one only worth telling once, but on the bright side, we won't be seeing Zatch for another 999 years.