Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro’s big-budget monster movie, rumbles onto Android devices as an eponymous $4.99 mobile game from Reliance Games. The action title seeks to recreate the flick’s massive silver-screen jaeger-versus-kaiju battles, but the game lacks the scale, not to mention engaging gameplay, to be anything more than a stationary button-masher.
If you’re expecting a knock-down, drag-out game in highly destructible environments, tread lightly; Pacific Rim is only half of that. The game offers plenty of button-mashing as you throw haymakers, evade incoming attacks, and parry blows in urban and aquatic environments, but there’s a distinct lack of scale or environment. There are a few cursory buildings in the background, but you can’t navigate between them or slam kaiju into them on command—you’re locked into a tight combat zone. King of the Monsters for the Neo Geo, a video game from 1991, does a far superior job of emulating the giant monster battles seen in many Japanese kaiju flicks—and it’s more than 20 years old.
That said, Pacific Rim does have a few attractive features. Defeating kaiju earns experience points and in-game currency (PP) used to improve a jaeger’s combat prowess Pacific Rim (stronger shields, health regeneration, air strikes, new mechs). You can also use real-world cash to buy in-game money ($1.50 equals 2,000 PP). You ca Angry Birds n also earn cash by sharing kaiju data cards (via Facebook), which sometime appear after you win matches. There are also Career and Survival modes that let you engage in a single-player story or run a gauntlet, respectively.
Pacific Rim is a visually attractive game that features detailed mechs and monsters, but its backgrounds and enemies are recycled far too often for my taste. A one point, I battled the same crab-like kaiju four times in a row! That’s a little insane. A cinematic score adds a sense of drama to the combat, but it isn’t enough to elevate to the ho-hum fighting.
Whether or not you should buy Pacific Rim depends on how hard up you are for punching monsters in the face with a metallic fist. You will do that, but in the most repetitious manner possible. Power ups and special attacks break the tedium a bit, but only diehard kaiju fans should dive in.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc