If you’re lookin’ for an explosion of all-new Beyblade battle action, look no further than the new Konami produced, Hudson Soft directed game for the Nintendo DS, Beyblade: Metal Masters! In this game inspired by the Beyblade action TV series, you take on 37 different characters and learn to “master the metal and let it rip! That’s how the back of the game Beyblade: Metal Masters describes what you’ll find inside. But, how accurate is this description? Is the game really “full of action” or is it more of a dud, all sizzle and no action?
For anyone unfamiliar with what Beyblade is, it’s a hugely popular action TV series. I’m not sure how that is, in that it’s based on spinning fighting tops, or beys, in a battle field arena. You can time your attacks, customize your tops, and battle against your friends. Still, how well does the game and TV show transfer over to a video game? Is the game worth buying?
First off, some of the Pros about the game are that you can customize your game, enjoy multiple battle modes and customizable settings that make each competition unique, challenge friends in multiplayer mode, and utilize combos and special moves to battle opponents in 2-player Battle Mode. You can also play wirelessly using one Game Card, and use voice commands on the DS Microphone to finish off your opponent.
Another Pro is the Beyblade garage. You can customize up to three of your own Beyblades with any of the parts you’ve unlocked. But, a Con about this is that these can only be used in free play, survival, and multiplayer matches.
In Beyblade: Metal Masters’ Arcade Mode, you choose three characters, and one will be your fighter. The basic storyline is that the leader of you team hears about a Beyblade tournament that is being held in a nearby cemetery. Some of your characters want to fight, and some want to go and investigate. Any of your team can fight in these battles, but your leader must fight in the final two rounds. Regardles, you end up facing several best-of-three matches. Will you prove that your beyblade skills are up to the challenge, or will you fail piteously?
Along the way, as you fight in the Battle Mode, you discover that a boy, Agito, is trying to steal everyone’s life energy through Beyblade battles (how, who knows?) and resurrect dinosaurs. It is only after you defeat him that you realize he was being controlled by the beyblade which he wielded.
One of the other Cons about the game is that the character endings are too predictable. Either the character is excited to battle again, or getting ready to further his/her investigations. This aspect about the game is too repetitious. Unlocking parts and players is about the only thing that serves to keep your interest as you play.
You’d think that with one hundred challenges to get through, that would provide you with potentially hours of fun. But, each challenge is not much of a challenge–most are resolved by using a single command. One mission has you just tapping the directional pad. Then it ends, saves, and puts you back into the menu. Another mission just requires you to perform a dash. You do get to fight in a handful of battles, but you’ll only find challenges in the battles where you’re not allowed to take a hit.
Another Con is that, though there is a multiplayer mode with boy multi-card support,there are no battles you can find to compete against online players. If there wasn’t a one-on-one competition where you can use your customized spinners, the game would be a total bust.
There seems to be a Con mixed in with almost every Pro about the game. For example, a Pro would be that there are hundreds of parts to work through, so you’d hope that this would add to the fun and enjoyment of the game by trying to locate and then use the parts. But, the game provides little to no information about how your combinations will work. Another example is that though you can view stat changes and see the appearance well enough, you won’t know the move list until you try it out. At least you can see what your tops look like in a gallery after they’re customized.
How do the graphics rate? Lackluster–2D and kind of dull. You fight with the tops, and all they do is bounce into each other, which doesn’t make for much excitement. There are some special attacks you can do that look relatively cool, but these are too similar form one spinner to another. As well, it doesn’t seem as if much care was given to the grapics of the arenas. They don’t have great detail, and there was not even an attempt to add crowds or much of a background at all. Also, many of the characters have thye same basic attacks, like the same fire attacks.
The music is also not very spectacular. The music has a good, rapid tempo, but it sounds dated and it is too repetitive. Think of the quality of downloadable Midis, and you’ll get some idea of what I’m talking about.
The best blades to use I’ve found were the speedy blades with straight forward face attacks. For instance, if you can the character Masamune, because his blade was so powerful, you can pretty much get a perfect with him every time.
Beyblade: Metal Masters for the Nintendo DS is too repetitive for my taste and it’s too much like the last Beyblade title for the DS, Metal Fusion, though it has buttons to press instead of a touch screen. I liked the sound effects when the battle tops initially collide, and the garage and the ability to customize the beys was pretty cool, but overall I wasn’t very impressed with this game.