reviews\ Nov 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Beyblade: Metal Fusion Review


Video game cash-ins of previously existing licenses such as movies or TV shows are usually pretty poor in their design. They lack the fundamentals and simply don't exceed or even meet expectations. Every once in a while, though, there are a few exceptions. Beyblade: Metal Fusion is not one of these exceptions. The game is so poorly crafted and offers no substantial value that it is completely impossible to recommend this game to anyone, including fans of the anime series.

In case you're not familiar with the subject matter, Beyblades are tops that are used to battle on a playing field. Two to four competitors release their spinning tops, and as the tops strike one another they take damage. The person with their top still intact on the playing field is the victor. Hasbro has already reaped the benefits of milking this formula as much as possible, and a number of video games based on the series have been released as well. Metal Fusion brings the inane concept to the Wii, but there's nothing at all rewarding about this title.

The plot in Metal Fusion is thin and totally predictable. The game's protagonist and his trusty little buddy are captured and held aboard a massive ship that's shaped in the form of a giant Beyblade. Along the way they meet new characters and deliver long-winded speeches about how Beyblade masters need to be as one with their Beyblades┬Ł. These cutscenes consist of still shots and criminally boring walls of text. Every character you meet is cheesy and lacks charm, and there's no way young fans of the anime would ever want to sit through this. Thankfully, pressing down on the Wii Remote's D-Pad scrolls right through everything the characters have to say, which isn't even all that important.

Each of the ship's floors has separate rooms that you can enter by just selecting them on the menu. You don't control any characters, and you certainly don't have the option of exploring areas on the ship. Everything is done through menus. After selecting accessible rooms and watching absurd still shots, you engage in Beyblade battles. You release your Beyblade by swinging the Wii Remote down, although you can just do nothing and still have your Beyblade land on the playing field. From there, you watch as your top moves through the rounded playing field, striking your opponent from time to time. You can swing the Wii Remote to get some momentum, unleash waggle-based attacks, and send your opponents off of the playing field, but everything feels far too repetitive.

That's all there is to the game. First you enter a room with an enemy, then you sit through terribly written dialogue until finally you participate in mindless competition to see whose top is left spinning. There is no substance here whatsoever, and the game is terribly redundant. You unlock stronger Beyblade parts as you progress through the levels, but customizing your top is as boring as using it to battle. You can select parts that affect the speed, strength, and stamina (yes, these things have stamina) of your Beyblade, and then you can put them together to take on your opponents.

The game includes an exhibition mode where you can battle with up to three other players. You can go head-to-head, team up, or take on multiple opponents. While playing with others is at least a bit more entertaining than playing against computer opponents, Metal Fusion still makes for a terribly dull time. It should take no more than five minutes for you to realize that this is a bad game. There's nothing really here to keep anyone entertained for even a moderate amount of time.

The game's visuals are split up into two different types, but both are underwhelming. Cutscenes in story mode feature still images of characters and blurry backgrounds. When they elicit certain emotions, the character stills shift immediately to an image depicting that emotion. While playing, you are treated (and I use that term loosely) to some average polygonal graphics with haphazard lighting effects thrown in for good measure. The sound in Beyblade is equally lackluster and literally consists of about five themes in total. And just in case you're wondering, each of these songs is pretty bad.

Beyblade Metal Fusion isn't a bad game; it's an outright horrible game. It's playable, but because the whole thing is a repetitious mess, there's no way anyone would want to play more than a single battle. The gameplay is so ridiculously boring that no Wii owner could possibly find any enjoyment in it. And the story mode is muddled with so much nonsensical jabber that younger players will grow tired of it almost immediately. Don't bother with this title.


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