The game does a masterful job of allowing players to collect and put together an army of unique and powerful robots, but it falls short at providing a cohesive or memorable role-playing experience.
Zoids are mechanical toy robots that resemble animals and dinosaurs. What makes them unique is that they have interchangeable parts that make it possible to come up with thousands of different robot-and-weapon combinations. The toy line has been around off and on for more than 20 years--going strong in Japan since 1982--but the concept didn't really take off in the West until the recent animated series started airing on syndicated television. In the animated series, young pilots build Zoids and take them into battles against other Zoids pilots, for the purpose of winning championships and stopping bandit pilots who're up to no good. If you think that sounds a lot like Nintendo's Pokémon, you're right, and the parallels only get stronger in Zoids: Legacy, a role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance that merely does a so-so job of continuing the story started in the animated series, but succeeds wonderfully at allowing players to collect, equip, and battle hundreds of different Zoids along the way.
The game's story revolves around a rookie pilot named Zeru, who wakes up one day in a strange land populated by robotic creatures called Zoids. Zeru learns about the Zoids tournaments in the first village he stops in, and a helpful scientist gives Zeru a robot of his own to use in the competitions. After participating in his first tournament, Zeru meets a female Zoids pilot named Juno, who, in addition to being a stranger to this new world herself, happens to have lost her memory. Things snowball from there. Juno gets kidnapped by a mob of evil Zoids pilots and, while wandering from one village to the next trying to find her, Zeru meets a man named Dr. T who informs him about a cosmic calamity that has caused past, present, and future to fuse together into a single world. The key to solving all these problems, it seems, is to obtain as many Zoids as possible. The story isn't as family-friendly or as comprehensible as the adventures that Ash, Pikachu, and Professor Oak embark upon in the Pokémon games, but the chain of events does at least keep players pointed in the right direction while exploring the truly massive Zoids gameworld.
While the game does provide different villages to visit and different people to talk to in order to advance the story, the whole purpose behind it is to collect, equip, and upgrade your own army of Zoids to use against CPU opponents or friends who also happen to own the game. Instead of capturing new Zoids, which is how things are done in the Pokémon games, you'll collect the data crystals and parts left behind by the Zoids you defeat in battle. Such items can then be turned into new Zoids by visiting one of the labs located in each village. These labs also let you repair demolished Zoids and upgrade the offensive strength, armor, and power output of the Zoids already in your possession. Zoids, like Pokémon, can use their claws, fangs, and tails to attack enemies on the battlefield, but you also have the option of attaching different weapons and armor to your Zoids to expand their attack capabilities. Weapons such as machine guns, plasma cannons, and missiles can dole out a great deal of damage and often hit multiple enemies at once, and accessories such as armor plating, radar arrays, and missile sensors let you improve attributes such as defense, hit rate, and evasion speed. The number of different weapons and accessories you can attach to each robot is limited by its carrying power and energy output. Generally speaking, smaller Zoids can't carry as many weapons as larger Zoids.
The battles in Zoids: Legacy are handled in a turn-based fashion, which is, again, similar to the way things are done in Nintendo's Pokémon games, but the battle system allows for a much greater variety of customization and strategy than you'll find in Nintendo's series. Instead of limiting battles to one-on-one or two-on-two, the matchups in Zoids: Legacy can be as large as six-on-six, just so long as you have enough Zoids and pilots to bring into battle. And that's not a major problem, since Zeru is constantly running into available pilots during the story mode. Team formation also plays a major role in the outcome of battles. Both sides of the battlefield are separated into a two-by-three grid. Zoids situated in the front row can use their claws, fangs, and tails to attack, in addition to the weapons they're equipped with, while Zoids in the back row are limited to using only the guns and missile packs that they've been outfitted with. Zoids in the front row also get a speed bonus that lets them attack sooner, while Zoids in the back row get an evasion bonus that helps them dodge attacks. Additionally, you can put larger Zoids in front to shield weaker ones from direct attacks, or stagger your Zoids to make it tougher for the opponent to hit you with attacks that target adjacent horizontal or vertical pairs.
Combat is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind at each step of the process. Before each round of turns begins, you have the option of giving what's called a deck command. Deck commands affect the entire team and run the gamut from increasing the amount of cash or parts you get after a battle to refilling the team's hit points or giving you the ability to temporarily fuse multiple Zoids together into a single supersized robot. The various characters you meet throughout the story mode will add to the number of different deck commands you can give. After you choose whether or not to give a deck command, it's time to trade turns with the opponent. During a turn, each unit can perform one of three actions: launch an attack, wait a turn to gain additional energy points, or use an item from the inventory. Certain characters in the game have robotic companions that tag along with them, called organoids, that can merge with a Zoids robot during a battle and greatly increase its hit points and its offensive and defensive characteristics. If one of your Zoids pilots has an organoid in its possession, a fourth option will appear on the turn screen, labeled "organoid," that lets you use up a turn to trigger its effect.
- Player Reviews: 10
- Game Universe:
- Zoids Infinity Fuzors (PS2),
- Zoids: Teikoku vs Kyouwakoku - Mecha Seita no Idenshi (PS, GBC),
- Zoids (C64, CPC, ZX),
- Zoids Infinity EX Neo (X360),
- Zoids Saga DS: Legend of Arcadia (DS),
- Zoids: Full Metal Crash (GC),
- Zoids Tactics (PS2),
- Zoids Saga: Fuzors (GBA),
- Zoids Struggle (PS2),
- Zoids Vs. III (GC)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: