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Pacific Rim Review

By Dave Flodine, on July 17, 2013
Last modified 9 months ago


Pacific Rim
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Robots vs monsters concept is a winner.
  • Gesture-based brawler is the ideal genre.

CONS

  • Imprecise controls.
  • Attacks lack impact.
  • Weak sound effects.

VERDICT

Pacific Rim's rough presentation and weightless combat mechanics render this monster movie tie-in rather lifeless.


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Pacific Rim is a silly, but enjoyable summer blockbuster that involves giant robots punching giant monsters. Obviously, a movie tie-in game was inevitable, and the core concept of Jaegers vs Kaiju is perfect video game fodder. The developer of Pacific Rim on iOS decided to emulate the gameplay of Infinity Blade, which again is a really great fit for the combat-heavy subject matter. It's just a pity the execution failed live up to its potential.

If you're familiar with Infinity Blade, you'll already know what to expect from Pacific Rim. You play as a giant robot called a Jaeger fighting the massive monsters known as Kaiju. You can dodge incoming attacks by evading with the left or right arrows, or blocking with the block button. Attacks are executed by swiping the screen. Swiping in the direction of a Kaiju attack will parry the blow, with enough successive parries stunning the Kaiju, allowing you go on an all out assault. There are also weapons that periodically fire when primed, and a special meter that unleashes a super combo once full.

The problem is, the touch screen doesn't always read your attack swipes accurately, making parries frustrating to land. In fact, the whole parry system is almost redundant. After each Kaiju has finished its two- to four-attack combo, it leaves itself wide open to attack. Once you've upgraded your Jaeger a little, the damage these enormous creatures they do is minimal. Soon, you're just going through the motions, with the repetitive, weightless battles yeilding little satisfaction.

Part of this weightless is due to the sparse sound design. There are no meaty thumps to accompany the punches. Even when a Kaiju is thrown to the ground, the audio barely registers the impact. Though lightning flashes illuminate your Jaeger in the foreground, the backdrops are drab and lifeless. Worse still, fights have no impact on the environment around you. If you've seen the movie, you'll know that buildings should be crumbling left, right, and centre.

Though the concept is sound, Pacific Rim is too derivative and bland to provide a memorable gaming experience. The game mechanics are functional, but suffer from input issues, while the combat depressingly free of tension or excitement. All of this adds up to yet another mediocre movie tie-in.

Screenshots

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Comments

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Dragongoose 9 months ago

When will the Tiny Thief review be up?