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PSOne Review - 'BeyBlade'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Jan. 2, 2003 @ 9:44 a.m. PST

In Beyblade, players become active competitors as they use strategy to build and customize their battle equipment in pursuit of becoming the World Beyblade Champion. Each Beyblade is as unique as its owner. Players may customize the assembly of five key parts - The Bit, Attack Ring, Weight Disk, Spin Gear and Blade Base. The series airs daily on ABC Family kids' action/adventure block in the U.S. and on YTV in Canada.

Genre: Action Adventure
Publisher: Crave Ent.
Developer: Crave Ent.
Release Date: 11/05/2002

Today we received a copy of Crave Entertainments’ Beyblade. Based on the TV show, Beyblade is an anime style based spinning top game, where you and the opponent launch tops at each other to do battle. Crave attempted to capture the excitement and put it into a console game. Sadly this game falls short. With that said let’s get to it.

Booting up the game you are greeted with an anime opening movie reminiscent of the TV show. Here it shows you some of the players you will encounter in Beyblade. After the movie had ended I wanted to get into it quickly to get a feel of the game. When you first start you have to create a character and select your top (Beyblade). You can only select two in the beginning but have no fear you can customize them to make them better. After that is done you come to the main menu screen. There are couple game options, Tournament and Free Battle. Since I wanted some instant action I selected free battle. In free battle you can select any of the 10 characters available to you. Each character has their own Beyblade and different variants of their Beyblade. Once you select your character and your opponent you head into battle. After a victor has been chosen you are sent back to the character select screen to start another battle. In tournament mode the character you can select is the one you made at the very beginning, and in tournament mode you duel one opponent after another. If you win your match you are awarded Bey Points as well as exp points to level up your character. However if you loose you are awarded Bey Points but they are half of what you would have received if you won.

The game play of Beyblade is very weak. First off there is very little story to the game so any chance of following the development of your character is nil and your options of winning are in short supply as well. There are three ways to win. First is by beating the other persons top into submission, second is by knocking your opponents top out of the ring, and third is by simply avoiding your opponent and waiting for him to stop spinning. You can’t always rely on the third option for wining because some times the opponent will have a faster spinning top or better launcher than you. You can also mess up your launch too. Upon the starting of the match you must launch your top to get it spinning, there is an indicator on your launcher as to how much power you put into the launch. The more power you have, the faster it spins.

Once launched you meet in the arena which is shaped like a bowl. There you must ram the opponents top or use you tops special powers to beat the top or knock it out of the ring. Each top has a special creature power that you can call out to give the top an extra boost of power and the ability to perform combos move. The combo moves should be used if you intend to beat the top into submission. Other than the special powers the entire game is just ramming into each other till you get knocked out or stop spinning. Also there is a certain way you have to hit in order to cause damage to the opponents top, you can’t just nudge the other persons top and expect to win. This is where the bowl comes into play. You have to generate speed by zooming around the bowl and use its downward slopes to add force to your hits, but be careful because the faster you go the tougher it is to control your top and you very well might zoom out of the ring.

There is however one saving grace to the top combat and this is the ability to customize your top. As mentioned earlier after you win or loose a match (tournament mode only) you are awarded Bey Points. These points are used to acquire new parts for your top to make them faster, tougher, and stronger. There are number of parts you can spend your Bey points on. These parts are the Bit chip, attack ring, weight disk, spin gear, blade base, and the launcher. There are several different parts you can purchase out of each category. Many of the parts have multiple functions that depend on which way the top is spun. You can reverse the way your top spins thus turning your attack ring into a defensive weapon rather than an offensive weapon. You can also change your special move by buying another bit chip that contains a different animal. Each part has its pluses and minuses. You have a stat sheet next to you as you select which parts you want, and that sheet shows what parts of your stats will be affected if you purchase and equip that part. You can have several variants of one top and can use up to three in a battle. Which gives you the option, if the opponent beats your first top you can always bring out another that might be more effective, but alas the ability to customize can not save the game play at all.

I can’t hate on the graphics that much, being it’s a Playstation 1 game, but I feel they could have at least done a little extra in the graphics department seeing how the era of the Playstation 1 has ended. The entire game is practically 2D; the only 3D part I can see is when you use your power up combo. The textures are of low resolution and tend to look pixilated. The bowl arena where your tops fight is bland and lacking of any kind of visual stimuli. The combo power up moves isn’t any better in the graphics department. The only thing I can say that looks good, is the character drawing and the intro movie, they drawings are crisp, clear, and are a great example of a top quality anime.

The audio portion of this game is decent at best. The music accompanied with the menus can become annoying at times. The sound effects during your matches is extremely weak, most of the time you here the announcer and music more clearly than your tops spinning and hitting. You can’t change the degree of the sound either; you go to the options menu and can only select whether you want mono or stereo. Lacking options and audio only adds salt to the wounds.

Controls and Multiplayer will be together this time, because there is basically nothing to them. The Multiplayer aspect is basically free battle with your buddy, sure you can use your custom tops but the gaming experience grows old very fast. As for controls, you move with the analog and speed up or summon your combo powers with the button pad, that’s it. Also you don’t truly have control over your top at all times, because of the shape of the bowl if you bounce off something and you have some speed going, changing direction is next to impossible and you will probably knock yourself out of the ring.

So in conclusion this is one poor game and being for the playstation 1 I ask myself the eternal question… Why! Why make this game when they could have taken some extra time and made something better on the Playstation 2? Who knows why, but with poor game play, graphics, sound, and control you can’t expect this title to fly off the shelves. Even if they sold for 5 dollars rather than 10 I still wouldn’t buy. Check your local garage sales probably could pick this up there for 25 cents.

Score : 2/10

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