BEYBLADE: Evolution (3Ds) Review
Not so much?
BEYBLADE: Evolution gives young fans the chance to work their way to the top and become the Beyblade World Champion. Although the idea of using motion to launch the tops into an arena is sound, aiming just doesn’t work as well as it should. This, combined with a game setup that allows for little action other than launching Beyblades in battle after battle, serves to make the game far more repetitive than engaging.
“Let it rip!”
If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve heard of Beyblades. The colorful, customizable tops are a favorite of kids of a certain age. Basically, they are round tops with interchangeable parts that can be taken apart and put back together in many different combinations (if you have a collection to pick pieces from), which has a lot of appeal for kids. The Beyblades are shot from a launcher by pulling a ripcord that sends the top spinning into the Beystadium. The object of the battles is to defeat your opponent’s top in one of two ways – either by being the last top spinning, or knocking them out of the stadium entirely. It’s a fun setup that has long lasting appeal to kids who love to tinker and compete – but how well does the concept translate to a video game?
BEYBLADE: Evolution starts you out with a quick tutorial that explains how to play. It’s basically a close match to actually playing with the toys – you shoot your Beyblade using a flicking back motion with your 3Ds (hold on tight!), launching towards different areas of the Beystadium for different types of spin. It’s rather difficult to master, as the 3Ds doesn’t register your aiming movements as closely as you’d expect for a game based on motion. It can be a bit frustrating, as this flicking and aiming is pretty much the extent of the gameplay in BEYBLADE: Evolution.
Just like in real life play, once you send your Beyblade spinning, there isn’t a whole lot to do other than watch the action. The tops spin, clunking against each other in a bid for dominance. You can build up your Beysiprit, which allows you to shoot your top a bit of a boost when full. Using a crosshairs, you aim and shoot the spirit using the “A” button. If you hit your own top, it gives you a boost, but if you hit the opponents top, they get a boost instead. Again, the aiming just isn’t all that good, so this feature is more of an annoyance than anything.
These spinning top battles are pretty much the extent of your game play in BEYBLADE: Evolution. You wander around a small amount of places on a map, visiting each of them to either battle or play a mini game. Since you’re the new guy in town, you’ll have to prove your worth to the pros at each of the locations, but since there aren’t all that many areas, this sort of gets real repetitive real quick. The mini games, consisting of things like mazes, memory games, and popping balloons with Beyblades, offer a nice amount of variety, as this is a game that is sorely lacking in depth. In addition to visiting Beybladers on the map, you can battle in tournaments to prove you are the champion.
Points earned in tournaments and mini games can be used to grow your parts collection. Since the biggest draw for a lot of Beybladers is the ability to customize your Beyblades for different types of battles, this is a feature that must be done well. And it really is. You can buy and sell Bey parts, one at a time or in random packs, and then try out different combinations in test battles. It’s a fun addition to the game, and a great way to work out the best combinations. Tinkerers will love it.
BEYBLADE: Evolution gives young fans the chance to work their way to the top and become the Beyblade World Champion. Although the idea of using motion to launch the tops into an arena is sound, aiming just doesn’t work as well as it should. This, combined with a game setup that allows for little action other than launching Beyblades in battle after battle, serves to make the game far more repetitive than engaging. A well done system for customizing and tinkering with the Beyblades will keep devoted fans coming back, but for most the action becomes tiring all too soon.