With Guillermo Del Toro's highly anticipated rock-em-sock-em-robots movie Pacific Rim due in theaters this Friday, we assumed it wouldn't be long before some kind of video game tie-in appeared. Like clockwork, Warner Bros. delivered with a mobile release that borrows quite a bit from Chair Entertainment's Infinity Blade, but uses it to good effect.
In Pacific Rim, you play as different Jaeger robots built by the government to counter the nasty sea creatures known as the Kaiju. As you work your way through each fight, you'll dodge incoming attacks, then counter with your own combo moves, along with special weapon moves that charge with each successful maneuver you make.
Original? Hardly. Pacific Rim mimics Infinity Blade's combat system, though it does this with style. The control set-up works reasonably well, especially when you charge up a finishing technique that lays out your Kaiju opponent and rewards you with bonus items for good measure.
Along with the campaign mode - which takes about two hours to get through - you can unlock a survival mode where you'll face a non-stop string of opponents until you lose. It's not the most ideal addition to the game, but it is fun, especially if you're waiting for something to do before the movie starts.
The Pacific Rim experience goes even deeper than that. You can unlock additional Jaeger units, including the movie's main model, Gypsy Danger, with coins you earn from each fight. You're able to modify your fighters with new weapons, armor plating and other goods, allowing you to build your warrior however you see fit. You can even shop around the Black Market if you're looking for special items that suit your fancy. In-game currency can take a little while to earn in Pacific Rim, but you can buy additional coins using real money, if you choose.
You can also view files on the Kaiju enemies you defeat. Though it's hardly fundamental reading, it is a treat to see what makes these creatures tick. Fans of the movie should be pleased.
Pacific Rim's controls aren't quite perfect, but they're effective. There were a few occasions where the on-screen swipes weren't read as smoothly as indicated, causing us to take unnecessary hits from the Kaiju. Fortunately, this didn't happen often enough to derail the game's momentum, and it's easy to get back into a fight.
Graphically, Pacific Rim resembles the movie, with its rainy atmosphere and cool character models. The in-game menus are easy to navigate, as characters from the film will speak to you about your next mission. However, the audio seems half a second off. The battle effects and roaring Kaiju are great to hear, but the timing could use a fix through patching, sooner rather than later.
While Pacific Rim hardly has anything original to offer in terms of gameplay, it is more fun than most licensed fare these days. Plus, it's not every day you get to fight with colossal creatures and robots while you're riding to Grandma's house. Give it a look.
Download Pacific Rim: iOS
What's Hot:Puts the film's theme to good use, mostly functional controls, fun battles, great character models, reading up on the Kaiju, modifying your brawler.
What's Not:Audio issues, you'll need to put down cash to buy some of the better weapons and armor, imprecise gameplay moments.