Friday, 3 March 2017

Beast Saga Saikyou Gekiotsu Coliseum (3DS)

There's a fondly-remembered 80s toyline called "Battle Beasts." They were simple figures with a simple concept: little rubber figures of anthropomorphic animals wearing armour that was an aesthetic mix of medieval knight's armour and futuristic power armour.For some reason, though, it never got the big relaunches that lots of other 80s toylines did, until 2013, when the new toyline Beast Saga debuted in Japan, along with a new cartoon to promote it. I don't think either of them ever reached the west, though apparently the cartoon did get an English dub that aired in parts of Asia.

So, not only is this game a toyline/cartoon tie-in, but it's a modern one, too, and neither of those things bode well for its quality. It's an arena-style fighting game with a setup that's vaguely similar to some of the Gundam arcade games, whereby each fight involves two teams of fighters. The teams might not have the same number or strength of members, but both team has an equal value of battle points, and each member is worth a different amount of said points. When a character is knocked out, they're out of the battle for a short time, and their team's BP is reduced by that member's value. When a team has no BP left, they lose. Some stages in story mode also feature monoliths at either end of the arena, which result in instant defeat if destroyed.

It's very simple to play: you have buttons for chain attacks, strong attacks and projectile attacks (which can be charged), as well as a button for rolling/dodging, and a button for utilising super attacks once your meter is full. The story mode has an interesting layout, being made up of several multi-part arcs, with more being unlocked as you finish them. There's a main storyline with numbered arcs, as well as side stories in which you play as villains and such, which is a cool addition.

I've mostly been positive about this game so far, but I have to break it to you that that most hated bugbear of the modern action game rears its head: levelling up. It's not too bad, though, as levelling up doesn't appear to have too massive an effect on your character's performance, and from the few hours I've played so far, the game does still seem to be getting harder rather than easier, as is often the case in action games with levelling. Plus, levelling doesn't affect anything in the game's free battle mode, which presumably is also the multiplayer mode, so that's a plus too. Though another negative is that even after a couple of hours' play, more than half the characters in free battle mode are still locked. That's incredibly annoying, though I guess it's better than locking them behind a paywall.

Despite its faults, I still like this game. It's a fun little casual knockabout of a game, and the characters are mostly really cool-looking, which I guess they'd have to be ifthey want to sell any toys. If you have the means to play it, and you can track a cheap copy down, I'd say Beast Saga is worth a look.


  1. I must confess: I never heard about the "Battle Beasts" until now. By the pictures it looks nice, and as you like it, why not give it a chance?

    And I am in doubt: did you play this on the handheld or the emulator? If it is the latter, does it work fine?

    1. i played it on a real 3ds, using custom firmware and related things for getting round region lock and taking screenshots and so on