Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Medabots Ax (GBA)

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Lightning is cool.

Medabots Ax is an exclusive title to the North American region based on the moderately popular anime which was playing on Fox Kids (or was it the Fox Block by then?). It’s a decent fighting game where you have the ability to customize your robots with parts you acquire through tournaments, did I just mention tournaments? Well this game is all about tournaments because it’s a tournament fighter! (applause?) The game is moderately original in design and for what it’s worth the game does provide some adequate fun. Medabots Ax took the Pokémon root and made it so that in order to get the parts for all 30 Medabots you would have to connect and trade the last five from the other game (either the Rokusho version or Medabee version depending).

If I recall correctly I was still a youngin’ when this show was new, and I recall when I got this game I was pretty psyched about it. For those that don’t know Medabots was a moderately popular anime about young kids who ran around and made robots battle for their amusement. In the show many of the battles were fought with the rule that if you lost you were obliged to give the winner one of the parts off your Medabot which as you can guess, kind of really sucked. The shows main character was Ikki Tenryou and his Medabot was Medabee (who was quite sassy) and they spent much of their time fighting against the evil organization the Skrew Gang and fighting battles to be the best there ever was.

Here’s an Example of to expect from the show:

The game plays simply, you have three regular attacks a jump and a special move. Each move sans the jump and special all require time to reload before using it again and each varies depending on the type of part you have equipped and what it’s function is. Fairly standard stuff, however the most important factor of this is the speed and defense of each part as its imperative that you balance the speed of your attacks with a part that won’t be destroyed after one hit. You win battles by destroying the leader Medabots head, so don’t feel discouraged about sending your partner out to take the brunt of the damage as it’s your death that makes you lose. All the stages are fairly similar with slight variations such as the addition of water or moving floors but all keep the same overall setup despite changing looks.

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As the great military strategist Zhuge Liang once said; “Fake em’ out, It’ll work every time.”

The customizing is fairly simple, you open up the menu and select either your partner Medabot or your leader Medabot and from there you can exchange the arms, head, legs, and medal (the thing which gives it a special attack). At any point in time you can alternate the gender of the two Medabots if you so choose, so instead of having a male Medabot being the Leader, you can have a female, or you can have them both be male or female Medabots. This change allows you to customize the strategy of your team as the female parts are mostly passive so you can create a team based on endurance whereas the male parts are aggressive so with two males you can have a team that doggedly attacks. Ultimately the medal decides your plan as the medal decides your special attack, and the commands you can issue to your partner.

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Sht? How crass.

Both parts and medals have stats in this game and its imperative that you mix them to make a balanced Medabot, otherwise you may wind up losing a lot.

The game has a pathetically small roster of opponents and very often you will wind up facing the same opponents over and over as you attempt to farm parts or grind experience so you can gain more commands for your partners medal.

Medabots Ax is solid tournament fighting game with a fairly original system, for battling and quite a bit of customization which easily allots for lots of play time. The game however is plagued by its lack of depth as there is no story to the game, which I guess is expected as fighting games trend towards having no real story. The controls are really good and the difficulty isn’t to hard, though tedium tends to kick in after you’ve battled the same team of enemies for the fortieth time. The game is relatively inexpensive no matter where you get it from and in my opinion Medabots Ax is a game worth the cost for any fan of the series as despite its shortcomings the game is still solid enough to provide a moderately enjoyable experience for at least a majority of the ride.

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