Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Beyblade: Metal Masters (DS) artwork

Beyblade: Metal Masters (DS) review


"The combat itself is barebones. Much of it is based on typical fighting convention stuff: position, sequence and timing. Itís all very basic. Whatís important is to launch well and to use special attacks frequently. Each Beyblade has an associated power animal which factors into some combos and can be called upon for a seven-second cutscene in battle. Thereís no option to turn these off (or even an options menu at all) and theyíre never very good. They donít even show the animal attack; allies just arrive and the screen goes white."



An enthusiasm for spinning tops and simple things is a requirement if you plan to enjoy Beyblade Metal Masters. Itís the limited kind of game one might make within the parameters of a toy line Ė one with bargain bin aspirations and a workmanlike application of known formulas.

Every battle begins the same way. On cue, the player injects their spirit into a dreidel by mashing a series of three buttons. This determines each topís performance across a few attributes as it is spun into the ring. So much of a topís performance relies on its initial entry that whatever follows feels a bit frivolous.

The combat itself is barebones. Much of it is based on typical fighting convention stuff: position, sequence and timing. Itís all very basic. Whatís important is to launch well and to use special attacks frequently. Each Beyblade has an associated power animal which factors into some combos and can be called upon for a seven-second cutscene in battle. Thereís no option to turn these off (or even an options menu at all) and theyíre never very good. They donít even show the animal attack; allies just arrive and the screen goes white.

The average bout only takes maybe twenty seconds, anyway. It finishes with a ring out or when an opponent crashed. Calling on your over-powered animal friend usually just extends the process. Itís time that you could Ė no, will Ė spend in the menus. Menus are drab and characterless, fitting for the gameís similar style and tone. The proceedings are mostly concerned with machines and adding mechanical-sounding things to them. Customization in Metal Masters isnít exceptionally fun or interesting, just time-consuming. Why wouldnít anyone just choose to auto-equip the best kit possible?

The common thread here is that the developers donít care about the value of the playerís time and they donít care about creating an experience that provides a worthy use of that time. The original Nintendo DS is going out of style faster than a 3D gimmick on prom night, and yet seven years after the hardware launched, this game's developers didn't utilize any of the defining tech that has been available at launch. There are no touchscreen controls and the top screen is seldom used. The frustrating thing is that the solution's in front of you the entire time.

If the true mark of success for a video game is its ability to sell that toy, Metal Masters is dire. Thereís merit to the idea of familiarizing an audience with a brand, but here thereís nothing that would inspire additional interest in the license. Pokťmon is far superior model of a game that understood the relationship a license-based game shares with its source material, one thatís so confident that it excels as a game even if youíre not familiar with the license. Thatís Nintendo.

Metal Masters draws on some characters from the television show, but the lot of them are devoid of charm and only show freedom of individuality through their toys. Each one spins through a series of mind-numbing battles. Next to their opponents, those toys become console-pushing poster boys. Dialogue ranges from off-putting (one character talks only in mixed case) and much of it consists of non-exchanges that advance neither plot nor character. Perhaps at such points the game is remembering that thereís nothing worthwhile to say while waiting for tops to spin.

Beyblade Metal Masters is a lousy use of a license. The format is unpractical and the gameís best quality is that it carries the name of a license that children might like. Thereís not much that developers can do with such a license without disrupting its core selling point: spinning tops. As a result, this newest release is a tough sell for just about anyone.

Rating: 2/10

Calvin's avatar
Freelance review by Calvin Kemph (December 02, 2011)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Calvin Kemph
Trials Evolution (Xbox 360) artwork
Trials Evolution (Xbox 360)

The result may not feel like a revolutionary update, but itís exactly the right way to pull off a quality Trials sequel.
Puzzle Agent 2 (PC) artwork
Puzzle Agent 2 (PC)

Following the closure of his last case, Nelson Tethers is racked with guilt over the string of unsolved disappearances in the eerie, insular community of Scoggins, Minnesota. And so, after taking vacation from his job as an FBI Puzzle Detective, our protagonist fires up his snowmobile and treks back to tie up any loose...
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) artwork
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)

Itís all about the contrast. The best way to describe the appeal of film-noir, as I find it, is in the stark dichotomy between black and white Ė the dissimilarity of things. The most striking aspect of the films is in the way the lighting might reflect the softness of the female lead in juxtaposition to the rigid featu...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Beyblade: Metal Masters review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Site Policies & Ethics | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Beyblade: Metal Masters is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Beyblade: Metal Masters, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.