- Publisher: Yuke's
- Developer: Yuke's
- ESRB Rating: “E10" for Everyone 10+
- Genre: Fighting
- Pros: Neat customization; fighting can be fun
- Cons: Shallow; lack of content; tons of DLC already; so-so presentation
Pacific Rim: The Video Game is a 1-on-1 fighting game from developer Yuke's (WWE 13, WWE 12) where you choose between a selection of giant robots called jaegers (the German word for hunter) and giant monsters called kaiju (the Japanese word for "strange creature", but commonly used for "giant monster"). The jaegers and kaiju are taken from the "Pacific Rim" movie, but the game doesn't have a story or anything. It is just an excuse to put robots and monsters together and have them fight.
Pacific Rim: TVG is available for 800 Microsoft Points ($10) (see tips to earn free Microsoft Points here) on the Xbox Live Arcade but, unfortunately, you aren't getting much for your money. Three playable jaegers, two playable kaiju, and a handful of stages are all you get for your $10. Don't worry, though, because you can spend more money on three additional kaiju and extra stages as premium DLC. Gross.
Sort of easing the pain of the lack of content is that you can build your own jaeger or customize a kaiju with special abilities. This customization aspect is actually pretty cool, and building a jaeger with different parts and leveling up the various stats with XP you earn is surprisingly satisfying. Adding new abilities or leveling up really has a tangible impact on how the game plays, and taking your junky jaeger you start with and turning it into something you actually want to use is honestly really fun. Unfortunately, the greed at the core of the game rears its ugly head again here, because if you want to paint your character a different color you have to buy that feature as DLC. My leveled up overpowered monster slaughtering jaeger will forever be gunmetal gray, I guess. Super lame.
Pacific Rim: TVG features a pair of single-player modes along with local and online multiplayer. The single-player modes are just a "story" mode where you plough through both kaiju and other jaegers in 1-on-1 fights as well as a separate survival mode where you have to kill multiple opponents in a row without regaining health in between. Both the story and survival modes are worthwhile to play through because you unlock new customization parts and abilities. The multiplayer could have been cool here as you can face off with other players with your custom jaeger, but considering how easy it is to max level everything it isn't as interesting as you'd hope.
An interesting aspect of the game is that everything you do - attacking, dodging attacks, etc. - drains your energy meter. When you don't have energy, you can't attack, obviously. You regain your energy by landing attacks (they don't count if the enemy is blocking) or by being attacked. It makes the game somewhat strategic because you have to be patient and only attack when you have an opening, and to try to pace your attacks so you don't use too much energy. If you build your energy meter up enough, you'll earn super attacks that do tons of damage, as well as an instant kill move if you build it up even higher. Playing smart and patient pays off here.
The pacing of the game will likely be a turn off for many players, because it is just undeniably slow. Your attacks are slow. Your movement is slow. When you get knocked to the ground you are slow to get up. Considering that these are giant monsters and robots, it makes sense for it to be slow, but as a videogame there is no denying that the pacing is absolutely glacial. You get used to it after a while, though. We had fun with it.