Zoids Assault is Atlus most recently announced title, so we were pleasantly surprised to be able to get our hands on it when we visited them today. The mech-based tactical RPG for the Xbox 360 was known as Zoids Alternative in Japan. The mechs in this game are known as Zoids and are based on a series of plastic models made by Japanese toy company Takara Tomy. These models resemble animals and in the case of what we were able to see looked like large metal cats.
Upon seeing the first combat screens, I could not help but think of Front Mission. Zoids Alternative features a variety of units which could equip a healthy select of both ranged and melee weapons. Our group of characters seemed quite overwhelmed to start with as we were attempting to sneak into an enemy base to destroy three towers. Thanks to a powerful melee weapon that one of my characters had equipped, I was quickly able to manuever to the first tower and smash it. That didn't make the enemies too happy, so they quickly sent their forces to crush me. I was then shown the use of the EMP attack, which was able to halt the enemy advance and give me a better chance to take out the towers.
Hot Robot Action
One complaint about the Japanese version was that combat was a tad slow at times, but thankfully Atlus has made the effort to speed up combat by allowing players to skip the battle animations, but still see the damage output. Overall, Zoids Assault looks to be the game that will fill the void of tactical RPGs with large mechs on this current generation of consoles. It was very solid in terms of gameplay and will offer a decent challenge for the estimated 25 hours it will take to complete the main storyline.
North American audiences will be provided with exclusive downloadable content via Xbox Live. This includes both the three Japanese skins and three Zoid skins unique to North America: Hot Rod, red flames; Elite, blue and green; and Hazard, yellow and black. Each of these skins will offer different stats boosts for your Zoids as well. Zoids Assault will be cornering the giant mech tactical RPG genre on consoles on August 26.