REAL STEEL XBLA Review
Review by: The Danger Pickle (Contributor)
Chronicles of Riddick, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, and Lord of The Rings. What do they have in common? All movie-based games, but more so, they were all fairly successful, some more than others, video game version or based-on-the-movie video games. Now, none of these were X-Box Live Arcade, so presumably they had a great deal more resources and funding than a straight-to-live-arcade version. The success they had, as far as I am concerned, was due solely to their innovative way to pull you into an already familiar environment. For those games that were released before the movie, the developers tasked themselves with getting you involved with the movie’s upcoming story, and/or characters, without revealing any vital parts of said movie.
Which brings me to REAL STEEL. An E-Rated, Fantasy-Sports/Fighter, developed by YUKE’S Co. Ltd. It is a 1 versus 1 local or online multi-play, with a 1 player “Career” mode and it is available on X-Box Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points.
REAL STEEL is based on the movie, obviously, and you assume the role of a rookie trainer/operator of fighting robots. Sadly, that is mainly the whole story, plot and clincher all at the same time. Your goal is to win. That is pretty much it. Win. At all costs.
In the single-player career mode, I haven’t yet tried the multi-player , you start off with 100 grand and a glint in your eye. The three base-robots you can buy are, unfortunately, over $70,000. Leaving the new trainer with only a generic robot and less than $30,000 to upgrade what you can for your first fight. There are only 5 circuits and each circuit offers only 4 fighters to work your way through. Though the fighters it pits you against might take a few tries to get them knocked out, the game is mainly about the win. Did I say that already?
No depth, and other than the robots, there is no real tie to the movie. While it is increasingly addictive for my self, I enjoy customizing the robots. Most people might find it tedious and drawn-out. Since I brought up the customizing, YUKE’S has seemed to follow suit to online, free-to-play p.c. games. By allowing you to build and create a robot’s parts you feel you should be able to freely choose a paint scheme, right? WRONGO BUCKO! YUKE’S, I feel, is holding the player’s sense of freedom and creativity for hostage and is demanding 240 Microsoft points to get it back. That’s correct. You can put new parts on for free but you will have to fork over an additional $3 American to get the paint and customizing feature for ANY of the parts. Man, that’s like money-changers in the house of the video-game temple. Blasphemers! Heretics! Cheap, effing, bastards!
As far as graphics and styling goes; it’s your run-of-the-mill boxing/fighting game. Well constructed but with a BGM that resembles every generic game music I have ever heard. Literally, every one of them. All in the same game. Graphics are fair as well, but it just seems to feel like it’s missing something. Oh, I know, venues. There are two. Two arenas. Crappy, run-down gym arena and generic, “insert popular consumer brand here”, Vegas style arena.Yet, the robots are well crafted and they seem to get my boys’ attention, I desire more than robots with cool flashing lights.
Back to my opening statement. The reason those games did well, was because they didn’t rush into making a quick game to “tease” the consumer into wanting to see there movie. The developer’s spent time to make the player feel involved in the story, or, took the time to get you familiar with characters without revealing the movie’s story line. This game did neither. While not an all-together bad game, I just felt like it was a cheap way to make money off a movie that would have made enough anyway. If I wanted someone to blow smoke up my ass, I’d be in my room with a tube and a carton of cigarettes. Pickle gives this money grubbing, not-really-much-like-the-movie, movie game a 5.5 out of 10. Another low blow for the game industry.