IGN Review of Battle Rage: Mech Conflict
Giant, multi-story tall battling robots are pretty much the greatest things ever. Unfortunately, Battle Rage: Mech Conflict seems to be an experiment by Destineer and Data Design to ruin their reputations: this game is one of the worst Wii titles on the system and should be avoided…no matter how much you love gigantic metallic beasts of awesome.
The idea is certainly ambitious: giant fighting robots battling in a variety of arena-style environments. It's been done successfully in a variety of games, like Virtual On from SEGA. But Battle Rage is not one of those successful games. This title is so half-baked it feels like it left the store before it was finished.
It has to be noted that, while Data Design put out a press release announcing that Battle Rage would feature a 3D glasses mode, that option is not in this version: after contacting the company, I learned that Destineer is publishing code that doesn't feature the announced 3D mode, and that the "enhanced" version should be ready to go this summer. At this point, I certainly hope that there's more to the enhanced mode than just 3D, as this game is one of the worst Wii games I've experienced to date, and I definitely am not looking forward to playing a second version if they don't fix all that's broken.
In still screens, the game doesn't look half bad, but in motion it's just dreadful. The choppy framerate is amplified in the game's two-player splitscreen mode where it's so framey that it's almost torture to play. It doesn't help that the gameplay is god-awful and weak. Battle Rage's rules are dumb, requiring players to romp around the environment finding weapons or shield pods to replenish what's lost – but the camera cuts off at the player's legs, so you can't see where you're walking. Which means any action that's going on below the waist is a mystery…and you'll frequently fall off edges and lose points, or fail to see the obstacles that you can't step over, or be unable to target the enemy down on a ledge below you.
Once you learn where all the items are it's a camping fest, and in single player mode you're never fighting against more than one other robot, so it becomes a predictable "who can aim and pull the trigger faster?" fight. While pointer aiming works relatively okay, the weapon melee is just the pits: you waggle the Wii Nunchuk to throw punches or swing the weapon, but half the time the game doesn't recognize your motions.
Battles end abruptly with no sense of victory or loss, talking-head cutscenes are poorly written with terrible artwork to go with it, and as mentioned above, the multiplayer is so framey that you have to force yourself to endure the crumminess if you want to squeeze some enjoyment out of this product.
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