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Zoids Vs. III

by Daniel Bloodworth - March 29, 2005, 11:29 pm EST


It's a terrible licensed game and it's in Japanese. Hideous.

Discuss it in Talkback!

I first played Zoids VS III for a few hours on October 19, 2004. The

experience disturbed me so greatly that I did everything I could to put it

out of my mind, hoping it would run away from neglect. Unfortunately, the

"responsibility" of playing this atrocity nagged at the back of my mind for

five months before I finally gave in, fighting against my own survival

instincts to see the game in full.

Zoids VS III is based on the popular (?) animated series, which showcases

perky humans piloting giant robots shaped like various animals. As with

many animated series, the show's ultimate goal is to sell toys, and

therefore, the coolest new feature in Zoids VS III is apparently the toy

packed in with the special edition (which I didn't get).

Graphically, the game is in shambles. The toys Zoids are actually

somewhat detailed, so if you want to gawk at them in the museum, you can.

Everything else would look bad even for an N64 game. The textures have just

enough noise to keep them from being mistaken for solid colors and to

suggest basic elements such as rock or snow, and seams can frequently be

seen where textures meet or repeat. Most arenas are practically empty. A

few levels have background towers and platforms with about as much

complexity as elements in Star Fox 64. To top off our N64 comparisons, each

level is surrounded by a blur of fog to cover over the short draw distances.

Plus, even with this level of visual simplicity, the framerate can never

keep up.

The gameplay is similar to titles like Custom Robo. Depending on the mode,

you'll either purchase or unlock new Zoids as well as various weapons and

upgrades. You then choose a Zoid to face off against another Zoid or a group

of Zoids. The game includes a straight-forward battle mode; another mode called Zoids Fist, in which you attempt to knock your opponent off a platform; and Mission Mode,

which usually has you battling a group of Zoids, but occasionally provides

a different take on the action, such as sniping or dropping bombs from the

air. Theoretically, there is also a multiplayer mode, but you won't find anyone

who wants to play this game with you.

Control is awkward and non-responsive. The layout actually makes sense:

switch weapons with Y, lock-on with R, fire with A, pounce with X, dodge

with the C stick. However, in execution the machines seem completely

unwieldy. For your shot to really connect, you have to wait for a blue icon

to appear over your target. Even then, most weapons rarely seem to hit your

opponent, as if they are meant to be fired only from specific distances -

too close or far away, and they'll miss no matter what. In contrast,

enemies' weapons home in on your position no matter which direction they're

fired in or how much you try to dodge. The main control frustration, though,

is the fact that whenever you're hit by enemy fire, you're unable to move,

and after a few hits, you even get knocked to the ground and have to wait

several seconds to get back up. Since you are often surrounded by three

opponents at a time, this results in a constant fight with the controls, as

you try to dodge successive shots, but can only rock the control stick back

and forth and watch yourself get pummeled.

As you may have surmised from the control description, the various Zoids are

dreadfully unbalanced. Some Zoids simply have no chance of competing with

others. Either you pick a machine that can cream the other, or you get

creamed. In Mission Mode, you'll gain plenty of new Zoids, but most of them

are not nearly as strong or maneuverable as the tiger you start out with. Zoids Fist

amplifies the unbalanced advantages with poor AI; if you pick a flying Zoid,

you can easily fly away from the platform and lure your opponent to his


Rounding off the package are frequent load times and long story scenes that

can take more than thirty seconds just to skip through. The cut-scenes are

just long winded conversations between still character frames. If you tap

the button fast enough, it almost looks like animation. In the end, this is

a shoddy license tie-in, and it's too frustrating to be any fun.

If for any reason, you do not heed this message of woe, our partners at


Sang will gladly take your money. Although, afterwards, you may wish

that you had instead purchased a laser pointer to shine in your eyes.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
2 4 2 4 1 3

A handful of modest vehicle models; level designs that are composed of sky, ground, and walls on either side; fog that must have rolled in from the N64, and still the framerate can't keep up?


If there were Zoids games on SNES, this is what they'd sound like. At least some of the tunes are catchy.


The layout is fine, but shots never seem to fire where you aim and it's nearly impossible to out-maneuver opponents. Losing control whenever you're attacked is more than frustrating. Camera and framerate hitches are also issues.


If the controls weren't so terrible, there might be something to enjoy. Most of the encounters are similar, but once in a while, Mission Mode will present a different kind of objective.


It won't take long for you to yank this out of your GameCube and throw it in the river.


The controls really prevent this game from being anything other than frustrating, and the pitiful graphics don't help either. The toy would have certainly been more fun.


  • Modestly detailed robot models
  • Background graphics don't even measure up to the last generation
  • Control? More like out of control
  • Unbalanced selection of Zoids
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Fighting
Developer Tomy
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

jpn: Zoids Vs. III
Release Sep 30, 2004
RatingAll Ages

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