When making video games for children, at times I imagine it is hard to figure out what to and not to do. Historically, the Beyblade franchise has not done well with critics, so the Wii version of Beyblade Metal Fusion hopes to improve upon a fanatic-based formula.
In case you don’t know, a Beyblade is a battling spinning top that consists of a number of different pieces that change the momentum and collision characteristics of the battling top. In the past, the Gamecube version of this game came off as a mildly interactive game that looked to simulate the battles with special attacks and Beyblade building. Past versions satisfied only the fanatical fans and definitely had nothing that would interest a casual fan or gamer for that matter.
These versions were plagued with little to no story, unanimated cutscenes and repetitive audio clips. With poor to non-existent controls, the actual skill of the battles was limited to thumbstick movements that probably nudged the spinning top towards its opponent. The top building portion of the game was probably the most robust portion of the game.
The Wii version of Beyblade, complete with a DVD containing a TV series episode, looks to capitalize on the motion controller to add a bit more control to the Beyblade experience. Unfortunately, this defeats the purpose of the spinning top battle in the first place. In real life, you launch the top into the arena and the winner either outspins the other or knocks it out of the arena.
In this Wii arena, the controls are as such, you control where the launching happens and you occasionally ‘nudge’ the spinning top to or from your opponent by flicking the Wii-mote in the appropriate direction. Special attacks are made by pressing A or B while flicking a particular direction. Also, mega bombad attacks are initiated by waiting for a gauge to fill and then pressing A + B together. But if the opponent isn’t in range of the attack, all you end up with is lots of pretty effects and colors flying around the screen mid-battle.