Pacific Rim has unfairly been compared to the Transformers franchise, but upon closer look the film merges director Guillermo del Toro's love for creature features along with our continued love for big budget, high tech spectacle. Whether its added melange of sci-fi and Western elements works is entirely up to the viewer, but if you're looking for an excellent primer before seeing the flick, the iOS version is a slam bang success.
Pacific Rim features Career and Survival Modes, and players looking for constant showdowns sans all the preamble and mission breakdowns should choose the latter. Since I'm more of a story guy, the linear progression of Career Mode is pretty much the only way to go. The great news is that whatever upgrades and experience you attain in your missions will transfer over to Survival Mode, so your Jaeger (fighting robot) can dispatch of different Kaiju (monsters) with all his tricked out weapons intact.
Whether you choose power knuckles, blades, health kits, or even power cannons, a trip to the store is important after every battle. Jaegers are tough, but I've come to the party with a few old school weapons and the results were less than stellar.
Tap your device to block attacks, and swipe your device whichever way possible to perform combo beat downs on the monsters. Dodging Kaiju punches requires quick swipes to the right or left, and once they miss, it's a good idea to lunge for an overhead strike or whatever power move to shake their foundation.
The actual Infinity Blade style combat is a solid mano-a-mano conflict that, considering the fighters involved, is like watching an epic UFC fight. Even though you may not sustain as much damage as an MMA fighter, your fingers will get a rigorous workout from furiously tapping and swiping your device. If you really want to inflect heavy damage on the Kaiju, make sure your digits can take a pounding.
Pacific Rim may contain city crushing confrontations and end of the world repercussions, but much of its inspiration comes from Westerns. Whether you're facing a gunslinger at sundown or throwing a left cross at gargantuan green Kaiju, the rules of combat rests on the inevitability of the duel. At the end of the fight, someone is dead, and the other walks off to fight another day. After getting my derriere tossed around by creatures I dare not mention, I finally connected with my Jaeger, bought a few upgrades (including a laser weapon strapped on his back), and am finally on a much needed win streak.
The battles are the real reason to download Pacific Rim, but there are little nuances which adds to its overall excellence. Getting mission orders and advice from the guy who plays Stringer Bell and Luther is a total plus, especially if you're a geek like me with a man crush on Idris Elba. The intel science card referenced by Stacker Pentecost (Elba) gives information on the different types of Kaiju you encounter along the way.
A more important facet to Pacific Rim's success is the ability to unlock Jaegers as the game progresses. Coyote Tango is the hero of choice for the first several levels, but getting the chance to fight as Crimson Typhoon and Gipsy Danger, as well as other warriors, keeps the action fresh. Crimson Typhoon is markedly faster than Coyote Tango, so expect a ramp up in action once you've unlocked the red beast.
It may resemble a boxing match between Optimus Prime and Godzilla, but so what? Robots fighting monsters is a pretty big deal for any video game, especially when it's done right. There's nothing too fancy about this title, but that doesn't detract from its overall effectiveness. Before I became a kale and almond milk obsessed health nut, I was a meat and potatoes guy. Pacific Rim makes me yearn for a good meal, especially since Kaiju is a dish best served cold.