Beyblade G-Revolution Review


When I watched V-Force, I figured that Beyblade had reached its peak. How could it possibly top that series which was so amazing? Well, somehow Beyblade pulled it off. G-Revolution is the definitive season and it’s so good that it actually entered my Top 5 anime of all time, something that hasn’t been done since Madoka Magica which has now been bumped off. My Top 5. is now 1. RWBY, 2. Yugioh GX, 3. Beyblade G-Revolution, 4. Digimon Data Squad, 5. Cardfight Vanguard. Some titles had to make way for the champ. This series has incredible replay value to the point where I’ve watched almost all of the duels a second time. If you want a show that fires you up, this is the way to go.

G-Revolution really has two main arcs. The first one takes up the majority of the series and the basic plot is that the world championships have returned yet again. Tyson and the Bladebreakers won the first two years but this time there is a bit of a shift. See, the World Championships are going to be tag-team style which means that not all of Tyson’s friends can join in like they would in the 4 man squad. No, this time there can only be one and so Tyson’s friends all bail out on him. He is now forced to team up with Daichi, a new kid around the block who thinks he’s hot stuff.

Tyson and Daichi don’t get along at all. To Tyson, Daichi is an amateur who is going to hold him back and Tyson is also really upset at his friends for just ditching him the way that they did. Meanwhile Daichi sees Tyson as a rival who doesn’t respect him and he really wants to keep on winning until Tyson sees things his way. It’s going to be a rocky road and they have to get better quickly since they are going up against the world’s best. Can Tyson prove that he has what it takes or is it true that he only won the previous years because of his friends?

This arc is completely masterful, there’s no other way to put it. It’s a huge tournament with the best of the best. Sure, it would have been fun to have had some teams from season 2 or 1 to show up, but by and large you have all of the big characters here. Since the tournament is round robin style, you also get to see each team play against each other which is a lot of fun. There are a ton of matchups to be had and of course you don’t know which team will win any given match since you can lose a set and still make it to the finals.

I always like the hype before a tournament match goes on. Seeing the characters slowly walk up to the screen and dredge up their courage is intense. Beyblade knows how to hammer in the hype as you have the announcers going crazy and a whole lot of great music. You’re definitely not likely to be disappointed here I can tell you that much. Each episode delivers with a great amount of intensity.

It helps that the character roster is so amazing. There are tons of excellent characters in the mix to the point where you’ll like almost every team. The only one I would roll my eyes at was the cheating group with the scientist but I’ll talk more about them later. Everyone else were legitimate contenders but of course only one team can win so that really ends up making things pretty tense.

As for the second arc, it’s a lot shorter but still really hype. This time we actually have a whole villain group by the name of BEGA. They intend to really change the Beyblading world and the only way to participate is to join their group. If they have their way then it will be impossible to blade in the city without joining their affiliation. You can see how that would be a big issue. Tyson and the gang have to defeat them and this time we do get a full team of fighters. It’s a 5 on 5 battle so Tyson will have to choose his fighters carefully. While the arc is really just building up to a single team battle, there is a lot of hype leading up to it.

There is a real sense of danger here since a loss will be a loss for the global community but even more important than that, they just can’t afford to lose to these guys. The new villains are mostly rather sympathetic but they all have a lot of confidence and believe they’re the best so if a hero loses he will never hear the end of it. The heroes will need new Beyblades to win and they will have to do it without the help of their old pal Kai. Still, Tyson is up for the challenge.

So the first arc wins for me in part due to how much I love a great tournament but it’s also so much larger that it’s hard to go against it. It has more hype duels by default and of course seeing Tyson go up against Kai again like the good ole days is impossible to pass up. That said, the Brooklyn vs Kai duel is in my top 3 fights of all time for the franchise. It was incredible and the arc has several other fights at that level. Kai takes a beating in the arc but it also shows how the game is so serious. It’s no longer a kids game as Hiro would say.

The animation is really solid which helps as well. You can’t really compare it to the first two seasons. Season 2 had good animation as well but the designs are a straight upgrade here and I would say the animation improved as well. You have some moments where the characters even get DBZ style auras now and some fights feel like they even have hand to hand with how the characters move with their blades.

Another big win for the series is the soundtrack. You can’t underestimate how much a good soundtrack will help take a series to the next level. Unfortunately most of the themes were never released and Youtube only has some of the episode ost but all of the lyrical songs are online. Rise Above The Storm and Swing Low are the top two with ease. All of the songs are solid though so the selection has improved a lot since season 1. These songs pump you up in the battle and the suspense themes leading up to the battles do the job too.

A top tier anime needs to be an all star in every category and that’s exactly what Beyblade achieves. The voice acting, writing, characters, animation, soundtrack, it’s all there. There’s just nothing to dislike in the series and each episode continues to add on to the previous one. Many characters get significant character arcs so nobody really ends as they started. They just keep on fighting to new heights.

Now’s a good time to talk about the characters and man are there a lot of them. So strap in because this is going to be a pretty big review. First up we have to talk about Tyson of course and he doesn’t disappoint. He’s always been a fairly head strong main character. I would say he was definitely the most hot blooded in V-Force but he certainly has a ton of moments like that here. One of his stand out moments is when he calls Ray out and refuses to fight Lee. That was crazy but set the stage as Tyson is not someone who will be disrespected without putting up a fight.

Any scene with Tyson is great. Even when he was being lifted several feet off the ground by Crusher, Tyson didn’t back off. His pure ability with a blade is second to none. It’s extremely difficult to have a masterful series without a top notch main character and fortunately Beyblade got a winner right off the gate.

Then you have his partner Daichi who is pretty fun. I’m still sad they had to cut out his subplots from the manga though. It was cool how we slowly got introduced to his character way before he ever met up with Tyson and friends. Here he just shows up out of nowhere but ultimately I still liked him. He’s definitely more crude than Tyson and friends and his confidence isn’t as well deserved but he has his moments.

I find it a bit funny how Kai seems to have nothing but disdain for him though as he falls asleep during their first match and in the second he chooses to forfeit instead of fight. I think it’s because Daichi doesn’t fit into his label of what a true Beyblader is. Daichi definitely has a heart for the game though even if it doesn’t show in the traditional sense and he even gets a good rivalry with Tala by the end.

Ray has always been one of the strongest members of the Bladebreakers and that doesn’t change here. He has incredible endurance, second only to Kai. At this point he has really mastered his blade. He seemed to be way more harsh to Tyson than anyone else when leaving the team but he definitely does take his Beyblading seriously. In a way you could consider him the secondary rival in Beyblade or just the 3rd strongest in the team. It’s always a fun spot to be in since you get a lot of hype around the board and it’s also good to have the distinction that you are the strongest aside from the MC and rival. Most series don’t have a resolute #3 like that.

He has to carry Lee in a lot of battles as well so it was tough to claw his way to the top. Still, Ray was up for the challenge and is definitely one of the best characters. Speaking of Lee, he really looks bad in this season. Almost every fight has someone overpowering him, outsmarting him, or just tricking the guy. Lee feels like a season 1 character in the worst way as his power level has not kept up. I felt bad for him after a while because it seemed like he could do nothing right. Whenever he tried to help it would just backfire.

I guess there was nobody stronger Ray could pick, but yeah Lee ended up losing almost every fight. In comparison, Max had the best teammate in Rick. You could make the case that Daichi’s a bit stronger but Rick’s very impressive from start to finish. He’s one of the meaner Beybladers and even participates in a lot of underground battles. Still, because of that he has honed his power to an incredible degree. Even Kai was not able to win in pure brawn and had to use his skill to win their fight.

Rick also has a theme song of sorts when he puts his boombox on. The guy doesn’t care that it’s loud, he just cranks up the volume and does whatever he wants. I liked his absolute confidence and I looked forward to his battle with Kai quite a lot. He’s not a team player but definitely an amaing character.

As for Max himself, he was always the nice guy of the 4. I found him to be the weakest main member of the Bladebreakers but it’s all close I suppose. He has a good match with Kai and gets a lot of good moments throughout the series. His defensive style holds him back in my eyes as attack power will almost always be the right way to go but it is undeniable that he is one of the top ranked fighters in the world. He’s a good character, Max may not stand out as much as the others like Ray, Kai, or Tyson, but he still puts in a good show.

Now lets talk about the best character in the series, Kai. This guy’s just incredible no matter how you slice it. Yeah, he always tends to betray Tyson but it’s so that he can fight him in the final round. You can’t fight your teammate after all and the only way to fight him at 100% is to have the world championships on the line. Tyson can’t hold back that way and it’s sure to be a great fight. I would make a solid case for Kai having the most natural talent among any Beyblade character.

His final fight with Brooklyn shows how he can adapt mid-fight and continue with new strategies. It’s always a lot of fun to see him battle and I’ve seen his duels many times. Kai has a cool demeanor about him and the season 3 costume was great. Kai’s just the perfect kind of rival. He’s trained to such a degree that most fights are boring to him at this point and he just wants a true challenge. He certainly puts up with a ton of punishment but it shows how much he loves the game as he gets back up each time.

Boris had a big role in season 1 so it was cool to see him return. The guy definitely lays it on rather thick with how he is a changed man and all of that. Honestly if he dialed it back just a bit his goals would actually be all right. He just had to ruin it by trying to be all controlling. If he hadn’t tried to force everyone to register and all that, I don’t think the heroes would have had a problem with him. Additionally, he actually did not cheat during the tournament which I was surprised about. Maybe to a degree he has started to change. He’s still a jerk but I wouldn’t call him evil anymore.

Garland is one of the new villains in the final arc and he was a lot of fun. The guy thinks he is destined for greatness due to his family history and his abilities are impressive. The fact that he could stalemate Kai speaks volumes. His fans should be satisfied with his showings and he gets more duels than just about anyone else in Bega. His hand to hand martial arts along with his play make him very memorable.

Same goes for Brooklyn and then some in terms of being a memorable character. He starts out as being rather aloof and bored of everything but during a duel his true sadistic self starts to appear. He really enjoys taunting Kai and then completely cracks during his battle with Tyson. This guy’s basically a super villain with how he has powers and his unnatural way of learning everything. He’s definitely one of the best villains in the series and I would put him as a high tier option in the all characters list. He’s not the kind of character you will forget.

Next up is Ming-Ming and she was a surprise hit. I ended up liking her way more than I expected. In part I’d give some credit to the dub voice as the Mini Moon voice is incredibly nostalgic but she also tended to exceed expectations. Not only did she crush just about every opponent in her way but she even won in her big tournament battle. It was hard to see that coming and she shut down all of her doubters. Ming-Ming can be a bit of a troll with how she toys with Hilary as well. Ming-Ming definitely earned her spot on the team.

Mystel gets the least to do from the main members though. For starters, he has no personal connection to the rest of the team or a sob story to fall back on. He’s just a mysterious guy who goes around playing Beyblade. In a way there’s a lot more you can explore with him. He’s certainly very talented and has a unique fighting style. He didn’t stand out to me compared to the others but was a good addition to the team.

Finally you have Crusher who is fighting in Beyblade while his sister is in the hospital with a serious condition. The stakes are higher for him than anyone else as the virtual damage seems to go to his sister. So if he falters in a match then she seems to falter in the hospital. Of course this could be dramatic timing but I can see it being linked since the spirit plays such a big role in Beyblade battles. It can give you great power like with Kai’s transformation or zap all of your strength like with Tyson.

Miguel’s team is the only one that I couldn’t find myself caring about during the tournament. It felt a lot like a similar team in season 2 who ended up cheating a bit. This guy may want to be a good Beyblader but as long as he cheats he will never be on that level which is a lesson Tyson gives him. Miguel does ultimately shape up but it takes him a long while. Maybe because it feels like an old character beat but I just never liked him much. His duel with Tyson was mainly just really fun because of all of Tyson’s trash talking and because every duel in the series is a blast. Miguel had some teammates like Mathilda and Claude but there wasn’t a lot for them to do. Claude was a tattletale who didn’t really help out so it’s not like I would become a fan of that guy either.

Their leader Barthez is effectively just a weaker version of Boris. He’s also in it for direct cheating a whole lot more. It did give Rick a good chance to shine though. At one point Barthez frames the PB All Stars which would usually throw the team into disarray but Rick couldn’t care less. He’s used to playing the villain after all and still won the fight without breaking a sweat. It was one of the earlier moments where I knew Rick was just built different. In short, Barthez makes other characters look good but I still wasn’t a fan of his.

Julia and Raul made for a much more interesting team. They are experts in tag team battles but Raul has developed an inferiority complex since Julia is always claiming victory. He feels like his skills aren’t up to par and gets a whole sub plot about it. They were a likable team and actually got more wins than I had been expecting. They’re a fun underdog team to root for and have a good sibling bond. They may fight a lot but ultimately they always stay close. It’s fitting that they would be a great tag team combo.

Their coach Romero also ends up getting a decent role as he helps Kai when he has to get used to a new Blade. The guy hadn’t done anything in Arc 1 so I thought he was just a forgotten character but he ended up doing quite a lot. I’m not a big fan or anything but my opinion of him definitely improved in Arc 2.

Kai’s partner Tala ended up looking solid as well. He’s one of the season 1 characters so I expected him to look really weak like Lee but this guy actually ended up putting in the work. He was able to contend with a lot of the big leaguers even to the end. He ended up with a tough fate that made him miss a good deal of Arc 2 but he left an impression. His ice attacks are cool and his rivalry with Daichi was fun. His other teammates Bryan and Spencer are the ones who got the shaft though. There just wasn’t a whole lot for them to do except to get wrecked by Garland.

Michael used to be the leader of the All Stars so it’s a bit weird seeing him on the bench the whole time. The dub also gave him a rather odd new voice that makes him sound a lot more whiny. Between that and him not winning a single duel in this season, it was a rough time for his fans. Emily and Eddy also don’t really do anything. I didn’t care for them much because they didn’t do anything to support Max either. It should have felt like a home team for him but that didn’t end up being the case until near the end.

Likewise, Ray’s old teammates didn’t get to do much aside from Lee. Mariah for example gets a duel here and there but that’s about it. Tao gets to appear more as he gives Ray a lot of advice but he had one of the only boring subplots in the series when he takes Tyson shopping. This guy always talks tough but never really contributes so I tend to just tune him out whenever he is on screen.

Ten you have the noncombatants like Hilary. She had a much bigger role in VForce but she is still around for moral support here. She gets along with Tyson a lot better now but they still fight on occasion. It would be nice if she could actually blade with the others so that she has a more active role in the story but at least she tries to help the team get Bey parts when Bega starts to ban everything.

Kenny definitely doesn’t look very good here as he ends up falling for Ming-Ming and just embarrassing himself the whole time. It would have been good if he could have kept some dignity but unfortunately that doesn’t happen so in Arc 2 he just looks dreadful at all times. Any scene with him is one where you will find yourself cringing in shame.

Finally, the last character to mention here is Hiro. He starts out in his Jin of the Gale form which was really cool before eventually appearing as Hiro. He is Tyson’s brother so as you can expect, he has some pretty good skills. He doesn’t actually get to duel a whole lot but he is a cool character. I really liked him as a mysterious figure who popped up out of nowhere and in that sense maybe it’s good that the anime kept him as nonexistent until this season. Whether he is a coach for Tyson’s team or the villains, he is very good at taking his squad to the next level.

He can be quite harsh on Kai though. Almost every interaction they have ends with Hiro picking on him. He even made Brooklyn fight Kai intentionally as a way to get Kai out of the picture. Hiro certainly doesn’t hold back but I would have liked to have seen him fight more. His only real full fight was when he defeated Ray so we do know that he is a championship caliber player but it also leaves you wanting more.

Surprisingly the Bit Beasts are really not a factor this time around. They were a big deal in V Force but in this show they may as well not even exist. They are only mentioned once in a while but aren’t a big deal anymore. I don’t really mind either way but it’s just odd to see them effectively written out like this.

As a final note, I was glad that Tyson and the others beating the singers who were parading around in front of BEGA. When you start a new arc you usually expect the heroes to lose in the opening round but they managed to stay strong and clutch it out. It was an excellent way to start the second arc. We got a great duel and the heroes kept their hype. It was a nice way to subvert expectations.

Overall, What else can I say? G-Revolution is absolutely amazing and an anime I highly recommend checking out ASAP. Gems like this don’t come every day so you really want to dive in when one is discovered. Beyblade has always been a franchise I was eager to start and it’s been living up to the reputation so far. It’ll be really tough for Metal or Burst to pass this one, but it’s Beyblade so anything’s possible. I’d really like a revival of the original timeline someday though. With everything getting revivals nowadays though who knows…maybe it is in the cards.

Overall 9/10

Beyblade: V-Force Review


Beyblade is ready to make its big return with this second season. The original Beyblade season was great, no doubt about that. However, this season takes things to a completely new level as it easily jumps up to one of the best anime out there. That’s right, this one is an easy 9 no questions asked. You’ll get to see a ton of hype duels and a bunch of great new characters. Effectively this season accomplishes everything that the first did and then even improves upon it.

The season starts with explaining that the Bladebreakers have gone their separate ways. Effectively the group has broken up since each member has gone their separate ways. Unfortunately a group of mysterious individuals appear and manage to defeat or at least tie every member of the Bladebreakers. Tyson in particular gets slammed twice by the mysterious Ozuma. These new enemies intend to steal their bit beasts so the Bladebreakers decide to reunite to stop them. This group known as the Sacred Shields aren’t the only group after them though. You’ve also got a group of scientists who keep on sending bounty hunters and trained professionals after them as well. With everyone wanting a piece of the team, can the heroes really escape?

The first episodes are really about establishing the new group led by Ozuma and allowing the heroes to get used to Bey battles at this level again. One thing I was surprised about was Kai’s sudden retirement. That plot didn’t really work for me. So Kai retired because there was nobody left who was worthy to fight and yet it’s not like he beat Tyson the last time so why retire? You’d think he would at least want to end on a win first before stepping out of the game and Wyatt even points that out. Wyatt’s a kid at school who knew Kai and his role is actually rather big due to the influence he left behind on Kai. I wasn’t a fan of the guy personally and stealing someone’s Beyblade is never the right answer. Still, he was right that Kai shouldn’t just ignore a fight like this, especially when someone is targeting him.

Kai does recover from the slow start though and did put up a good fight against his opponent. In general the Saint Shields are a lot more interesting than the scientist villains so whenever the focus was on them that was definitely a good thing. The season really started out with a bang by introducing these Saint Shields and having them easily dismantle the main characters. They didn’t waste any time with that episode 1 fight coming in to the mix of a new rock song. That has to be one of the most influential fights in the series just because of how sudden it was. I always like the plotline where a hero just became world champion or beat the best there was and suddenly is defeated by a new challenger. It really establishes the new villain as being tough.

Naturally this can be tough to execute because you also might just not buy into it. Like Tyson was shattering universes with his Beyblade and now he can’t beat this guy? In some ways I would say they’ve scaled down the feats from the first season so don’t expect the Beyblades to look quite as powerful. Still, the intensity is always present in the battles which is the important thing. The animation is a lot different for the actual Beybattles here but I was definitely enjoying them quite a lot in the season. In general I would even say the battles were better here. In part because the season had the heroes powering up a lot more.

You could mistake this for DBZ as the characters start yelling and powering up their Beyblades. This was executed exceptionally well and really made you engaged in what was about to happen next. The character designs aren’t quite as good as season 1 though even if I think the animation is a little better. The characters just don’t look nearly as powerful. Tyson was ripped in season 1 and now he looks like a kid. Kai’s new outfit also isn’t nearly as cool as the old one. They do keep their strength though even if it doesn’t show like Tyson being able to race across the entire city. At the very end of the season we also get some power levels introduced to the series which was cool. I had definitely not been expecting that.

So the first half of the season is really solid but it’s the final chunk where the series kicks it into high gear. First, with the scientists out of the way, we get the final battles with the Saint Shields. One of the fights takes place during a rainy battle at the amusement park which was a lot of hype. Kai and Ray got to tag team against one of the big opponent teams. Then we had Ozuma and Tyson finally have their big rematch. It was a terrific way to end the arc and you couldn’t ask for better.

The final arc is the best though. A new kid named Zeo has been hanging around with the heroes for a while. He even saved them from the Saint Shields at one point. Well, he goes from being a happy, mild mannered kid to a really intense villain almost over night. The heroes aren’t sure what to do about this yet but there isn’t much time to think about it. The World Championships are starting up again so the Bladebreakers have to defend their title. This time the tournament is in a 2 on 2 setting though where the teams compete in a best of 3 set, one at a time. The bladebreakers split into two teams. You also have the Saint Shields stepping in, the hunters King and Queen, two of the international fighters from the earlier team that got mind controlled and of course Zeo’s team. That means that you have every big character in the season all rolled into one big tournament.

It would have been fun to have seen some of the season 1 guys as well but to be honest most of them would probably get stomped and the season 2 fighters are more interesting anyway. The more the better though if you wanted to make the tournament last a few more episodes. Every single duel in this tournament is incredible and a big part of why this season will be so hard to beat. Every duel just draws you in because of how strong each character’s motivation is. For example, I would say the big highlight battles in the tournament are Ozuma vs Zeo, Kai vs Zeo, and of course Tyson vs Zeo. There are a lot of other hype battles to be sure but in each fight the hero really wants to take Zeo down no matter what.

This leads to a ton of solid back and forth. The soundtrack is also so amazing in the season that each duel is really built up. The first season’s soundtrack was already excellent and this one took it to the next level. It reduced the amount of time the weaker songs played and even introduced some new ones. Swing Low is the standout theme here for sure which always shows up when the opponent is dangerous. Whenever you hear that theme you know things are about to get real.

This climax can hold its own with any anime. Then you also have the fun tournament meetup scene where the fighters get to interact. It’s a small thing but I always love to see this moment especially when it leads to a little fighting the way that this one did. King and Queen definitely love to stir the pot. They are even bold enough to directly cheat in one of the tournament battles. If you ask me that should have automatically disqualified them but of course they are allowed to proceed a bit since the judges just want to see good battles. Otherwise you feel like the Saint Shields may have actually won that battle. I was surprised at how quickly King turned over a new leaf by the end though. Hopefully they return at some point.

Tyson is a fantastic main character as always. You’ll notice that he does seem to be a lot more tense than usual here though. He picks fights with the characters quite a lot to the point where he is always breaking up the band. Being the champion of the world has certainly gotten to him. That said, his skills are still the real deal. If not for Dragoon chickening out on him he may have very well had fewer losses by the end of the series. When he’s not blowing up at everyone Tyson also does have a ton of great lines where he does pat himself on the back. A high energy main character like Tyson tends to always be a lot of fun. He enhances every scene he is in and is just fun to root for. He gives a good amount of pep talks as well. I’d still go with Kai as the best character but it’s awful close.

Then you have Ray who is the team’s consistent third strongest member as always. He is a blast to have around and I always like when a series has the big three established. Think One Piece, Saint Seiya, DBZ, etc. You can always count on Ray to go in there and get some wins. In some ways he even looks better than Tyson as Ray never even entertains the idea of cheating while the others get tempted to do so during the tournament. Ray is all about fighting with honor and to the end. His fights tend to get more intense than the others with how much physical punishment he takes, but Ray always gets back up. It’s too bad that he was the only one who didn’t get to fight Zeo, that would have been fun.

Max is around the whole time so he has a pretty big role but he always tends to get overshadowed by the other members. His Beyblade fighting style is all about defense and to his credit it is handled rather well. He is always relevant in the battles and gets a good fight to end the series. I’m not the biggest fan of Max but he’s fun enough and a good friend to have. At the end of the day he’s a nice guy who fights fair so what’s not to like right?

Kai is the main rival and so of course he is a blast here. Again, I wasn’t big on his first episode though with the whole retiring and then mellowing out. It just didn’t feel like Kai, especially just letting an opponent stomp him like that. As the season went on he quickly rose back to his old levels though and that was great to see. He really serves as a mentor to the group and was probably the only one actually making sure Hilary was okay during the big fights like saving her from the boulder and a big fall. Kai was also determined to stop the part hunters and did a great job. He always brings a ton of intensity to the battles which is important.

Hilary is a new addition to the cast and she’s fun enough. She gets a lot of fun banter with Tyson. Tyson certainly takes a lot of shots at her but she can dish them out just as well which makes for a pretty good balance. If she could duel that would be even better since she could help out in the climax but as it is she’s solid. I prefer her to Kenny who is technically more important to the battles but at the same time I’ve just never been a big fan. He should duel at this point and he is always doubting the team and putting them through a lot of training. Dizzy doesn’t do much as the A.I. but she gets some good one liners and tends to be pretty sarcastic the whole time.

Lets talk about some of the other big characters here. First up is Zeo of course since he is the big villain. He was a fun hero so it made for a fun character arc. I do have to say right off the bat though that I still don’t buy how he was able to take on the complete range of Saint Shields with a single blow and then go back to rookie status after that. I wouldn’t say Beyblade is the tightest when it comes to power levels but that just felt like a stretch. None of the characters seemed to think it was off either. Even if it was a surprise attack, the match should have just kept going.

I also have to admit Zeo’s reasoning for turning evil is very weak and does make him look bad. At the end of the day he turned against his friends incredibly easy which was disappointing for them. Zeo makes for an excellent villain but I will have to say that I’ll remember him as a traitor pretty well too. So, great character but his betrayal was too sudden and too easy. I did like the explanation for why he was so strong by the end though, that did make a lot of sense.

Then you have the various Doctors. Doctor K probably had the most personality since she actually got kicked out and then went right back into the ring with her own team. You have to admire her persistence that’s for sure. She even grabbed a gun to try and shoot the tops herself so you can’t say she does things halfway. Then there’s Doctor B who gets scared a lot. He does a lot of the grunt work of actually challenging the team and bringing the robots so kudos for that. He’s just never really much of a threat though.

Dr Zagart is someone you don’t mess with though. I’d have liked to see him duel a bit too but he does have much more of an imposing presence about him. The guy feels like a main villain and you can tell that he’ll back it up as needed. Much more so than Gideon who basically gets shoved aside and frightened by all of the other villains. You feel bad for him because essentially he is a henchman who is forced to act like a leader until he is tossed aside. Cool character design though. By the end of the series there are so many layers to the hierarchy in the organization that it’s quite impressive.

King and Queen are added near the end of the series but they leave an immediate effect. What better way to solidify yourself as a threat than taking Kai down right? I wasn’t exactly expecting Kai to be dispatched like that so this was a pretty epic way to introduce them. Both of these characters make for really epic fighters. I also like how both of them are ready to jump in when one of them is in trouble. Queen cheats on King’s behalf the first time against Kai and King returns the favor against Mariam. Their costumes are pretty cool too and at the end of the day the impressive thing is really that their skills are the real deal. Even without crazy power ups they were doing well.

That’s one thing you’ll see a lot of here compared to the first season though, rampant cheating everywhere. You have characters using Beyblades that keep on regenerating. Then you have the 2 on 1 battles like I just mentioned with King and Queen. Kai gets double teamed, Mariam gets double teamed, it happens a lot in the series. The most annoying part is when the heroes just get frozen though. If you see your teammate being double teamed you’re really obligated to jump into the fray immediately if you ask me. Anything less and you’re not watching your partner’s back as closely as you should.

Time to talk about the Saint Shields. Mariam gets a lot of development in the group. I like her confidence and she does like a clean fight. You could say she appreciates it more than some of the other members who just want to win at any cost. She certainly taunts Dunga quite a bit but the group is pretty close knit so they definitely get along well when it counts. Dunga is also a solid fighter although he’s naturally not quite as charismatic as Mariam. His brute strength takes him pretty far in the series but ultimately falters when it counts.

Then you have Joseph who probably gets the smallest role out of the group. He just doesn’t have a true character arc next to the others but does have consistent skills. The best member has to be Ozuma though. He seems to take this mission the most personal when it comes to trapping the Bit Beasts. He has a lot of passionate duels and the way he stole the show in the first episode of V Force was just incredible. His entrance was absolutely perfect and his victory over Tyson was decisive. There was nothing questionable, no dirty tricks or cheating. He just won straight up.

Then we have some of the other characters who appeared briefly and then got turned by the Psychic team. Salima tried to stay strong and even did some detective work but ultimately her will power was no match for the power of the dark blades. It was definitely unfortunate but nobody in the series seems to be able to resist its powers so she isn’t alone in this. Kane is another such victim. He was a decent rival to Tyson but you did feel like he had no real shot once he was a good guy again despite a pretty impressive intro. Both of these characters were pretty interesting. They got overshadowed but had a good run. I can’t say much for their two partners though. They were definitely not very impressive in the slightest.

Wyatt is someone who’s worth more than a mention since he was integral to Kai’s plot. My main issue with him is how weak willed he was. First he stole Kai’s Beyblade and then after that he was very quick to turn to the dark side again. I can see why Kai didn’t want to train him because this kid absolutely could not be trusted. No matter how many sympathetic flashbacks the guy got, I was never a fan. Finally we have Gordo who was Zeo’s partner in the finals. It’s clear that the whole purpose of his character was so Zeo could have a partner but the guy was fun. I liked his design which is a total reference to DBZ and the guy can fight so he was a worthy partner.

Right from the first episode V-Force establishes the stakes as being quite high. These fighters are extremely powerful and it’ll be fun to see Season 3 up the stakes again. The question is, can they top this one? The fun part with Beyblade is you know there is always a chance even if it’s hard to picture when you’re coming off the incredible highs of this climax. The season has incredible replay value to the point where you could easily go back to watch some of the big fights again right now. While I’ve mostly been praising the second half of the show, I do want to say the first half is great as well. A lot of the Saint Shield battles are there after all and you’re guaranteed a lot of great moments with the cast filled with action and intensity. You can’t go wrong there.

You can also tell how impressive a show is when there’s a fight where the outcome is already all but determined and they still keep you invested. In a fight like Kai vs Zeo you already know there’s no way Kai can end the arc prematurely. At the same time you want to see just how close he can get. Even fights with throwaway villains end up being a lot of fun because of how well the show executes the battles. There’s also a lot of solid character development everywhere. The main characters are obvious, but take someone like Hilary. She starts out despising Beyblade and giving Tyson a hard time but by the end she is as invested as the rest of the characters. Admittedly she was a lot of fun as one of the antagonists but as an ally she’s cool to. The show has a lot of fun with the dynamics and banter. It almost goes without saying but the writing is absolutely phenomenal here. The trash talking is top tier with Tyson getting a hype line about how he’s seen better duelists in Kindergarten at one point when fighting Ozuma. Lines like that are why Tyson’s still the Beyblade champ.


Overall, Beyblade V-Force is a terrific anime. It’s just incredible how intense the duels are and how excellent the characters are. You can really get behind this as one of the all time greats. I can really see why Beyblade got to be so great. There’s nothing that this show doesn’t execute at a masterful level. It definitely deserves to be up there with the all time greats like Yugioh and Cardfight. The best part is knowing that Beyblade still has tons of episodes and seasons left to go. If you haven’t watched Beyblade yet, you definitely need to change that as soon as possible.

Overall 9/10

Beyblade Review


Beyblade has always been one of the biggest anime franchises left that I had not seen yet. In fact I would argue that it was by far the biggest franchise I had not started. Not that honor would probably go to Bakugan, Pretty Cure, or Duel Masters. It’s a lot more debatable now though while Beyblade was unquestionably the top spot. Well, it easily lives up to the hype. This initial season was fantastic and really contains everything you could want in such a title. The cast is incredible and you really feel pumped thanks to the excellent action and soundtrack. It’s easy to see why this one hit it big.

There’s quite a lot going on here but the series opens up by introducing us to Tyson. He’s a kid who really likes the game of Beyblade. One day his life is forever changed when a bully shows up and beats the best player in school. Tyson isn’t about to let that slide so he takes that guy down and realizes he has what it takes to compete in the big tournaments. Tyson gradually meets with other skilled Beybladers like Max, Ray, and Kai. Together they form the Bladebreakers and aim to clam the top spot in the world. They’ll have to win a lot of tournaments along the way if they want to reach that title. It means travelling to far off places such as Russia and England and dueling everyone in their path. Not every match is in an official tournament setting either as the Dark Bladers and evil scientists also want to get in their way.

With 50+ episodes you can tell that there are going to be a whole lot of characters and story adventures to cover here so prepare for a pretty long review. There’s so much to cover that it’s always tough to know where to start but lets go with the technical areas here. The animation is quite excellent as you would expect. You really feel the intensity behind the Beyblade battles. It’s all nice and hand drawn which allows the tops to really have a lot of great movement. For the most part the power levels don’t get too crazy but by the end of the series you have dimensional rifts being opened up by the Beyblade’s power so they still shouldn’t be underestimated.

I also have to give the character designs some major props as well. The characters are extremely built considering that they’re just kids. You certainly would not want to mess with these guys that’s for sure since it looks like they could wreck you in a fist fight as well. It helps to add a sense of danger to the series. For example, there’s one episode where Kai has to infiltrate a facility and tape out a bunch of drones and automatic defenses. Between the serious character design and excellent animation in that episode, it got pretty tense. You always knew the series was not pulling any punches.

As for the soundtrack, it’s pretty large. There are a ton of themes here and they’re all pretty great. Sure, there may be one or two songs that don’t land if you were to really go back and listen to all of them but for the most part they’re all pretty fitting and get you into the moment. One song that really sticks out is Kai’s theme. It’s more of a rap song than the others and seems to be about someone underestimating him. It really works well as his “evil” song during part of Kai’s character arc. It just felt like the beginning of a new era and was a perfect way to launch the climax of the series.

The pre arc of the series is really about Tyson meeting up with his future teammates Max, Kai, and Ray. They all get along pretty quickly aside from Kai who’s always pretty aloof. Interestingly Kai is really the team captain for the first tournament which means that he doesn’t get to actually fight much. That’s the only thing that can be unfortunate as until the final tournament Kai is basically on the bench permanently. He only gets to duel occasionally when someone is injured or in a match outside the ring. Since at that point Kai was the big fighter it would have been nice to have seen him duel a little more. Still, we got a lot of different matches this way which was always a lot of fun.

While all the tournaments are leading up to the World Championship you could say that the others are all part of one grand arc. The heroes get to fight Ray’s old team, then they fight Max’s Mom’s team, and then they fight Kai’s team relating to his past. Each team tends to have something to do with one of the members which makes for a pretty good dynamic there. Each arc consistently gives great moments so there’s never an arc that just feels dull. It sort of goes without saying but the final arc is the best one. We get a lot of great character moments with Kai and the final villains just feel like huge threats. Certainly not the kind of guys you can afford to underestimate. It’s also always a good sign for the show to end on the best arc.

The writing with the show is definitely excellent as well. There are countless great moments and one liners. It’s part of what helps make the character cast so great. If I had any issue with the series it would be that the power levels can be a tad inconsistent. It’s hard to see the White Fang being any kind of threat to the All Starz based on what we’ve seen from them. Their feat of busting a boulder was also good enough where you don’t see how Max was able to compete much in the tournament. At the end of the day though it looks like the energy of the Beyblade depends on the owner’s will power so I suppose a lot of that is really subject to change here.

As you can tell I was quite impressed with this series throughout. It really just kept slamming home runs throughout. Same with the character cast and I suppose now is a good time to launch into those guys. First lets go with the Bladebreakers. As the leader of the group Tyson’s a pretty incredible character. For starters he’s never afraid to jump into battle. When the bully attacks his school Tyson is the first person to jump into action. Similarly whenever any opponent shows up disrespecting Tyson or his friends our lead doesn’t take that lying down. He’s always ready to jump in and put an end to that. His skills are also the real deal. Tyson is extremely confident in his abilities but it is absolutely earned. The fact of the matter is that Tyson is always taking care of his business so why shouldn’t he be confident?

He quickly became the leader of the group and while all of their skills remained fairly equal for a while, by the end Tyson easily surpassed the others in ability. His bond with Dragoon is really strong and helped him unlock a completely new level. Then you’ve got his rival Kai who is the best character in the series. Not only are his skills able to match Tyson’s for a while to the point where he even surpassed Tyson, but Kai is also good at fighting outside of the ring. One of his pretty hype moments was when he infiltrated the villain base as I mentioned earlier. Kai’s definitely more of a loner compared to the others and rarely gets in on the team atmosphere. He does mellow out a bit near the end of course but otherwise he keeps that calm and cool persona throughout.

His Dranzer has to be the coolest Beyblade in the series as well. I also liked the Dark Dranzer form quite a bit. The sheer power level on that thing was insane. Naturally you don’t want to be using an evil Beyblade for long but if Kai had kept that then it’s hard to see him losing to just about anyone. There is a brief moment where Kai turns on the team for power and how much you like the character will likely depend on how you feel about Kai’s heel turn there. I was all for it to be honest. You always want to see the rival turn evil at least once and it was a good excuse to see him take on all of the Bladebreakers.

I would consider Ray to be the third member of the group. In most series you’ve got the big 2 (Main Character and Rival) but then there is usually a third character who is under the top 2 but still considerably stronger to the rest. For example I would say that is Gohan in DBZ, Todoroki in My Hero Academia, Shiryu in Saint Seiya, and T.K. in Digimon. Ray can’t quite defeat Tyson or Kai but he’s still a very intense fighter. He takes a lot more punishment than the others as well as he gets beaten up to the point where his clothes are shredded and his hair comes undone. Nothing is able to take him out of the fight as long as he’s still conscious though. His Drigger is a fitting Bit Beast for Ray as well due to his aggressive fighting style.

I was definitely a pretty big fan of Ray. He’s a lot of fun to watch and you always feel like he has a chance at victory. Then you’ve got Max. From the Bladebreakers who can fight he’s easily my least favorite member although I wouldn’t call him bad. He doesn’t take things as seriously as the first 3 and isn’t really one of the stronger members. That being said, he does get a significant power up near the end which boosts his Beyblade’s defense to an extremely high level. You could make a very strong case that at the very end of the series he actually surpassed Kai and Ray. Not that this is likely to stick for the second season but at least the writers threw him a bone. He gets a big role in the tournament against the American team since his Mom is their captain. It made for a lot of drama that’s for sure even if Max usually ended up getting psyched out in the end.

Then we have Kenny who is more of a coach than an actual fighter. He mostly consults with Dizzi before and after every match as he gives tips to the team. I wasn’t a fan of Kenny. Part of the issue is that since he can’t actually play, it’s hard to really buy into him giving the characters such critiques. He wouldn’t really know how to improve their game if not for Dizzi giving him the play by plays. At least in the Dub version. Kenny also tends to complain an awful lot and doesn’t have fun like the other characters. he would have to easily be the weakest main character and one of the lest interesting ones in the whole show.

Time to talk about the White Tigers. They certainly made for a good threat early on. The leader is Lee and he’s pretty upset with Ray for leaving which you can understand to an extent. It sounds like Ray could have explained things better. Of course once you’re in the ring then there’s no chance for mercy. He was a good villain although it was hard to buy him being able to match the American representatives later on. He must have gotten a lot stronger to compete with them at that point. Mariah gets the biggest role aside from Lee and is also one of the most impressive ones. I still remember how she shattered a boulder with a single swing from her Blade. From the whole show that’s still one of the best feats. It’s why it was hard to buy into her not doing so well in the actual tournament but I could definitely see her getting some good wins later on. She’s a fun Blader and one who is easy to root for. It’s clear that she has honed her skills to a great extent.

The other two members Kevin and Gary don’t get to do nearly as much. Both of them seem to be a lot weaker than the main two members. Gary’s your classic power type fighter while Kevin is more about sneaking around an opponent. The fact that Kevin tried to take down his opponents with trickery outside the ring tells you all you need to know about his skills. He was benched from the team for good reason. Not to say he’s awful or anything but he can’t keep up with the other two.

Then we have the All Stars led by Michael. This team was definitely a lot of fun, I’m always up for seeing an American based team appear and make some noise. Michael was also a solid power hitter even if he didn’t get to duel until pretty deep into the arc. I’d say he’s definitely the strongest member of the team even if they sometimes hint that Emily can keep up with him as well. He has a lot of confidence and is a pretty tough blader. While he is no exception among all the side characters who get surpassed by the end he has a solid road to that point.

Emily is the next strongest member of the group and she’s pretty solid as well. She’s more about analytics than high energy and just pushing her way to the top. That said, it’s an effective tactic which seems to work out pretty well for her. She certainly enjoys messing with Max. Then there’s Steven, the Football member of the group. I like his direct, no nonsense style of blading. He goes all in on trying to take these guys down for the count. Steven definitely had a lot of great moments here. Then you’ve got Eddy who is good friends with Steven. Both of them seem to be pretty equal in strength and both have a lot of confidence. Again, you can see why the All Starz are such a great team. Pretty much all of their members are on point.

Judy is the coach of the team and as Max’s mom she gets a pretty big role here. Naturally she is a bit torn on who to root for and at times it seems like she is rooting for the Bladebreakers. It was good to have a parent who is actually here and contributing to the story though. Tyson’s Dad could learn a thing or two. Even Kai’s grandfather to be honest. The guy seems to be a villain with some big plans but he really has almost 0 impact in the series. You could blink and miss the guy’s scenes to be honest. Boris has a much bigger role as a villain. Now that’s a guy who makes his presence in the series felt and has a lot of pretty good master plans. You don’t want to mess with this guy.

We can’t forget Tyson’s grandfather Ryu. This guy’s pretty fun. He definitely loves being the center of attention and at the same time doesn’t care if people think he looks kind of crazy. He’s just determined to have a good time. Ryu can’t fight in the world of Beyblades but he does teach Tyson how to fight hand to hand which is still very helpful. Nobody will get the best of Tyson in the real world. As for Mr. Dickenson, he’s good for scheduling fights but doesn’t really come through when it counts. I wouldn’t say that I’m a big fan of the guy although I do like how occasionally he’ll launch a secret plan. It shows that he is at least fairly cunning.

There’s one group known as the Dark Bladers who to me seem like the most pointless characters in the show. No offense to these guys of course, but in their very first big appearances in the “New World” they all get wrecked by the European champs. There’s no point where you can take them seriously for the rest of the show. None of the characters were all that interesting either. It’s a cool name too so it kind of feels wasted on these guys. They’re like B leaguers thinking that they can actually take on the real characters and naturally that does not go over well.

If anything the big villain team led by Tala should have been called the Dark Bladers. Tala was a great villain. He didn’t get to do a whole lot at times but he has a terrific character design and is definitely a real threat which is what you want to see here. He can definitely hold his own with the other characters even if you feel like he wouldn’t stand a chance at all against Kai and Dark Dranzer. His only chance was with Kai in his normal form. Tala really took away the character chances from his teammates though. For example Spencer seems like a pretty tough guy. In fact his water battle was really good and solidified him as a true threat. He never got to duel again after that though so it was a very brief appearance. Same for Bryan. He’s clearly hooked on fighting and is like a battle machine. A lot of potential there but he never really got to take advantage of it.

Finally we have the European fighters. Oliver is pretty interesting since he seems very two faced. He acts nice to the Bladebreakers most of the time and then suddenly he’ll be insulting them behind their backs. As a result I definitely got to give this guy a thumbs down. The fact that the team did not participate in the tournaments because they were unable to work as a team was also pretty interesting. He is a good fighter though. Then you have Enrique who fights in a Colosseum which is a pretty nice power move. How many people can say they’ve done that in the past right? He’s definitely more of a flirt than the others but he hasn’t let his skills waiver so he clearly still practices. I’m not a big fan but he’s okay.

The other two players are a lot better. Johnny is a pretty tough fighter and he is always ready to rock and roll. From the 4 characters he probably gets the smallest role but he’s always a lot of fun. His skills are the real deal and he’s probably the strongest on the team aside from Robert. Robert is the best of the 4 of course. He’s very emotionless so it can be a bit jarring when he tries to be one of the gang and have some fun at the end. In general the European group is pretty interesting because they are all supposed to be top tier fighters but they spend a lot of their time getting wrecked or dodging the big fights so it’s hard to take them seriously.

The show did a great job of having the power levels slowly go up though. Tyson started out as a local fighter who wasn’t really ready to take on any of the bigger members to being a world champion class fighter by the end. At the end Tyson was taking on multiple fighters at once with no real effort which is impressive. Of course the power scaling means that nobody should ever be able to keep up with him again but I suppose with new technology that helps even things out as the excuse can be that new Beyblades have been created which just have better specs.

Overall, Beyblade is just a great series. You can easily get into it and just watch at any time. It’s got the right balance of action and solid character moments. There are a ton of duels here and the replay value is quite high as a result. These episodes really hold up to a rewatch and have a lot of replay value. I look forward to seeing if season 2 can match this one. After all here we got all of the hype initial meetings but of course sequels are always pretty nostalgic when you get to see all the characters return. Either way this is definitely a must watch anime.

Overall 8/10

Beyblade Evolution Review


This may possibly be the weakest Beyblade title and the series hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders before. I thought that the series was on an upwards trend after playing the last game, but this one brings the series down once more. It takes away all of the strengths of Metal Masters and goes back into a control scheme that is even more obnoxious than blowing into the DS like the first title. Sorry guys but this is one game that you should stay far, far away from.

Beyblade Evolution doesn’t really have a story which doesn’t help matters. Effectively you are playing as a new kid who doesn’t know the first thing about the game, but wants to compete in the World Championship. He’s clearly not a main character who thinks things through all that well, but I suppose you have to admire his enthusiasm at the very least. You go around fighting people and playing minigames until the tournament starts. Win or lose you are sent back to level 1 to replay the entire game again…….

The game uses a day system which is one of my least favorite gameplay styles. Several games I’ve played have used this including Armored Core, Megaman Zero, Pikmin, and Yugioh GX Duel Academy. It’s never once worked out as a positive. I get that it is a bit more realistic this way, but it forces you to hurry through the game and you can’t enjoy it as much. While I’m not the biggest fan of Majora’s Mask, at least it doesn’t trap you in the days the way that the others do. Beyblade Evolution has 50 days. Each action you take aside from accessing the main menu counts as a day. You want to go to the shop to buy some parts? That’ll take up a whole day. Wanna play a minigame to earn money? Another day gone. There are only 50 days in the game so you’ll very quickly find yourself at the very end.

This title seems to be built on the assumption that you’ll want to play through the game multiple times because there isn’t enough time to do everything otherwise. There is little reward for beating opponents either since you don’t get any money or parts. It’ll help you unlock more people to fight, but why would you want to do that? The most efficient way to play through the game seems to be doing the minigames. Some of them are quite easy so you can S rank them on hard and get about 3800 points. With these points you can buy superior parts and build yourself a pretty great Beyblade. Keep on doing this until day 47. Use the next two days to clean out both shops. (Why are there 2 shops? To make sure you waste 2 days buying parts instead of one.) You’ll have to hope that RNG is on your side though as the shops cycle through inventory quite frequently so if you pick the wrong day to go in they will only have weak points and you’ll have to waste another day to go in and get what you want.

There isn’t an easy way to see what parts you do have though. Your best bet is to go into the sell window and look at your parts that way which is a lot of extra clicks. There isn’t even an inventory option to see how many total parts you have out of the full collection. There’s a lot of quality of life updates that just aren’t present in this game. When you think you have a good Beyblade, head to the tournament and hope that the force is on your side. Be careful…skill doesn’t play much of a role here.

I was surprised to see that you cannot move your Beyblade. Basically you launch the Beyblade by flipping your 3DS backwards (which is really bad for the screen so I’d recommend holding the screen in place but it will mess up your launch) and then you watch it fight the opponent. I couldn’t move it in the slightest with the stylus, D Pad, or by moving the 3DS. You just have to watch it roll around. The only support you can give it is by shooting energy into the Beyblade by aiming with the motion controls. After that you can watch grimly as the A.I. jumps off the track and you lose by default. In the big tournaments you need 4 points to win the match. Winning through survival is one point so you have to win 4 times while if the opponent knocks you out of the ring they get 3 points in an instant. It’s really not very balanced if you ask me.

There’s no fun to be had with the gameplay. I want to be able to move my Beyblade and feel like I’m actually doing something. Otherwise I may as well be watching two A.I.s going at it because that’s really what’s happening. Half the time sending energy to your Beyblade doesn’t even help much since they just spin out of control. I didn’t think the gameplay could get worse than the first DS one I played, but it definitely happened. I’ll even take the microphone gimmick over the motion controls. I already didn’t like motion controls in the Wii, I can guarantee you that they are even worse on the 3DS. The 3DS wasn’t made for motion, I don’t see why a game was developed with that as the intent.

Ah well, the graphics aren’t bad I suppose. The character designs are nice enough and we get some decent backdrops. There aren’t a lot of areas to see though as it’s the same locations over and over with the same re-used character models. All of the tournament cutscenes start out the same way. The amount of recycled footage is pretty staggering to say the least. As for the soundtrack, it’s fairly generic. There isn’t a lot of variety to be found here.

In terms of replay value the game is pretty light. You’ll be ready to leave as soon as the 1-2 hour playthrough to day 50 is over. After that you can keep on playing to either get a better ending or get all of the parts. Those are the only things left to do anyway and for the latter you’ll never know if you have anything because the game never gives you a place to check how many parts are in the game. With the shop constantly changing inventory it’s also hard to keep track of how many are left. It’s a bit of a tough predicament.

Overall, Beyblade Evolution is a game that I’d advise against purchasing. It’s just not very good. It’s barely even a game and more like you are just watching a demonstration among the computers who are fighting to see who is the best. That’s not very entertaining if you ask me. I now own all of the main Beyblade games from the modern era and I can see why they haven’t made any in a while. The series doesn’t seem to understand how to make the series fun which is surprising because it should be pretty clear. Look at the Gamecube Beyblade game as an example of how to do one of these titles. Now that was a masterpiece!

Overall 3/10

Beyblade: Metal Masters Review


It’s time to take a look at a Beyblade game that I’ve owned for a very long time. I had been waiting until I had Metal Fusion and now that I beat that one it was time to look at the other big Metal game. This one is a huge improvement over the other title. For starters the controls have been fixed and there isn’t a pesky leveling up system this time around. It’s an arcade mode type game so it only takes around 20 minutes to beat a story but there are a lot of different characters to help with the replay value.

The basic plot is that the main character has been offered an invite to the latest big Beyblade tournament. He decides to enter of course, but it turns out that there may be more to this tournament than it would seem at first glance. Yes, this is the plot of every Beyblade game but in its defense it’s a plot that is always quite solid. Who wouldn’t want a tournament? The fun part about the concept is that it’s a good excuse to get all of the big characters in the series to meet up once again. There are around 5-7 rounds int he tournament and then you’ll have completed the Arcade route.

This game is fairly easy unlike the last one. The goal is to knock your opponent out of the ring or smash him to bits. Gone are the days of using the stylus and the game even gives you a pop up at the beginning letting you know that the stylus will not be used at all. It was probably the best message I’ve ever seen in a game like this. I was pretty stoked right off the bat. So you use the D pad to move your Beyblade. Press the A button twice to use your standard dash attack. B is to jump, Y to shield, and X to use your super attacks. I couldn’t find out how to use the final smash but you won’t need it. My advice is to spam the dash attack. It does a lot of damage and also has a chance to push the other Beyblade out of bounds which results in an auto win. You just can’t top that.

The game does force you to think about things a little more towards the end though. One enemy has a flame tornado and another has a suction ability so if you just run into them then you’ll be defeated. In these cases it’s best to take a punish approach. Wait for the opponent to use a move and then hit them. At that point retreat and then start over from scratch. Rinse and repeat your way to victory. I don’t imagine any match will take you more than 2-3 tries to clear it. It’s not a game that was made to be super difficult or anything.

So, the game is pretty short as I mentioned. An arcade mode is around 20 minutes. If this game was still at full price then I’d say that it wasn’t worth it. You can get the game for 5-10 bucks nowadays though. It’s also worth noting that there are around 30 fighters here so if you multiply that all you’ve got a game that’s around 10 hours. That’s pretty good right? There’s barely a story though so there’s not a lot of incentive to playing the game with everyone. Most games nowadays I don’t do all of the Arcade Modes but it really depends. If it’s something like Marvel vs Capcom or Dengeki Bunko then you can bet that I’ll at least play most of the stories for all the characters I like a lot. For a game like Beyblade where there are no opening and ending cutscenes and I don’t know the characters as well..it’s less of an incentive. I didn’t even beat more than one story in Sengoku Basara and that’s a series I’m fairly familiar with.

It’s always nice to have the option though and so I have to say that the game has a fair amount of replay value. The gameplay is also just pretty fun so it is definitely a game you can have a good time going back to. In terms of graphics the game is also pretty solid. We get some cutscenes for finishing moves and the standard ones pop out well enough as well. Don’t expect a ton of detail or anything like that, but there’s enough to keep you pretty well satisfied all the way through. The soundtrack is about as bland as you can get though. There aren’t exactly a lot of choices to pick from here so you’ll quickly find yourself tuning it out. I wish we had gotten a rock theme or something like that.

I should mention that in the Arcade mode it’s a best of 3 set. You get to pick two supporting characters to help you out as each character gets a round. The first character you pick is the one who will get the story though so choose with that fact in mind. Each character also has slightly different special moves and controls so you’ll want to keep that in mind. You can also check the garage to equip new parts that you unlock as you unlock 2 for each round that you complete. There seem to be 86 parts in the game so at that pace you’ll get them all very quickly. I wonder if they’ll slow down at the end because otherwise you’ll have all of the parts long before you beat the game with every character. Hopefully it doesn’t go the route of giving you duplicates later on. I always thought that strategy was a forced way of adding length to the completion time.

Overall, Beyblade Metal Masters is better than the last DS game, but it’s certainly nowhere near the level of any of the home console installments. I’m not sure why the games aren’t trying to be more ambitious on the portable. I do have a 3DS game I’ll be playing soon so we’ll see how that one fares. Regardless, this is the definition of a pick up and play title. Even if you put the game down for years it’ll always be right there for you to play through again. It’s pretty good and accomplishes in what it sets out to do. If you see the game for a few bucks I’d recommend playing it. Who knows, maybe the arcade mode will be so much fun that you’ll end up watching the show as well.

Overall 7/10

Beyblade Metal Fusion Review


It’s time to look at a recent Beyblade game I got. We own the final 2 games in the series after this so I had been wanting to get this installment so we could finish the series. Unfortunately it is definitely the weakest title I’ve played from the franchise. It takes all of the fun and creativity from the earlier titles and replaces them with pure RNG and microphone mechanics. I’m already not a huge fan of the stylus controls so throwing in the microphone is overkill. There are some decent ideas here and the graphics are solid, but the negatives kept this game from going into the green.

The basic plot is that the main character has entered a Beyblade tournament as usual. He is ready to win, but quickly discovers that something shady is going on. It turns out that a villain group has entered and they aim to destroy all of the beyblades they fight. The heroes don’t like this and aim to stop the villains, but is the villain group really doing this or are they all getting played by a new character? One thing’s for sure, the world of Beyblade won’t be safe until all of the villains are thrown out and justice prevails once and for all.

So the gameplay is the problem with the game and I will describe why that is here. Each match is a best of 7 set against the opponent (Why 7? This just drags out each fight) and the goal is to either break your opponent’s Beyblade, knock it out of bounds, or hit it enough times where it stops moving. Each method of victory is worth a different amount of win. 3, 2, and 1 respectively. Each stage is a small circle where your beyblades spin around and whack each other. You can’t move your Beyblade, but you can determine where it charges by swiping with the stylus. Additionally you can tap the stage to recover health, tap really quickly to jump, or tap on your Beyblade to activate your shield. Then you’ve also got the two special abilities at your disposal which you can equip prior to the battle.

Your Beyblade will start out at rank F and as you fight it will improve. Additionally whatever support equipment you have on will level up as you play more games. Eventually your stats should be high enough where winning will be easy. It’s a long process though and you lose all of your progress when you leave the game aside from your rank and possibly the equipment upgrades. The story mode is structured like an arcade title so you have to beat the 8-10 levels in one shot. You get infinite continues so eventually you should be able to power your way through, but you do have to make sure that you don’t leave. It should only take around an hour so if you’re having fun then you’ll be okay.

Part of the problem with the game is your Beyblade is completely outmatched from the start. Even if you get a perfect launch and all you will lose in a straight up fight. Towards the end of the game the only way to win is to knock the other Beyblade out of the ring. Winning straight up in any other way appears to be impossible. Then to give yourself a little extra health at the end you have to blow into the microphone which is pretty odd. I’ve rarely seen games force you to use the microphone like this and it definitely didn’t award Beyblade any extra points. I’d rather not have to use that thing unless 100% necessary. It just feels like a gimmick.

So for most of the levels you are really just focused on swiping every which way until your Beyblade knocks the opponents out of the ring. You have to do this twice in each match to get the necessary 4 points to move on. If you do decide to fight head on, I’d recommend the Power Slam move which does a good amount of damage and the healing ability. Those make for a good pair and do work pretty well until you get to the final 2-3 fighters. At that point things get pretty dicey so get ready to focus on knocking the Beyblade away. I went with a full attack set of equipment, but there are a lot of different options so you may want to experiment.

In terms of the graphics I thought the game did a pretty good job of looking sharp. The illustrations were definitely on point and made the game feel dynamic even if there wasn’t much of a story to look at. Having more cutscenes definitely would have been very helpful to the game if you ask me. It makes the whole thing just feel more engaging. The bits of story we did get were pretty fun too. The villain was solid and his final line of asking the main character to be friends was definitely wholesome. It reminds me why the franchise looks so cool.

There isn’t much of a soundtrack to speak of. Meanwhile I wouldn’t say that there is a lot of replay value to speak of. I suppose you could work on beating the story mode with all of the characters. There are around 30 or more to choose from so that should definitely take you quite a while. By the time you’ve done that I think you’ll be ready to part with the title. Each story is around an hour to 90 minutes so you’re looking at a 30+ hour game. Hopefully there would be enough of a story mode there to justify it for you though because that’s a lot of Beyblade matches for this kind of gameplay.

Overall, Beyblade Metal Fusion was one of the harder games I’ve played, but not in a good way. The levels weren’t well designed or anything like that. It’s just that the gameplay was hard to wrap my head around and the opponents always had superior specs which didn’t really allow for the matches to be fair and balanced. Ideally the Beyblades should be around equal so then you can win with your own skill. I do have high hopes that the next game should be better. The series still does have a solid track record aside from this game. Unless you are a huge Beyblade fan I’d recommend buying one of the older ones instead or just taking a pass on this one. It really doesn’t have much to offer you.

Overall 5/10

Bakuten Shoot Beyblade: Rising


It’s good to see the old characters back as Beyblade returns to full glory. A shame that the manga only updates every 4 months though as it has less than 10 chapters even after going for around 3 years. I’ll have a review for it up once the series finishes, but that certainly could be a while. Good to see the plot starting to return as well. That’ll help the series ascend to the next level!

Overall 7/10