615384_largerFirstly, let me start off with a mini review for the movie: Pacific Rim - Bad acting, bad dialogue, bad accents (those guys are NOT Australian) and bad-ass robots kicking monster butt - 8/10. Now on to the game...

Pacific Rim [$0.99] is a blatant Infinity Blade [$5.99] clone and, unfortunately, not a great one. The game starts you off with a training process in one of the several Jaegers (mechs), though not one I recognized from the film... it could have been in there, as I have the attention span of a flea, but I do remember seeing the other Jaegers that are available for purchase within the game (though one of them, oddly, is missing an appendage).

In this Jaeger, you are shown through the basics of dodging, blocking, parrying and attacking, which are done via onscreen buttons for the evasive moves and swipes for the attacks. It's all fairly straightforward, or at least should be, but the problem is the controls just don't work as they should. For example, swiping towards the enemy's attack should trigger a parry, but more often than not the game just ignores the input altogether. Or there is a delay before your Jaeger actually moves, which, I don't have to tell you is an incredible annoyance in a game that requires super fast flicks and swipes to be able to produce positive results.


As well as the sub-par controls, the game doesn't seem to follow the movie in any way other than chucking a Jaegar in the ring against a Kaiju (monster). A major part of the movie is the whole system of two pilots controlling each mech, and the physical and mental training that the pilots have to go through themselves, including being prepared for the "drift", a kind of mind meld that the pilots undergo to control the Jaegers. There's really not much of a back story in Pacific Rim, you're just thrown straight into a Jaegar and sent off on a bunch of highly repetitive missions.

And that's another thing... in the movie, without giving too much away, the Jaegars are never deployed to fight more than two Kaiju at a time... there is quite an important reason for this, as explained in the film, though the game totally disregards it and sends you off on missions against several Kaiju of increasing difficulty, with the aim of what seems to be making you spend your cold hard cash.

Which brings me to my next gripe. The IAP system is brutal. Purchasing weapons, upgrades and extra mechs costs a heck of a lot and you'll only be a few levels in before you pretty much have to pay, as the difficulty ramps up very quickly. Of course, some players will be better than others, but for the majority of us playing through the game without spending anything on IAP just simply isn't possible, and even if you are a seasoned pro, you will still need to grind away for years to raise enough dough to unlock the new Jaegers (including Gipsy Danger, the hero of the film).

Even the projectile weapons need to be kept stocked with ammo, which costs money. Sure, there is a large range of weapons and upgrades from air strikes to nanobots to armor and the Jaegers themselves, but unless you have the bank balance of the producers of the movie, you'll be stuck with the default Jaegar and perhaps the upgrade to slightly above average armor and a chainsaw, resulting in no further progress.

There are some good points. The 3D models of the Jaegers and Kaiju are fairly decent. There are quite a few jagged edges but they are still reasonably impressive and slick enough to get the job done. The sound effects and music are suitably epic and match the film's style, too. On the other side of that coin, the background graphics are appalling, consisting of large cubes with blurry, low resolution textures as the buildings and the odd badly-implemented fire particle system. Also, at times your Jaeger walks straight through buildings like a ghost. There are also smaller graphical glitches such as the "finish him" text remaining on the screen after you have wiped out a Kaiju... it's a tiny oversight but these small glitches enforce my view that this game was rushed out the door.

Pacific Rim is just another 'grab the cash and run' film tie-in. Sure, there is some fun to be had smashing Kaiju about the head but the lackluster controls, mind-numbing repetitiveness, and evil IAP system make this one movie tie-in game that should have well and truly been left on the cutting room floor.

TouchArcade Rating

  • DemoEvolved

    Wow. $5 AND this number of problems? Ballsy. It's a shame this review couldn't be out sooner to protect more players.

    • Reignmaker

      Not to be disrespectful to those players, but if anyone needs a "caution" sign to avoid movie tie-ins or infinity blade clones, they haven't been paying close attention anyway.

  • hourglass

    It could have been great, but they screwed it up. Jerks.

  • BaltimoreDave

    $5 and IAP? No way

  • loophole

    Yeah they really could've made it cool. Does anyone know who made the game?

    • Eseres

      The developer is Reliance Big Entertainment UK Ltd.

  • ptdshiznit818

    Is the movie even any good?

    • GeneralmotorsGravytrain

      If you're a twelve-year old, yes. If you're an adult, it's OK. The tech behind the mechs is interesting, but I just wanted to see Rinko Kikuchi do her thing.

      • toxiccheese

        Yes the movie is great. But you shouldn't expect any academy award performances. The movie is pure destruction-robot-porn at its finest. It's fun without being too serious. The tech design is cool too.

      • Mombasa69

        I think that's the problem with it, it's meant to be serious.

      • pahncrd

        No it isn't. It is some semi-serious narrative, with a lot of humor thrown in.

    • Adams Immersive

      It's about giant robots fighting giant monsters... given that unpromising baseline, it's not bad! It has some awful lazy dialog in places, and some fights that have such chaos you can't tell what's happening, but basically pretty good--for what it is. It has real characters, at least, not just FX.

      • ptdshiznit818

        Hmmm giant robots kicking monster ass sounds somewhat satisfying I guess lol.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        It has some quality actors, but it has some duds -- and the roles are (deliberately IMO) very 2-dimensional.
        But this is not a movie you watch for the story-line or the acting, and it delivered on the important parts.

  • kaZangy

    The movie was fantastic!

  • Eseres

    This is just why i HATE games with IAP solutions! For that cost of a game there should be NO IAP at all. And on top of that, some games charge waaaay too much on the IAP stuff. I also hate that they make the game so that you'll have to start buying stuff almost right from the start. Im so happy i got this TA app so that i can get these kind of warnings before i do something stupid like buying a money-sucking sorry excuse of a game.

    This is the reason why i'd rather pay top dollar for a great game with NO IAP!

    And thank you for giving it an honest review for the game it is, and not because you're a "big fan" of a movie or just want to "support" a developer.

    A developer shouldn't get a thumb up on a bad game just because they made one great game earlier.

  • wigzisonfire

    Bad game.

    Bad-Ass mini movie review.

  • whitestatic

    Much like any movie made by Uwe Boll, my default assumption is that a movie-tie-in game will always be bad.

  • dower

    My son really wanted this, so I took a chance on it. Very disappointed. Not only does this app no work on anything newer than an iPad3, it crashes constantly. I don't mind so much that it's an infinity blade clone, but poor device support and poor stability is pretty bad. I only wish I could get my money back.

    • hourglass

      You can. Just wait for them to email you a receipt and click the little 'report a problem' link that should be somewhere next to the game.

  • ArmoredArtichoke

    Wait, he says bad acting, bad accent, and bad dialogue, but gives the movie 8/10?

    • bobehm

      Yup. It's exactly what one should expect from a giant robot/monster fight movie. His review is dead on, and 1000% succincter than most PacRim reviews.

  • Jake7905

    Just call this game "Pacific Rim Job" and be done with it.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      I've heard "Pacific Rim Job" from when the movie was being hyped to when it came out & now for the game.
      Yes, it has the word "Rim" in the title. But can we get over the bad versions of Beavis & Butthead jokes?
      How many people will use the same pun and think it's funny? NOT FUNNY, Jake.

  • CacciaCM

    The mobile game Pacific Rim follows the same storylines, characters, and events of the movie. AppsGoer has the best insight on this game, as far as I see.

  • Mombasa69

    Really wanted to and see Pacific Rim, seems a bit brainless, after reading the reviews.

Pacific Rim Reviewed by Karl Burnett on . Rating: 2