|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Marvelous Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Marvelous Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Japan-Only||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: B (Japan)||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 30, 2007 - Negima!? Neo-Pactio Fight is a fighting-type game based on an anime series Negima!?!. Now it's important to note that Negima!?! is not the same as Negima!. You may see it as just a difference in punctuation, but the storylines are completely different. But now that we've got that overly confusing tidbit out of the way, Negima!? Neo-Pactio Fight is a pretty good fighter, albeit an overly simplistic and generic one.
I got some time in with the 2-player vs. mode at this year's Otakon, and I have to say that it definitely fits the bill of unconventional gameplay, and uses a somewhat complex main character buddy system. You begin by selecting one "main character" from a choice of ten and then choosing two of 21 support characters. Then you'll start fighting. The stage I was playing through looked like a library. I played against one other person, and there were two other computer controlled characters. The match is timed, and you've got about 90 seconds to trounce your opponents.
Controls are exceedingly simplistic, and you'll be using the Nunchuk/ Wii-mote control style. The Nunchuk's joystick will be used to move your character around the field, and the buttons on the Nunchuk are used to jump forwards and backwards. The Wii-mote's buttons will be used for your attacks, with the A button being your main mash. The B button also serves as a power-up for special attacks. This control scheme, while simple to pick up and play, provides for too simplistic gameplay. The Wii motion sensing controls are completely ignored, and the one-button mash gets pretty old quickly.
However, to win a match in this game, it was readily apparent that you have to use the environment. Power-ups and special attacks show up randomly, and it is up to you to beat your opponents. Once you're finished beating everyone up, there will be a break in play. This does not signal the end of the bout, but rather, a change in goal. Instead of beating up your opponents, you will now need to destroy your stage and collect the coins that are left behind.
Visually, the game is on-par with what you've seen from anime-based Wii games. Think DBZ-styled graphics with cute girls in uniform. The stages are pretty bland, however, and for a facet that's so integral to the gameplay, I was expecting more from the individual stages. Especially since, when it's time for you to destroy stuff, there's not really that much to destroy.
Overall, I would say Negima!? Neo-Pactio Fight is a fans-only title. Although the gameplay is pretty standard, and the buddy system and 2-pronged vs. mode are pretty unique, the gameplay just does not work well enough to merit a non-fan purchase. Of course, this is only available on the Japanese Wii, and no announcements have been made as to when (or if) this title will make it stateside anytime soon.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer