Game Rant's Riley Little reviews Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
Ubisoft released quite a few titles during the Nintendo 3DS' launch, and Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D happened to be one of them. This game is filled to the brim with everything that fans of monster battling games (i.e. Pokemon) will love, as well as some nice visuals that make some solid use of the 3DS hardware.
However, the fun that can be had with Dinosaurs 3D is extremely short-lived, mainly due to the generic and almost painfully boring gameplay. Kids may find joy with this title, but it won't hold their attention for more than a few hours.
The graphics in Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D are actually some of the sleekest I've yet to see on the handheld. The dinosaurs, of which there are many, are beautifully rendered, and the graphics are sure to impress anyone who has played other games on the 3DS. The three-dimensional effect however, is really not that impressive. They do add a bit of depth to the overall look of the game, but they just don't add anything else. They don't really immerse you in the the world of Dinosaurs 3D and if a bush or tree gets close enough to the camera then you will be seeing double.
Believe it or not, Ubisoft has actually made a story to go along with the game, which even in theory doesn't sound like a great idea. The dinosaurs have four leaders that keep the world's baddest dinosaur locked away, but when asteroids start riddling the Earth the former guardians disappear, allowing this big bad dinosaur to take over the world with his evil dino minions. Since the old heroes are gone, protecting the world falls onto the scaly shoulders of four new champions that players must choose and strengthen. Trying to add a story detailing why dinosaurs fight is unnecessary, and it feels so tacked on that it's really not even worth sitting through the cutscenes to learn about.
The gameplay in Dinosaurs 3D is super simple and easy to jump into. Your dinosaur can dodge left and right, strike an opponent, and even push them back. The objective is to either diminish the opposing dinosaurs health to zero using strikes or knock them out of the ring using pushes. Battling in this game requires timed strikes, dodging, ring outs, and combos in order to make other dinosaurs go extinct. Although this seems like a good way to add strategy to a dinosaur fighting game, any fun that is had is quickly short-lived. There is just no challenge to be found in any part of this game, because each type of dinosaur has the exact same attack pattern. Once you've found a way to defeat one dinosaur the rest pose little to know effort to dispatch.
When not engaged in combat the game takes a very linear route that forces the player to walk your beast down a pathway. Each type of dinosaur controls differently, as one should expect, but the bigger and slower dinos often get caught on rocks, trees, grass and lava. This means that you have to frantically jiggle the circle pad in order to get yourself unstuck and continue on to your next fight. There are also breakable objects along the trail that keep things from becoming overly monotonous, and breaking these objects will give you items from time to time.
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D tries to make up for some of the lack of depth in the actual fights by allowing players to equip their dinosaurs with items that raise and lower stats. A maximum of three items can be equipped at once, and each item is ranked in terms of rarity. The rarity is determined by the color that each item's box is; green is common, blue is moderately rare, and yellow is rare. Equipping items actually does make a great difference when in combat, and can help put the player on top in a down to the wire situation.
On top of the ability to change your Jurassic pal's armor, you can also customize the way it looks by selecting color schemes and patterns. There are actually quite a few different patterns to choose from and there are even more colors available to mismatch. Individuals can actually unlock even more colors and patterns for use by collecting bones in the game's main, which gives the player another purpose to the gameplay while out of battle. The ability to make your dinosaur your own by changing the way it looks is a cool feature, but it's certainly not as extensive as we would have liked.
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D is visually impressive and it also has some cool customization options. The gameplay feels like Ubisoft was going for some similar to Punchout!! with dinosaurs, but it's just far too easy and can be completed in an afternoon (or less). The game gets pretty boring after completing all the levels and making your dinosaur a champion the first time, and after you've done that the game only gets mildly harder and throws players through the exact same experience over and over again. This game had some promise, but in the long run it fell too short to hold anyone's attention very long. There are also no Brontosaurus, which will surely disappoint "long-neck" fans.