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Zatch Bell!: There Can Be Only One...
Company: Bandai

Every 1000 years, a group of pint-sized warriors known as Mamodo come to Earth in order to participate in a giant battle. To the last one standing goes the title of King of the Mamodo, but there's a catch. In order to compete in this grand battle, each Mamodo must first find a human counterpart to control their spell book. Without a human, the Mamodo are about as useful as a sock puppet. This grand battle is the premise of Cartoon Network's latest hit, "Zatch Bell!", and Bandai's upcoming game Zatch Bell!: Mamodo Battles.

Story mode makes up Mamodo Battle's core gameplay mode. Though the game will draw heavily on the show, the story is actually an original creation written specifically for the game. This should give even the biggest of "Zatch Bell!" fans something to look forward to instead of a retelling of stories they've probably already memorized.

Similar to the show's premises, Mamodo Battles pits pairs of fighters, one human and one Mamodo, against each other with hopes of becoming King of the Mamodo. Though their human counterparts will occasionally get in a few licks, battles are strictly left up to the Mamodo and their collection of spells that you control. In addition, each Mamodo will also have a special mega-attack that will inflict a whole world of pain on opponents. The catch is that using one of these devastating attacks will also tire out your Mamodo. Knowing when to use these attacks forms the backbone of Mamodo Battle's gameplay, adding a layer of strategy to what would otherwise be a normal fighting game.

Other modes will also be included, such as a Develop mode that allows you to build up your Mamodo's skills and a Bonus mode that will unlock special Zatch Bell! trading cards. Nearly all of the characters from the show will appear in the game, including a special character or two that must be unlocked.

Keeping the game's look in tune with the show, Mamodo Battles will feature a cel-shaded look and a few over-the-top animations. You can also expect to see tons of special effects filling the screen once the action heats up. The game will also feature voice-work from the show's actors, adding yet another layer of authenticity to the experience.

So far, Zatch Bell!: Mamodo Battles looks like it could be everything the ?Zatch Bell!? crowd is looking for in a game. Look for a full review later this month.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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