21st Nov2017

‘Cartoon Network Battle Crashers’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

CN-BC-Switch-Screen

When Uncle Grandpa accidentally flips the multidimensional switch on his RV, he creates a tear in the universe that collides the worlds of some of Cartoon Network’s most beloved shows… That’s the set up for Cartoon Network Battle Crashers, the side-scrolling, kid-friendly beat ‘em-up from GameMill/Maximum Games – which has, a year on from its initial release, made it’s Nintendo Switch debut.

So how does it fair on Nintendo’s hybrid console? Well graphically it’s not a game that’s ever going to push the limits of the system, however the bright 2D character design and the variety of landscapes really showcases the Switch’s screen. Sadly the audio falls flat – through no fault of the console may I add – it seems that the developers were less concerned with how the game sounds in comparison to how it looks. Which is a shame as the particular shows and characters involved in this animated show mash-up are more know for their pithy, and often ridiculous, one-liners. None of which are really present here.

Starting out as Clarence (Clarence), Cartoon Network Battle Crashers sees you hot-swap between six playable heroes as you battle through numerous levels themed after the shows which are also included in the game: Steven Universe (Steven Universe), Gumball (The Amazing World of Gumball), Uncle Grandpa (Uncle Grandpa), Finn & Jake (Adventure Time) and Mordecai & Rigby (Regular Show).

Each character featured in the game comes with their own unique abilities and oftentimes weapons. However the vast differences between the characters is one of the games downfalls – some, well one particular pairing (*cough* Finn & Jake *cough*), are obviously overpowered and make completing the game extremely easy – even though the game, which is aimed at younger audiences, is already easy enough for more experienced, read older, gamers! That’s not to say that there’s not plenty of game to work through – there certainly is, with each world boasting three stages followed by a boss battle.

And it’s in the boss battles where Cartoon Network Battle Crashers shines, with a significantly ramped up difficulty that reminded me very much of the platformers of the 8-bit era. Much like those games, there’s an air of repetitiveness and pattern recognition at work here too – the latter particularly occurring during the big boss battles, again something which reminded me of the NES era and games like Megaman. Though to compare this to Megaman is like comparing apples to oranges… For however much enjoyment you get from this game it is in no way anything like a classic of the genre.

As a beat ‘em-up Cartoon Network Battle Crashers is too simplistic and to basic to offer any challenges to fans of the genre; though as a pick up and play – in shorts bursts – title this is a frenetic and more importantly fun example of the side-scrolling beat ‘em-up that should appeal to kids and fans of these particular Cartoon Network shows alike. Plus, should you finish the game too quickly, you can replay maps with special modifiers and unlock bonus rooms along the way… and you can add 3 friends for true multiplayer beat ‘em-up action!

And shout out for to the developers for actually taking perspective into account when you move your 2D character in and out of the 3-dimensional plane. A first for the genre I believe.

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