Ah, Bakugan. I remember watching this show when I was younger. It was over-the-top monster action entertainment I watched while eating cereal at 7 in the morning right before I went to high school. Years later, I come across this game and decided to try something unusual. When playing this game, I was wondering what makes a video game truly worthwhile. I’ve played games that left a great mark and games that don’t impress me a lot. Playing this game, I realized one of the things that a really good game should do is make you keep playing after you finish the basics such as beating the single-player mode or going through all the basic stuff in the multiplayer mode. Bakugan: Battle Brawlers is a game that manages to be just as fun as after you beat it even though you don’t necessarily do much. STORY: You’re the new kid and come across a strange Bakugan called Leonidas and decide to use him for tournaments. You compete against characters from the show and are doing well. Then Dan, the person who introduced you to Bakugan, reports his signature Bakugan, Drago, was somehow attacked. Dan’s friends now speculate it was your Bakugan responsible. You earn their trust again after defeating them in tournaments, and it’s revealed that a character named Marduk was the one who was responsible for the attack on Drago, wants to rule all of Bakugan and humanity, and has a Bakugan from a dimension of bad Bakugan. The same dimension where it turns out the new kid’s Bakugan originated from. One thing rather odd about the story was the part when Drago was reported to have been attacked. I wasn’t sure if was a surprise attack or a loss in a Bakugan fight. If it was a surprise attack, okay that does makes sense to have suspicion. If was a lost battle, then here’s an idea: you can’t win everything. What I did like about the story was the ending. Without giving a lot of it away: you and the main antagonist manage to both win in the end. That was a pretty sweet victory and was nice for the game to end on that note. The characters didn’t leave much of an impression except for their appearance. Some of the girls look a bit older than their actual age. Julie in particular baffled me a bit. She’s dressed up as if she’s some pre-teen fashion star, which would not be healthy in the future. Visually, it’s quite creative and well-designed in terms of the battle fields. The 3D designs of the Bakugan are well made. Definitely benefits the quick fight scenes. Some characters look a little odd in 3D, but it’s not too distracting. The sounds are really good with solid voice work, well-used sound effects such as claw-slashing, and the music succeeding in giving off the right mood whether intense or calming. The music track that stood out to me was the Bakugan Store music, which manages to calm you down real well. Overall, the simple story redeems itself with the nice ending despite the characters only being remembered for their appearance, nice visuals with some rough edges, and delightful sounds all around. GAMEPLAY: There are six variants of Bakugan: Pyrus, Aquos, Ventus, Subterra, Haos, and Darkus. During battles, the certain variant Bakugan advantage changes depending on the stage. For example, the Pyrus stage will put Pyrus Bakugan at an advantage while Aquos will be at a disadvantage. Plus Pyrus Bakugan on the Pyrus stage won’t be affected by the stage hazards. Bakugan have G-Power which can be increased through leveling up, collecting G-Power orbs on the field, and by Gate/Ability Cards. The main objective is to win three gate cards first before anyone of your opponents. You first set your gate card, select the Bakugan you want in the field, set it on a gate card (can be your opponent’s gate card), and wait for an opponent to set their Bakugan on the gate card your Bakugan card. You’ll then both fight in a quick battle, and whoever wins the battle wins the gate card. There’s another way to win a gate card. If 2 of your Bakugan are on the same gate card, you’ll instantly win the gate card. Controls are pretty basic for the most part. You’ll mostly select stuff with your stylus along with playing quick battle games such as rubbing a symbol, spinning a wheel, or popping bubbles. With a game like this, all of this is just a simplified explanation of the game. What’s really good about this game is all the ways you can benefit yourself. For example, the gate card can not only raise your Bakugan’s G-Power, but it also has other effects such as doubling the original G-Power or eliminating the use of ability cards. Another great thing about the quick battles is the ability cards. They can add a little more G-Power to your Bakugan, cancel your opponent’s G-Power boost, or even double the attack of your Bakugan during the quick battle. One of my personal favorites is where it starts over the battle as a spin battle. Before you start the final battle, you can see which kind of battle it will be. Either it be a scratch battle, trace battle, etc., you’ll know before you start. This is great because if there’s a battle you can’t seem to master (I can’t do a trace battle to save my life), you can restart a battle in another battle form. There’s not much to do but what makes it enjoyable is how quick events are. When your opponents send their Bakugan on the field, the time they have isn’t too much to make it feel dragging. You can even skip a lot of unnecessary stuff like when your opponents say “Gate card set!” or “Bakugan Brawl!” The quick battles are the real thrills. With many ways a battle can turn the tides against you such as all your G-Power boosts cancelled or your attacks disabled, it’s never certain an easy win is a few steps away. But it does feel very satisfying when all the odds seem against you but all those disadvantages you had didn’t stop you from winning. During these quick battles, even if ability cards aren’t used, your opponents still put up a fight. It’s not easy but too long making the game a chore. It’s relatively short but it still has plenty of moments that make you alert and challenged. Plenty of times I got so hooked that I reset the game if I lost the final quick battle because I was so desperate to win and refused defeat. What also makes the game amusing at times was when certain characters say “Bakugan Brawl!” One of these characters saying “Bakugan Brawl!” is so amusing that you can’t skip it even though you can. Overall, the game has lots of parts to observe, but the rules aren’t too complex and it control fine to make it strategic and thrilling. CONCLUSION: There’s also a Battle Arena mode where you can play stages available in the main story mode as well as some exclusive stages in this mode. There’s even a tutorial that’s great to help refresh your memory. The most amusing statistic you can find in this game is how long you’ve played the game. I’ve played this game for around 13 hours, which surprised me. I normally don’t think about how long I play games, but the fact that 13 hours of my life was spent on this game should say something. Bakugan: Battle Brawlers was quite addictive. It’s not the best game ever, but it’s thrilling and offers plenty of smiles. It’s essentially junk food with a good amount of vitamins and nutrients to make it edible. Definitely a good highlight for video games based on shows, movies, etc. If you’re not a fan, the mechanics and the repeat of hearing “Bakugan Brawl!” might turn you off. If you’re a fan, stop reading this and get the game. You’ll have a blast with this game. This is one brawl I’m proud to have fought in.
yes: I recommend this product