During the summer, we as gamers’ are unfortunately hit by a video gaming dry spell and must dig deep to find decent titles to play until blockbusters arrive in the fall. That being said, I was given the opportunity and pleasure to review a side-scrolling brawler on the Xbox 360 by 5pb/mages named, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. Not only can this game be found on XBLA, it was recently released on the PS Vita as well, but was it worth checking out? Find out in my Review.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, is a side scrolling beat-em-up that has tons of action, enemies and RPG characteristics. The player can select up to one fighter and battle against an enormous amount of enemies that seem to cover most of the screen. This is where the video game shines the most as the player indulges in an extreme hack-n-slash atmosphere and must brawl their way through multiple enemies at once.
Not only does killing enemies grant self-satisfaction, it also rewards the player with experience points which can be used to upgrade the characters skills and abilities. The depth in character customization really opens up through the progression of levels and in most cases requires the player to experience the game more than once in order to unlock a fighters full potential.
Brawlers are not typically well known for their award winning narrative, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is to no exception and would actually be considered mediocre, but this clearly isn’t the video games main focus. In this title, you play as a young heroine named Waka (or one of her three friends) and rescue your younger sister who has been kidnapped by an evil phantom. In order to save your younger sibling, you must travel through multiple dimensions and find her, just don’t expect this to be a walk in the park.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, projects a sound similar to 16-bit video games and causes me to feel like I’m playing a Super Nintendo Game, which evidently makes me feel right at home. It’s obvious that this game couldn’t be played on an SNES, but had it existed back in the 90’s, it would have given similar titles like: Double Dragon and Battletoads a run for they’re money.
Not only does the soundtrack in this video game express its originality, it is also full of personality in which it happens to showcase it very well. It does so by establishing an amalgamation of wonderful beats that inspire you to play and at times can create an adrenaline rush in sticky situations. My favorite thing about the musical soundtrack is that it makes you feel powerful over mindless enemies and can make the toughest bosses seem less intimidating, giving you that gung-go mentality.
When I initially started playing Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, I had to take a step back and really analyze the games aesthetic. I was really impressed by all the explosive color but most importantly taken back by the titles 2D art design. Although some characters appear to be odd, like weird business men with demon faces and robots with wings, I instantly felt nostalgic for the video games with the same graphical aesthetic and appreciate the fact that Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds was able to pull that off seamlessly.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a fun video game to play and being able to experience this title with friends is just icing on the cake. Granted, the story is fairly short and can be completed in roughly 3 hours, but I still found this title entertaining and worth checking out. It does a fantastic job evangelizing all the great aspects of old-school brawlers and blends it well together, which creates a new-school vibe and an excellent adventure.
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