Bakugan: Defenders of the Core Review

By on December 30, 2010

Activision repeats the same mistake…twice.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Bakugan: Defenders of the Core is one of those games where the ridiculousness of it all is only understandable if you are a die hard fan of series, or else you will be as lost as a child in an adult bar (under six of years age that is). For those who don’t know anything here is a little intro to the story (if you’re a loyal fan then you can skip this portion): Bakugan are creatures from another world called vestroia which turn into small balls when they enter our world through a portal. The Bakugan turn into their original selves when they are put into battle. Those who use these Bakugan are called “Brawlers”.

The story changes from game to game as they are based on different seasons. In this one you are teleported to an alternate reality which is totally a mystery to you. There are 2 groups in this game, Bakugan battle Brawlers and The Vexos. The brawlers are trying to protect the earth’s core and the Vexos are trying to destroy it. The Vexos have managed to destroy the ability to brawl and since you are from another world you still retain the ability to brawl (which still doesn’t make any sense). Now for some really weird reason your character can see the spirit of earth, Abyss who requests you to save her.

As the game begins you are required to create and customize your character which doesn’t support many options (you can’t even select if you want to play as male or female!!). Unlike the previous titles, the game is no longer the standard board game. Now the Bakugan are back to their world and you are in control of them in their real form. The game is very basic and a presented in a complete unsynchronized manner. All you have to do is go from one point to another and complete a series of really boring tasks (either protect a landmark or get into a brawl etc).The worst part being that it’s the same every level.

The graphics of this game aren’t very impressive, but it is very good keeping in mind that the game is based on an anime. The is a lot of time wasted on cutscenes throughout the game although they form a very keen portion of the game if you even have a hope to understand the storyline.

The sound department doesn’t perform any better. The background music is really annoying and I can’t comment much on the voice acting as the characters talk very little throughout the game. From the time invested in the game I can say that the voice acting isn’t all that bad but it isn’t very great either.

The controls are very basic and don’t get much time to get used to. Press X and you can jump/fly and hit R2 while you’re at it and you have the ability to dash forward. L2 helps to block and so on.  Blocking an attack requires a perfect timing to break the combo which follows that is almost impossible to get.

The gameplay is really frustrating and the attacks don’t seem to do much damage (which means you will be spending more time on surpassing each level). If that wasn’t enough, the targeting system begins to lag (even on the PS3) if you happen to take on more than 2 opponents at a time. Another big mistake is the fixed camera which limits the exploration around the map (Surprisingly the details on the map are really nice) and also gives your opponents a chance to attack you from behind which remains unprotected at all times. The scoring system is fairly simple and most of the time you end up getting either an “A” or “B”. If you’re really good you get an “S” which isn’t the most difficult of things. The AI of the game is really pathetic and doesn’t respond very fast (except for the bosses). The minions are very well placed and tend to attack in a group which generally makes getting past them a little challenging. But most of the time the AI ends up battling with something in the surrounding and you can easily defeat them.

The multiplayer mode (aka Battle Arena) supports 3 game types: Duel (one-on-one battle), Free for All (Two to four going head-to-head) and Destruction Battle (Just a split screen version of story mode).

Overall the game is a total waste of time for anyone who isn’t a total fan of the series or someone who is ready to overlook the nest of flaws in the game.

The Scorecard
The gameplay doesn’t seem to do justice at all even to fans of the franchise.
The cutscenes and the details of the surroundings are pretty decent especially considering the game is based on an anime.
The music isn’t all that great, but the voice acting is just about decent.
Unless you’re a diehard fan, it’s definitely not worth it.
Might be a little fun in the beginning but repetitive gameplay and a whole lot of other mistakes destroys it.
Really disappointing that Activision continues to dish out such a shallow and crude game.


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