Bakugan Battle Brawlers brings the exciting world of Bakugan to the Wii. What the hell is Bakugan you say? It’s a combination of a “Magic” style card game and Pokemon. It’s like Magic because you use different cards that give you different attributes or abilities, and it’s like Pokemon because you throw little balls that turn into battling beasts. It may be more exciting than it sounds (or it may not) but the game does allow the fans the opportunity to experience the game on another level.
As you begin the game, you design your character’s image and are given a tutorial on how to battle. A game of Bakugan is played like this: throw down card, throw bakugan on card, they battle and whoever has the most g-power wins. What makes this game complex are the attributes that each bakugan has and how they can be affected by the various cards that can be played. These cards can provide more power or change the conditions of the battle. Winning battles provides more experience to your bakugan and the cash to buy more cards or other bakugans.
The gameplay is expanded by utilizing the Wii motion controls and adds the only semblance of excitement to this otherwise passive game. As you enter a battle, you pick a starting or “gate” card. Then, using the wiimote you pick a bakugan and “throw” it onto the field. From there the wiimote can be used to steer the bakugan to its destination. If your opponent’s bakugan lands on the same card then the brawl begins! As the bakugans transform into battle mode, you can choose what cards to play and then prepare to battle in one of three modes: Shaking, Timing, and Shooting. The shaking battle is simply shaking the wiimote as fast as possible. Timing involves pushing buttons or shaking the wiimote at the proper times. In the shooting battle, you have to aim the wiimote and shoot at the icons for your specific bakugan. These battles are brief but can sometimes be intense. It should be noted that getting consistent shaking battles is not a good thing. We don’t want children getting repetitive stress issues.
The graphics are cell-shaded and the typical anime style. The edges are a bit rough and the characters’ dialogue in no way fits their mouth movements, but that seems standard for anime anyway. The music is fitting for the on-screen action and mimics the animated version.
The draw of this game certainly is not for the general gaming population and certainly not for the hardcore gamer. This game is for the small demographic of those already familiar with Bakugan, Magic or other card games, and younger gamers. This game is a more convenient way to enjoy Bakugan without buying more toys and cards and allows you to organize your inventory in a much simpler way. That leaves more time to battle and build your deck and collection of bakugans. This game is probably more popular overseas where this type of entertainment is more widespread. If you are a fan of Bakugan or want a nice nonviolent game for your child this should do the trick. Definitely skip this if you are looking to frag noobs with headshots.
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