Monday, October 21, 2013

Archview #61: Bakugan: Rise of the Resistance

 This game has no right being as good as it is.
 I've no idea how the battles pan out in the Bakugan series, but what I'm sure of, is that it's not in a Tower Defense-like manner. Yes, this game is a Tower Defense game with a layer of Bakugan paint, towers are Bakugan, enemies are Bakugan and your avatar is a Bakugan, except when you explore, were you play as a human.
 The story is about some robot-like entities invading the earth, and it's up to Dan and his friends to stop them. The story is very plain, very straightforward and things work out in the most convenient way. Yes, it is a kid's game, it'd be wrong to expect otherwise, but this also means that the story will not engage an older player. Not in the slightest. Luckily, the gameplay makes up for it.
 At the outset, you will play as Dan or any of the five other characters, there's not a whole lot to do while exploring. You can only interact with story-related objects, although there are coins littered about that grant you money. There are also various obstacles that need a specific character to clear, most involve just pressing the A button, so they are little more than barriers. There are also a very few amount of puzzles, but they are very easy to solve. There's also no way to get lost, as the bottom screen always tells you where to go and what you need to do.
 There are no random battles, instead, battles are initiated when the story calls for them. Before each battle you get to pick a Card, which can be found or bought with money, that grants you passive abilities(Like reducing damage to your replicator) and choose your avatar Bakugan. Each playable Bakugan has a different Trap(A special attack of sorts that requires charging a gauge before being able to use it), a different attack and a different passive ability, which range from slowing down nearby enemies to increasing the attack speed of nearby Turret Bakugan. Battles play out like normal Tower Defense games, you have to survive a certain amount of enemy waves, and to do that, you place Towers(Bakugans) alongside the roads that enemies will take to your base. There are six different Tower-Bakugan, each one with different range, Attack power and attack speed. These "towers" cost DNA, which is acquired by killing enemies, and sometimes they drop chunks of DNA which grants you even more of the currency. Each Tower-Bakugan is associated to a different character, and leveling each character up allows you to upgrade the said Tower-Bakugan during each battle. Leveling up each character also enhances their playable Bakugan, granting it more strength.
 The graphics are very minimalist, there's not a whole lot of animations and the sprites themselves are very mediocre. I suppose they look like the anime-portraits, but I wouldn't know. Environments are also very plain, not a whole lot to them. The music is nothing special, I didn't really care for it, and the sound effects are passable. There's a couple of voice clips, but very few and far in-between, makes you wonder why even add them at all(There's less than 10, probably). The game is very short, 5 hours or less, and very easy. I only lost a battle once, the last fight, but I cleared it on my second try. Finishing the game unlocks nothing, but you can replay every battle either from the main menu(Quick Battle) or going to the training Module on the ship.
 All in all, it's not a bad game. The story is really dumb and so is the exploration, but the Tower-Defense portions are actually, really fun. While hardly recommendable to older players, it's not a bad buy at 10 bucks or less.
 5 outta 10.

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