IGN Preview of Bakugan: Defenders of the Core
I'm a little old for the craze, but I definitely see the appeal of Bakugan. It's got the collectible toys and cards. It has a game that requires skill, luck and strategy. And it even has a show to watch every Saturday morning and get jazzed about. But what I haven't seen yet is a video game that really expands on the franchise, giving players a Bakugan experience that is different from the actual game while still being fun. That seems to be the intention with the newest game in the series, Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Defenders of the Core.
There have already been two Bakugan games, one that was across all platforms, and another that was DS exclusive. The first was an arcadey powerup filled version of the actual game with its cards and rolled up Bakugan. The second had a monster raising aspect to it. This upcoming game finally lets players take control of Bakugan, and use them to beat the holy hell out of other Bakugan.
There are two aspects to the game, but the coolest one is that players control Bakugan during the battles. Huge, hundred foot tall monsters that smash through buildings as they try to blast each other with lasers and punch each other in the face. The game actually feels more akin to Custom Robo than a fighting game. Players can lock onto their opponent, and there's a mix of short range attacks and projectiles. It's fast paced, with short rounds and some cool effects. To keep the Bakugan spirit alive, players select powerup cards that they can select on the touch screen during the fight, thus simulating the human character's actual control of the battle.
Between battles players go on stealth missions as their human character. It's a 3D action portion of the game, and the sections I played were set in a sort of warehouse/army baser complex. By using gadgets, players defeat robots and progress through the level. The character is customizable, and players find upgrades and new Bakugan through the adventure. I wasn't really feeling this section, because it seemed bland compared to the battles, but I did only see one level.
I can't even hope to explain the story, which I believe involves a villain named Vexos, who kidnaps your friends. Really though, if you're reading this article then you probably know the deal with this franchise.
While I only saw the DS version, the word is that the game will be very similar across all platforms. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how the game looks on the consoles, as I've been itching for a new War of the Monsters for a while now, and it seems like this may be like that, albeit a kid friendly version. The DS version included multiplayer battles where each person controlled a Bakugan. Some HD, city destroying monster rumbles could be sick.
Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Defenders of the Core comes out in November for the DS, as well as Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, and PSP.
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