Video Game of the Day is a daily show available on Amazon Alexa devices and here on this website. Each day, we briefly discuss the history of a single game, randomly chosen. If you would like to listen on your daily flash briefing, you can enable Video Game of the Day here: https://amzn.to/2CNx2NJ.
Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
When a company has a large stable of well-loved characters, it seems like they have it made. Any mash-up project must be a success, right? Somehow though, this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Despite Marvel making it seem easy, creating a single universe of characters can be more difficult than you might think. Today’s game is a perfect example. Today’s game is Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers, developed by Magic Pockets and released on the 3DS, Xbox One and Playstation 4 in 2016.
Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers is a side-scrolling beat-em-up similar to Castle Crashers or Streets of Rage. The story begins with Cartoon Network character Uncle Grandpa falling asleep while driving his van. An unknown character moves the gear shift all the way down to Dimension Break and suddenly, the van starts crashing through other Cartoon Network shows. When the van finally stops, Uncle Grandpa has picked up characters from shows such as Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Clarence, The Amazing World of Gumball and Regular Show.
Players start off only able to play as Clarence but they quickly pick up more characters in the first area and can freely change between them mid-level. Destroying objects and picking up gems gives the current character experience. At the end of each level, experience is tallied up and characters who level up can gain new abilities. As characters move through each stage, they are occasionally stopped and made to fight several creatures that come on screen. Each character has a standard attack with any other abilities needing to be unlocked through leveling.
Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers was critically panned upon release. The gameplay is shallow and repetitive, the stages are uninspired, and there is almost no difficulty to speak of, even for a kids game. Metacritic currently lists Battle Crashers at a 21 out of 100 and the 3DS version is currently the worst rated game on the system. Despite the bad reviews, a port was made of the game for Nintendo Switch which did not include any new features and was just as panned as the other versions. Cartoon Network’s characters were already at the height of their popularity in 2016 but as Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers proves, fun characters alone do not make a good game.
Thank you so much for listening! For more facts about Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers and the other games we talk about on the show, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday. Archives and transcripts are available on videogameoftheday.com. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.
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