previews\ Jun 1, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Bakugan Battle Brawlers - WII - Preview

E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

The word “Bakugan” literally translates to exploding sphere, at least that was what the media was told during a pre-E3 Activision event held in May in Los Angeles. Whatever Bakugan translates to, one thing that can be attributed to the name is the wide-spread licensing that has moved the franchise from animated series to school-yard card game and now onto the video-game platform.

Developed by NOW Productions, Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a multi-platform vehicle targeting kids in the 6-to-12-year-old age range. The goal, according to development team members, was to combine drama, story and the look of the animated series with the strategy of a card game.

The premise of the game seems simple on the surface. There is a playing field and players take turns placing gate cards on the surface of the field. Each gate card has different rules that pertain to the battles they can spawn. Players then roll the Bakugan spheres onto the playing surface (there are obstacles that can be used to affect the roll) and when they cross a gate card, the magnetic strip in the card stops the Bakugan and pops it open to reveal a creature. When the Bakugan of opposing players land on the same gate card, the battle ensues.

From what was seen in the demo, this battle is pretty much handled by the AI, though the player is responsible for the way the Bakugan are played and the stat boosts.

Some of the features of the game include the ability to have up to four players involved in a match, with eight environments, 200 cards, eight brawlers to fight against, 24 levels of play and 36 Bakugan.

There are ability cards that can boost character stats and players can custom create their brawler. The dev representatives stated that the game was all about the story, the collectability of the Bakugan and the battles. And when they were creating the game, they were looking to build a game that could have depth if the players craved that, so the game has a strategic level, a customization level, a tactical level and it is skill based.

The skill comes into play simply because the battles are not blind undertakings. You can see what stats the different cards carry so you can size up the battles.

In the story mode, players begin the game without any Bakugan and build their deck from there. Sporting a cartoonish look, with music that is tied to the environments, there is quite a lot to recommend this game.

Look for the title to release in the fall.


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