Bakugan Battle Brawlers – NDS – 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


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