NCG Review – Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive (Switch)

A spin-off of the fighting game self titled Phantom Breaker, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive was originally released back in 2013 on the Xbox 360, and on PlayStation Vita in 2014 as Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. As well as seeing a later upgraded port on PlayStation 4 with the title Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive, the beat’em up title sheds new light on Nintendo’s newest system, the Nintendo Switch.PBBGOD_ss_SW_0073

Visuals and Audio

Like I mentioned, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive is a spin-off of the fighting game title, so this title (PBBGO) has a different look. Characters are now in chibi form, and the title now takes on the older SNES inspired look and delivers that nostalgia to a new generation audience. The soundtrack is another aspect with the old-school Retro feel. With the crisp pixels artwork, the fantastic backgrounds, and the amazing 8-bit soundtrack, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive will have players enjoying all aspects of the presentation as a whole.PBBGOD_ss_SW_0092

Story

The story is plain and simple, Mikoto, Waka, Itsuki and Yuzuha has to fight through hordes of enemies to save their friend Nagi, who has been captured by Phantoms. There is some dialogue throughout the story, but it never seemed really important as you make your way through the game. I would say the story is lacking in that part, but this is a beat’em up title so I can’t justify it at the moment. That being said, players that are looking for a story still have one.PBBGOD_ss_SW_0137

Gameplay

Button mashing to fight your way through hordes of enemies, learning new skills while leveling your characters up, and pure anime flashy goodness. That is the best way to explain this title. Though this time around, the previous DLC is included in the Switch version. Players can now play as guest characters Makise Kurisu and Frau from the popular visual novels Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes.

When jumping in Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive, players will noticed 4 game modes, Story, Arcade, Co-op, and Battleground. Story Mode takes players on a stage to stage adventure to save Nagi from the Phantoms, as they level up and kick ass throughout each of 8 levels.

As I played story mode, I found myself enjoying the game play, but not so much of the story, as I mentioned before. Most of the dialog only came out when fighting the end stage bosses, and didn’t really seem like it had a whole lot to do with anything. Game play is just like any beat’em up title, button mash your may through enemies, but you can learn new skills that can extend combos which rewards players with a higher score, and more EXP points to gain better skills. Arcade and Co-op, is more or less of the same, but you can now compete in having a high score in the leader board and play up to 4 players.phantom-breaker-battle-grounds

Battleground Mode is different take on the title, and another good way to enjoy multiplayer. Battleground mode is more of a 4 player free for all brawl, as each player can take their leveled up character and fight for the bragging rights. I really did enjoy this mode, mostly because it gave me a reason to come back to the title with friends.

Verdict

Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive is a title that is a must have for anyone who is a fan of the beat’em up genre, and is even enjoyable to new players. With the multiplayer modes, the flat-out button mashing brawls, and the leveling up system, players will have something to come back to from days on end. I can give this title an 8 out of 10.

Score

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