Cartoon Network has been a huge part of many people’s lives growing up for over 20 years. It’s brought us all kinds of lovable shows including Dexter’s LaboratoryJohnny BravoCourage The Cowardly DogFoster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and so much more. Even to this day it is putting out cartoons that kids and adults love and a bunch of them are coming together for the latest videogame based on Cartoon Network shows. Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers sees characters from Regular ShowAdventure TimeClarenceUncle GrandpaSteven Universe and Gumball all forced to team up. Uncle Grandpa has crashed his RV through various dimensions causing lots of things to go wrong. Characters are popping up where they shouldn’t be and it’s up to you to try and get to the bottom of it. Considering the sheer amount of funny shows squished together it’s bound to be a hilarious time right? Wrong.

 

The game looks nice and the special move design will make you smile the first time you see them, but there is next to zero voice work in the game. Considering a huge part of the shows of Cartoon Network is their script and voice over work this seems like a massively missed opportunity. Last year’s Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations was improved upon by its impressive voice work and script and set a new standard for console based Cartoon Network games that is not matched here.

 

There aren’t even character reaction sounds when you’re in the gameplay parts of the game. Getting hit doesn’t warrant a yell from anyone which makes it lack any real impact. It’s a shame because the gameplay is quite fun. It’s your standard side-scrolling brawler affair where you hit a button to hit enemies and keep them at bay. Being able to swap to other characters with a simple button press works well and the game make the most of it.

 

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Certain enemies will have status effects that the weapon of a certain character can help null. For example the main attack of Gumball will null any attacks from enemies that have a smell/bio status element on them. It’s a good way to encourage using the whole roster of characters, especially as some seem stronger than others.

 

The game also features multiplayer on the console versions, which is drop-in and drop-out. It’s a nice inclusion to the game which helps set the console version above the others. The whole thing does trigger that old school side-scrolling nostalgia for a short period of time and it’s nice to share that with a friend. Unfortunately the game decides it needs to recycle assets far too quickly, meaning older gamers are likely to get bored much quicker than their younger counterparts.

 

Within the first six levels you will have had to play two levels twice with only slight variations to the enemies you’re up against. If there were fun cut-scenes to break this up or witty dialogue then it would feel like less of a chore but, as mentioned before, there’s no voice over work and the small bits of script that do appear in the game do little to grip you.

 

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Getting through the repeated levels isn’t that much of an issue. It just feels like obvious padding. You’ll appreciate being able to upgrade your characters a bit more in the early stages of the game, but most enemies can be defeated by just hammering the base attack button. It’s fun to be able to mix things up, which becomes accessible to you by levelling up your characters. There’s little point to doing so though as the game is never overly difficult when playing through it on the default difficulty. Obviously this in part due to it being aimed at the younger crowd, but it seems you have to settle with the default difficulty on your first playthrough, meaning the lack of challenge may bore more experienced gamers.

 

Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers looks nice, but unfortunately that’s the main thing it gets right. It controls competently and the combat works, but the level design is lacklustre and decides to force you in to replaying levels you’ve already completed that don’t feel different enough to warrant doing it. The multiplayer is a nice addition, but the lack of voice over work and an uninteresting script means most of the charm of the stellar cast of Cartoon Network all stars is lost. At the end of the day it feels like a missed opportunity that could’ve been so much more.

 

You can watch me play some of the game below.

 

 



Author

Brett Claxton

I like video games. That's why I write about them. I've played them for years and in that time I've found a love for creepy horrors, indie darlings and the oddities that come out of Japan. Although my main purpose on the site is to write up news and reviews I'm also one of the main Let's Play video creators of the team (or, as I call them, Brett's Play videos). You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bretteh2