When I first learned about an action beat-em-up game coming out with some of my all-time favorite Cartoon Network characters in it, I was sold on it immediately. This leads us to GameMill’s Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers, which turned out to be an okay experience, but with a little more love and polish, it could’ve easily been the best game to make use of these iconic CN characters.
The story kicks off with Uncle Grandpa sleeping at the wheel of his crazy RV when some mysterious figure makes it break through dimensions which brings other iconic Cartoon Network characters and their worlds together. Now they have to team up and find out who is responsible for shattering their dimensions and make things right again. Of course this means beating up and smashing everything in their path to power and level up as they make their way through different levels and epic boss battles.
You start off as Uncle Grandpa and get to learn the basics such as regular and special attacks you can do, and will eventually run into new characters that you can switch between on the fly with the press of a button. There’s also plenty of gems you can pick up along the way which you can use to power up your stats and attacks once you’ve cleared a stage. You’ll also come across huge bosses to fight, which is when you’ll want to take advantage of the four-player couch co-op if you have friends or family available to help out.
As soon as I started playing, I could tell this was a budget game as the controls are decent but feel a tad off while you’ve moving and attacking. I also noticed the enemies take a lot of hits to kill no matter how powerful your attacks are. The biggest gripe I have with this title is the lack of any voice acting, which is basically a must have for a game featuring this many iconic characters. I can’t tell you how many times I was hoping Finn, Jake, Mordecai, and Rigby would say some funny one-liner as I played only to be greeted with a grunt or silence as I mowed down baddies. Another thing that might turn people away from this one is the fact it forces you to replay stages you’ve beaten over and over again. For example, you play through the first stage, but in order to reach the next one, you have to go back to the first and find an item (which wasn’t there the first time mind you) to unlock the next part. Putting this kind of “game padding” here in order to make it last longer doesn’t help any and will most likely annoy those who play.
If you can get past the annoying flaws or just have some kids who love Cartoon Network shows, you might want to give Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers a try. I really wanted this to be an Editor’s Choice title, but with the lack of voices, annoying gameplay elements, and no online features, this is one for diehard CN fans only.