I picked up this one and Firestorm (for my son) because they were cheap and seemed interesting. So far, I'm REALLY impressed. I hadn't noticed it was made by Level-5 (a good sign) and...I'm guessing it's based on a TV show?
So far, it's a refreshing "typical" RPG (ala Dragon Quest, etc.) BUT, the RPG elements are all football related and combat is all replaced with football matches!
The story is over-the-top anime style (aliens arrive and destroy all the football clubs and want to defeat everyone, and they're really good) with special moves...
The combat is action-oriented and I'm having a really hard time understanding what I'm supposed to do, but I've noticed that a few of the matches so far area really scripted so I'm hoping it's an ease-you-in type tutorial... I have only been able to win at ONE random football battle and I don't understand the stats or system OR when I'm supposed to use the stylus and when not to... I hope I'll figure it out because I'm really intrigued and excited.
There's also a lot of anime cut-scenes (they remind me a lot of the Layton games cut-scenes, but there's more of them) and all the characters have english accents! (I got the game in the UK, so that makes sense...)
Played this for a few hours - did 30 or so puzzles. I have no idea how many more there are but I think a lot!
Two things I wanted to get down:
a. It works remarkably well for a DS game since it seems to be running a physics simulations, uses the styulus and has all these (increasingly more) complicated bits and pieces that get added - gears, lights, explosions, fuses, balloons, etc. It's a pretty good "rube goldberg" game that feels closer to the really open-ended ones (e.g. Super Crayon Physics Deluxe) rather than the "there's a single solution to this puzzle, figure it out" games. This is mostly because I think I solved a few of the puzzles in weird/alternative/maybe plain lucky ways.
b. I looked at the credits and it seems like the entire production team is/was Polish! Yay for happy discoveries like that and I've since learned that "City Interactive" is decent-sized publisher and developer with a ton of titles under its belt...
My kids had Bakugan way back when though I don't think they ever played the "real" game - just had the figures. Since I picked this game up for next to nothing I thought it would be interesting to see what the actual game was about and how it was adapted into videogame form.
I played for a few hours, with no real intention of continuing and I'm both impressed and disappointed...
a. I don't really understand the basic stats/mechanics of the game - as it is played for "real". Your monsters have a value - higher number is better, and a "type" (element). Since combat in the videogame is resolved through mini-action games (swipe really fast, match your taps to these icons flying across the screen, follow this path quickly with your stylus, etc.) I have no real sense of how the stats matter and to what degree. If your monster's value is higher, I know you get an advantage, but I'm not sure if you can always make up for a disadvantage with, say, really good stylus skills.
b. The real game has a dexterity component - I think - because you have to roll/throw your monster in ball form onto the playing field and get it to land on a metallic card, at which point the magnets kick in and the ball opens into a creature (a pretty cool toy if you ask me). Anyways, the same mechanic applies in the game and its implemented in a way that's pretty clever. You select a direction and swipe to launch your monster. Then, you can swipe more to move it around the play area (pick up bonus tokens) before trying to get it to stop on a card. There's additional stats that make this easier/harder (get more/less time to move around, ease in changing direction, strength of the magnet and a few more). So, for what is ostensibly a card game - with toys - it was neat to see that they made sure that dexterity mattered in the game. I can't think of other card games where this might happen, so I guess Bakugan is a more interesting game than I thought initially?
c. AFAIK, the overall structure of the game is that you play in a series of tournaments - improving your Bakugan along the way, buying new ones, etc. until there's some showdown at the end (there's strong hints that your Bakugan is up to no good, so I'd expect some reversal at some point). I played the first single player tournament and almost finished the co-op tournament where you're paired up with an AI teammate against a pair of AI opponents. It works and is interesting UNTIL I lost a bunch of matches where I had no input (AI played AI, lost, played lost, and we lost the match). THat was a bit frustrating - AFAIK, I can't change what my AI teammate has/uses....so I felt a bit powerless and at the whims of chance.. So, I decided it was time to move on!
Made it all the way to the 5th world and it's been fun. The game is quite like the classic sidescrolling sonics, but with new mechanics and things - there are these wisps that grant you a special ability. Also, there are boss levels, which are rendered in low-res 3D polygons.
I only stopped playing because, in the underwater levels, I got tired of dying from running out of air while also experiencing weird checkpoint glitches. A few times I had to re-start really far back and, though this only happened in boss fights, the boss would get stuck in the "final mode" but not really be vulnerable in the way it should have. So, I got frustrated, looked at the pile of pending games and decided it was time to move on. :-)