Review: Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (XBLA)

Review: Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (XBLA)

For the past week I’ve been glued to my TV playing the recently released game Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. Boy have I been having a good time, which might tell you the game is good, but it could have flaws as well. I’ll be asking you a few questions which you may have thought at some point. Do you wish you could find a game that is as good if not better than the Scott Pilgrim game and has online multiplayer? Look no further I’ve found the game for you, which released on Feb. 27th 2013 for only 800msp/$10.00. What is this game? It’s called Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds brought to you by Division2 and published by Mages.

Now you may be asking yourself, what is Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds? That’s a good question for you to be thinking about if you’ve yet to hear or play this game. As many gamers know at one point the game Phantom Breaker was going to release in the US for the Xbox 360. I mean just search online and you’ll see an awesome looking limited edition. Out of no where with no real reason that I can find the retail game Phantom Breaker disappeared, and pre-orders canceled even though the publisher here in the US tried its best to still have it come out. Pretty sad news, right? We can only hope that someone tries to bring it back to the US at some point. What is Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds all about? Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a co-op action game that allows up-to four players at once. You can select from four main characters if playing locally but if online you can pick up to 10 if you’ve unlocked the hidden characters.

What is the game about? We start the game learning about a mysterious man known as the Phantom. For some reason he has awakened and plans to unseal his dark powers to use against everyone. How will he get his powers back? Quite easy. He simply gives ancient weapons known as the Fu-mantion Artifacts to young people with special powers. With a little work he in-turn convinces them to battle each other with the promise to grant wishes to the ones who happen to win. However, with out the young girls not knowing, each time the Fu-mantion Artifacts are used in battle the space-time continuum is weakened. This creates a rift between two parallel worlds, which will unseal the Phantom’s powers. When then Phantom is nearly defeated he gets away but not without Waka’s sister Nagi. This is where you’ll start the game.

The gameplay to this game is very solid and will bring you back for more. Trust me it has me playing a few times throughout the day. Even writing this I’m trying my best not to get up and try to beat the game on Nightmare. What is Nightmare? It’s the game on the hardest difficulty but I’ll leave it to you to see how much fun it is when playing with others. I’ll start off with how the game handles/plays. When you first boot up the game you’ll have the chance to pick one of four characters as I’ve said above. The story itself is in Japanese Dub but in English Text. Cool, right? Controls to the game are quite simple and you’ll learn quickly during Stage 0. Yes, a Stage 0 that has your character fully unlocked. You’ll learn how to use Phantom Breaker (the most bad ass attack you’ll use), strong attacks, medium attacks, and normal attacks. I’ll provide some of the controls now so you can see how easy it’ll be to learn. Up is jumping, Down twice is to change lanes, Left and Right are simply left and right, and A,B,X,Y deal out attacks but so do LT and RT later in the level ups of your character. Simple, right?

Once you get the hang of things and beat the level you’ll lose your powers and the game really starts. I know you may be thinking, I just lost all my powers which grant me bad ass attacks! Don’t worry with Phantom Breaker: Battle Gounds you’ll be able to get them back in no time. How? As you play levels you’ll see Red Gems laying around after enemies are beat. Those are how you’ll earn XP per level so my advice if you want to reach Level 50 is collect them. You’ll see other types of Gems as well that range from Blue that grants you the powers to use the special attacks (though pushing RB once bar is filled twice will zap nearly all enemies), and Green that grants you a quick boost of speed to really kick a bosses butt when in need. Though that doesn’t mean the bosses you’ll meet can issue the same type of slow down time and kick you to the curb. Oh that’s just all the story and etc… There is more to this game! Included in this game is co-op online as you’ve already guessed it but there is also a battle mode. What is this mode? Think of it as you select your best character and fight against 3 other people to come out on top.

As for the audio and graphics to this game, How are they? When it comes to the audio it’s right up there with how it should be with a game like this. Very catchy music no mater what level, the voice acting in Japanese fits the game very well, and the normal in-game audio isn’t too much or too little. When it comes to the graphics to Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds I was blown away from the start. The levels seem to be very detailed but when it comes to the characters you can play as think of 8-bit sprites of awesomeness in a HD world. Just playing the trial to this game sold and after seeing the graphics, how the plays and the fun I was having I was sold.

Overall, I’d say this game is well worth checking out. Do you have 800msp/$10.00 laying around? If so, buy this game and you’ll be very glad you did. The replay value to Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is quite high whether you have 3 friends joining you locally or playing with friends over Xbox Live. Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a one of a kind XBLA game!

[learn_more caption=”Review Results”][one_half]Pros:

[custom_list type=”check”]

  • Awesome looking graphics and gameplay
  • Solid storyline from start to end
  • Online multiplayer is great
  • Variety of playable characters is good
  • Audio for both music and acting is great
  • Major replay value, including pvpvp battle mode[/custom_list][/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cons:

[custom_list type=”x”]

  • More characters to unlock would be great

[/custom_list][/one_half_last]

Final Word:

FANTASTIC

To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]

Avid collector of Funko Pop! items, Pokemon and video games. You may have seen my past work at SFX-360/DigitalNoob. When I’m not collecting great things I’m writing news, previews, reviews and running giveaways.

  • mowmow

    from what i was watching so far I like the 2d sprites and having 2 planes to fight on. I also like how there seemed to be combos and special area effect attacks. That nightmare? difficulty you played on looks really hard but fun.

    @aznxchunky

  • mowmow

    from what i was watching so far I like the 2d sprites and having 2 planes to fight on. I also like how there seemed to be combos and special area effect attacks. That nightmare? difficulty you played on looks really hard but fun.

    @aznxchunky

  • Ramminchuck

    Oh dear god that sprite work is just amazing. Also looks to move a lot faster than other beat em ups, which I am a fan of. 🙂

  • Ramminchuck

    Oh dear god that sprite work is just amazing. Also looks to move a lot faster than other beat em ups, which I am a fan of. 🙂

  • I like the retro look of the game with 2d sprites.

  • Co-op gameplay, I LOVE IT!! #1 reason I would love to own and play this title. Excellent review & thank you for a chance to win this title. @nai13omb

  • Guest

    I like the retro look of the game with 2d sprites.

  • Guest

    Co-op gameplay, I LOVE IT!! #1 reason I would love to own and play this title. Excellent review & thank you for a chance to win this title. @nai13omb

  • otakuman5000

    Looks amazing!! I need to get the game. Good review my friend!!

  • otakuman5000

    Looks amazing!! I need to get the game. Good review my friend!!

  • I’m really diggin’ the art style and how you can easily pick it up and play with friends online! Looks to be a blast and can’t wait to try it out!

  • SpeedBrkr

    I’m really diggin’ the art style and how you can easily pick it up and play with friends online! Looks to be a blast and can’t wait to try it out!

  • vdh360

    Everything!!!. PERIOD!:

    I’m a sucker for beat ’emp ups (extra points for rpg elements), also I dig retro/8-16 bit looking games – and I like them more when they are 2 1/2D. Finally they have a really good anime design (which I also really like). + bonus points for Japanese voices and the 4DS sign in one of the stores.
    @vdh360

  • vdh360

    Everything!!!. PERIOD!:

    I’m a sucker for beat ’emp ups (extra points for rpg elements), also I dig retro/8-16 bit looking games – and I like them more when they are 2 1/2D. Finally they have a really good anime design (which I also really like). + bonus points for Japanese voices and the 4DS sign in one of the stores.
    @vdh360

  • I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot and honestly, the best thing about it for me was the fact that my fiancé wanted to play it with me. The last game she wanted to play with me was Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Other than that I enjoyed the fast beat me up action. Really hope I get the full version to play an awesome game with my girl.

    @kancer

  • I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot and honestly, the best thing about it for me was the fact that my fiancé wanted to play it with me. The last game she wanted to play with me was Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Other than that I enjoyed the fast beat me up action. Really hope I get the full version to play an awesome game with my girl.

    @kancer

    • Andrew Peggs

      That’s always a nice thing to have happen!

  • I love 2D side scroller games, my favorite type of game is RPG and any game that relates to a leveling system.
    I used to do a lot of pixel art so I can appreciate any pixel based games for the art and not just the gameplay, most of the friends that come round to mine usually bring a controller for co-op games, I don’t have a lot of them and this seems like it would bring the fun out with all of my friends that visit every day.

    Also as a fan of anime/manga drawings & stories, I really like the look of this game & the story seems like it could be interesting.

    The Japanese elements in the game are rather fitting too!

    Glad there is a set of difficulties as in most games that don’t are too easy and it tends to bore me but after playing a demo of it it’s a very fun time waster!

  • I love 2D side scroller games, my favorite type of game is RPG and any game that relates to a leveling system.
    I used to do a lot of pixel art so I can appreciate any pixel based games for the art and not just the gameplay, most of the friends that come round to mine usually bring a controller for co-op games, I don’t have a lot of them and this seems like it would bring the fun out with all of my friends that visit every day.

    Also as a fan of anime/manga drawings & stories, I really like the look of this game & the story seems like it could be interesting.

    The Japanese elements in the game are rather fitting too!

    Glad there is a set of difficulties as in most games that don’t are too easy and it tends to bore me but after playing a demo of it it’s a very fun time waster!

  • This game looks better than Dungeon Fighter Live for sure and playing as SD characters is a bonus too 🙂
    @Chronorayven

  • Chronorayven

    This game looks better than Dungeon Fighter Live for sure and playing as SD characters is a bonus too 🙂
    @Chronorayven

  • eugaet

    The art style is great, but what really stands out for me is the co-op gameplay. Co-op is the one bullet point I always look for in the game specs.
    @eugaet

  • eugaet

    The art style is great, but what really stands out for me is the co-op gameplay. Co-op is the one bullet point I always look for in the game specs.
    @eugaet

  • PIxels! I LOVE PIXELS!

  • Graham Pope

    PIxels! I LOVE PIXELS!

  • The Art Style is nice =D Kinda love games like this =)
    @AntaraelDulacre

  • Antarael Dulacre

    The Art Style is nice =D Kinda love games like this =)
    @AntaraelDulacre

  • Art style looks solid, gameplay looks smooth.

  • Art style looks solid, gameplay looks smooth.

  • mumbles74

    I grew up on side scrolling games (80’s classics) and this review has really made me want to revisit some. This game looks sharp, with great bright visuals – would definately love to spend some time playing it.

  • mumbles74

    I grew up on side scrolling games (80’s classics) and this review has really made me want to revisit some. This game looks sharp, with great bright visuals – would definately love to spend some time playing it.

  • Like its gameplay and able to play together with friends. Like its retro graphics too 🙂

  • rann

    Like its gameplay and able to play together with friends. Like its retro graphics too 🙂

  • Pleasantly surprised on this one. Really comfortable controls once I had the hang of it. Excellent bit graphics with a modern touch. Good workout for the hands.

  • Pleasantly surprised on this one. Really comfortable controls once I had the hang of it. Excellent bit graphics with a modern touch. Good workout for the hands.

  • I really like the animation and the music of this game.

    Also… I like to be coperative game 🙂

  • I really like the animation and the music of this game.

    Also… I like to be coperative game 🙂

  • bdavid81

    Love the demo… Waiting for DOTW now.

  • bdavid81

    Love the demo… Waiting for DOTW now.

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