BATTLEBLOCK THEATER REVIEW
The Behemoth have sure taken their time creating Battleblock Theatre. Do they put on a worthwhile show?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Apr 30, 2013 13:52 (Apr 30, 2013 13:52)
Written by: Ian
The Behemoth have sure taken their time creating "Battleblock Theater". Do they put on a worthwhile show? Castle Crashers was an amazing XBLA title, but 4 years sure is a long time, even for such a small team, to put together their next game. Have we all just moved on?
The story mode has all of the humour you would expect from the Behemoth, combined with their traditional art style, but presented in a Punch-and-Judy / finger-puppet style that looks like someone else is pulling the strings. Unfortunately though, the actual gameplay is so far removed from the story that the disconnect soon gets really jarring as you start picking up gems for no good reason to move through levels to just unlock more cut-scenes? It ends up being confusing and more than a bit odd.
Battleblock moves away from being a side-scrolling combat game with a little bit of platforming to a mostly puzzle and platforming focused game, with a little bit of combat. Even more surprising, perhaps, is that I found the combat mostly very bland, and the platforming and puzzling pretty decent.
You’ll eventually unlock other weapons, but the default melee and mine attacks are pretty disappointing, and in the single player, there’s not much use for them anyway. Combat is shoved right to the side and you navigate your way around the levels to pick up gems to open the exit portal. The more you get, the better your score. Unfortunately until you finish a level, there’s often little way to tell if you missed any, whilst the time you need to beat the medal score is never revealed, which can be pretty frustrating if you’re after the A+ ratings.
For the first few levels, the game is pretty diverting, without ever being truly special. However, after you’ve played 20 or so levels and start to realise that whilst the difficulty goes up a bit, and you do need to use a few more brain cells, generally not an awful lot changes in terms of the game mechanics one jot throughout the game.
The game started to wear thin for me before even the end of the first act, and it didn’t really get much better from there on in. Castle Crashers remained fun because there were new landscapes, enemies and bosses to fight, whilst you just don’t get the same variation here, either visually or in terms of the gameplay, which is a real shame.