By Steve Baltimore / August 11th, 2015
|Title||PHANTOM BREAKER : BATTLE GROUNDS
|Developer||Mages / 5pb|
|Release Date||July 21, 2015|
|Genre||Beat ’em up|
Last year, I reviewed Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds for the PlayStation Vita. I very much enjoyed its classic sprite graphics, combat system and fantastic chiptune OST. When the opportunity came around to check out the newly upgraded version, Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds Overdrive, for the PS4 I jumped at the chance. Let’s see if this upgraded version added anything to this already great title.
Just like in the previous version, the story takes place in Tokyo, where an evil man called The Phantom has been gathering his power. The field that holds The Phantom’s power has weakened, thus letting him regain his former power. The Kumon family has sworn to protect the world from The Phantom, and, when young Nagi is kidnapped, a group of heroines is formed to defeat the evil and rescue her.
While the story hasn’t changed, the graphics have seen a slight upgrade. The sprites look even better at 1080p than they did on the Vita, and they looked pretty damn good there. In addition to improved resolution, now even more enemies can fill the screen to add to the already action packed combat. That ol’ saying “the more the merrier” definitely applies here.
The audio has also been improved. The music is where you can hear the biggest difference. The PS4 makes these already fantastic chip tunes really pop. The awesome and upbeat battle tunes will have you pumped to beat your enemies to a pulp in no time flat. The Japanese audio is back as well, and while nothing has changed, its just as great as it was the first time around.
Most of the gameplay is just the same as before: standard beat-em-up controls with controller motions and button combos for special moves. There have been some additions here as well; these include new abilities to be learned and some alternative paths that can be unlocked when certain conditions are met. These new paths can also lead you to some new skills. I found the new skills and paths a welcome addition to an already fantastic experience. If you want a more in-depth description of the controls, you can check out my review of the PlayStation Vita version.
The multiplayer here is an absolute blast. You can play through the stages co-op via online or locally with up to 4 four players. This is a ton of fun and reminds me of my youth spent in arcades feeding these kinds of games a ton of quarters. In addition to the co-op mode, there is also a versus mode where you can challenge your friends to a friendly fight. You can do this both on and offline. I am also happy to report this game runs fantastic online with very-little-to-no lag.
I had just as much fun with this one a second time around. The additional skills, new stage paths, and upgraded enemy count were icing on an already great cake. I played for around 3 hours to complete story mode with one character for this review, but there is tons of replay value as you have many other characters to choose from in arcade mode. At the $14.99 price tag, or if you enjoyed the original on the PlayStation Vita, you will find a lot to love here.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
5pb.beat-’em-upmagesPhantom BreakerPhantom Breaker: Battle GroundsPhantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive