A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that despite its violent-looking trappings (the word "battle" appears twice in the title), Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Battle Trainer is a strategy game at heart. The training exercises test a players reflexes, but the "battles," which are the core of the Bakugan experience, are entirely strategic. Parents should also be aware that the game is intimately tied to the Bakugan Battle Brawlers animated series, which unlike the game, does depict direct physical violence in its combat scenes.
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What's it about?
The storyline to BAKUGAN BATTLE BRAWLERS: BATTLE TRAINER is an adjunct to the overall plot to the Bakugan Battle Brawlers TV series, which focuses on Earth kids who discover little balls that unfold to become alien creatures. In this particular tale, a villain has kidnapped and hypnotized all the Bakugan on Earth, except one, and the hero, Dan, must free them all by traveling to the bad guy's space station and defeating him in a series of strategic Bakugan battles, each of which will win him back one of the stolen creatures. In between battles, Dan trains and cares for the Bakugan back on Earth.
Is it any good?
Kids who are already in love with Bakugan will be easily thrilled by Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Battle Trainer. But this game can be just as fun and exciting for players new to Bakugan world. The game can be played -- and won -- with simple strategic planning, as each battle is based on pitting the right creatures against one another and playing the right bonus cards at the right times. But being easy does not mean you sacrifice the fun. As you gain more Bakugan, your strategic options increase and the game becomes automatically deeper and more multi-leveled. The ability to train your Bakugan and earn them new powers allows for customization, variety, and even more chances for tactical planning. The biggest flaw with this particular game is that it's for solo players only -- Bakugan is inherently a multiplayer concept, so it feels like a loss to not even have a two-player option here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about media franchises and synergistic marketing. If you like a Bakugan game, are you more likely to want to watch the TV show? Or to buy Bakugan toys? Can you enjoy the game without those other things?
Is every product branded with a favorite character just as worthy of purchase? How do you know which products are genuinely good and which might be exploiting your love of the franchise?
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