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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
If you want your Bakugan to do well in their matches, you need to not only train them well at home, but also care for them by petting them and playing with them. Characters in the game also make a point of saying that intelligence is just as important as strength.
Positive Role Models
Dan and his friends treat the Bakugan well and worry about the creatures when they're in danger. The game may be built around fighting, but the heroes are only using that fighting mechanic to save the world.
Ease of Play
Bakugan is a relatively simple game to pick up and play. There are not many rules to learn and the controls here are no problem at all. Some of the training exercises are a bit more challenging, but they start off simple and get gradually more difficult as the player's experience grows.
Violence & Scariness
Some Bakugan creatures wield weapons, like swords, spiked clubs, and even a laser cannon. But the fighting in the game is depicted only with one Bakugan making a swipe in the air, followed by animation of the losing opponent falling down. The only time physical contact is ever shown is in a split-second shot of a punch during the opening cinematic sequence (which is made up of scenes from the Bakugan cartoon). It's also worth noting that none of the combatants ever die. They just lose the battle and come back for the next one.
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The hero, Dan, is a big fan of calling his enemies "freaks." He also says once, "This bites."
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Products & Purchases
This game connects to the vast Bakugan media empire, which includes toys, games, cartoons, books, etc. The game also expects players to be familiar with the TV show, as it contains trivia questions based on specific episodes.
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.
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.
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