We noticed a significant omission within moments of starting this co-op brawler – all six playable characters are mute throughout, not even making a muffled grunt or groan when taking damage. It’s understandable that publisher GameMill didn’t want to cough up the cash for vocal talent, this being a £19.99 game and all, but why the developers couldn’t resort to sampling speech from the hero’s respective cartoons is beyond us.
Right from the off this has an impact on the overall atmosphere, while making it clear that you’re playing a budget effort. The characters may resemble their cartoon counterparts thanks to the well-drawn artwork, but without their catchphrases and one-liners they feel like lifeless clones. It doesn’t help matters that the animation has that horrid Adobe Flash look to it, while the NPCs our heroes occasionally meet may as well be cardboard cut-outs. Instead of being fully animated, they merely expand and shrink slightly to give the illusion they’re alive. Backdrops meanwhile are recycled endlessly, like something from an early Hanna-Barbera production.
What we have here is a scrolling brawler, albeit a watered down one. There’s no block button or ability to evade attacks and no combo meter; it’s a button basher, plain and simple. Moreover, the five or six endlessly recycled enemy types have no distinct attack patterns – they merely head straight towards our heroes and slowly ebb away at their health bar. Each character (Finn, Mordecai, Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe and Gumball) does have their own ranged weapon and assortment of unlockable special attacks however, and it’s the focus on swapping between heroes when need calls that prevents Battle Crashers from being entirely brainless. We also approve of the fact that Mordecai uses a Nintendo Power Glove to attack enemies. It’s so bad.