Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Mar 14, 2013
    83
    The price is right for what you get here, so if you are a fan of games like this, by all means give the demo a spin. If frantic combo filled beat-em-ups aren't your thing, then skip this one and wait for the 2D fighter.
  2. Apr 14, 2013
    80
    With a solid fighting engine, plenty of room for customization, a copious offering of modes, delightfully oldschool graphics and sound and some solid controls, Battle Grounds is a game that should be played by anyone who loves nostalgic beat’em ups, especially ones that are very stylized and very Japanese.
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    80
    It’s hard not to love Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds. It’s got everything I could hope for: old school, beat’em up charm along with a heavy dose of gameplay variation and customization. I can’t get enough of the game and pray that there is more in the works for this franchise.
  4. Mar 25, 2013
    80
    Battle Grounds is not the super-polished experience of many of today's top brawlers, but it's definitely worth a look if you're interested in the genre and are at peace with familiar anime tropes.
  5. Mar 11, 2013
    80
    Though a few flaws do mar the overall experience, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is an extremely enjoyable mix of retro beat-em-up design and modern fighting-game-inspired combat depth that offers far more satisfaction than its $10 price tag might initially suggest.
  6. Mar 9, 2013
    80
    Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a simple game that anyone can pick up and play, but belies a deeper feel for combos like a traditional fighting game would, while adding a minimal skill tree for damage and speed boosts like an RPG. It's deep without being too deep, which makes it just the right amount of fun.
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a really fun game, and well worth the $10 entry fee. Local co-op is a blast, and you don’t have to be the best video game player to enjoy it.
  8. Apr 11, 2013
    75
    It's hard to deny that a coop beat-em-up with loads of visual flair and plenty of replayability (thanks to the various characters and even character builds you can try) represents damn good value for around $16 (it's 800 of Microsoft's mystical Points.) It's frustrating that you can't really find anyone to play with online, but friends / local coop cures that and, let's face it, this sort of game is more fun with friends than strangers anyway.
  9. Apr 23, 2013
    70
    Under that pixelated good is a deviously complex fighting engine. This means it's not for everyone, thought. [Issue#97, p.71]
  10. Mar 21, 2013
    70
    In the end, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds does not feature the seminal, tightly-crafted fighting mechanics of Street Fighter or the spectacular boss fights from Castle Crashers, but it does provide a handful of hours of side-scrolling, 2D-beat-em-up glee. In spite of a few crippling issues and ham-fisted mechanics, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds still outweighs its flaws with a competent throwback look and feel, gratifying gameplay flow and a strong selection of modes that, all things considered, justifies the asking price of merely $10.
  11. 65
    If you can get some pals together, have a stable connection, and don’t mind interrupting your game for a level-up session, you’ll have some fun here, but Battle Grounds still falls short of being the sleeper hit it could have been.
  12. Jul 8, 2013
    60
    Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a serviceable beat-'em-up, which is always welcome. However, it bears the cruel irony of being far more fun in single-player than multiplayer — a backward design for its chosen genre.
  13. Mar 15, 2013
    50
    All things considered after a promising start, this title leads into an ultimately disappointing experience. If you like the design and also have a soft spot for games like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, you might find an afternoon's worth of decent entertainment with this.
  14. Mar 8, 2013
    40
    I have a hard time recommending Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds to anyone. If you're obsessed with 2D brawlers and love Japanese animé, I strongly recommend you give the demo a try before shelling out any cash. The redundant and dated gameplay, coupled with weak production values, make this a forgettable experience that won't keep you entertained for very long.
User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 2, 2013
    8
    Phantom Breaker was a fighting game that came out a couple years back in Japan, and pretty much gave western civilization the finger in terms of coming over to play. Now we've been deemed worthy of the spin-off. While the first game was straight up one versus one, Battle Grounds goes the 2D beat-em-up route of Streets of Rage and Scott Pilgrim (more so Scott Pilgrim), with a focus on co-op and combos over weapons.

    Graphics consist of cutesy pixel-art recreations of what it would look like if a cosplay convention exploded all over itself in and around such gamer-hip Japanese locations as Akihabara. Whether or not you've grown tired of pixelated graphics, there's no denying the ones here being beautifully done, with stellar animation that's fast and clean. It's been a trend lately to go this route, but believe me when I say the art here is no imitation of facsimile. It's the real deal, and looks like it was made by veterans of the field. There would truly be times I would look past the chaos in the foreground to marvel over a particularly detailed backdrop, only to look back to see my character moving faster than I could process, with score multipliers firing numbers out of her skull with the ferocity of a mathematician's acid trip. As the wide-eyed anime girls kick the ever-loving out of monsters, androids and Harajuku girls alike, you may notice that not only is the whole thing nice to look at, it's rather fun as well.


    Controls are set up to prefer d-pad and face buttons over precision stick swipes, and combos are often nothing more than pressing a couple buttons in tandem with a single direction. Not only does this let you fire off chained attacks at machine gun pace, it provides the button-mashers out there with an optimal set-up for freeform brutalizing without ever having to learn much beyond "panic fingers". It feels like playing at an old arcade machine, where any strategy from careful timing to sheer madness works fine. A power-up gauge provides a nice incentive to hold off stronger powers until you can chain together super combos, which can rack up insane numbers and damage when deployed correctly. An even nicer touch is how they break up the 2D plane into two layers, allowing you to hop back and forth between separate paths. Works well for strategic jumping and dodging.

    Of course, this is all better with a friend (or three), as the AI can get downright mean in later stages, where devastating chain attacks can be deployed on you with only the tiniest windows of escape. Co-op here is either on or offline, with online having the benefit of not restricting all players to the same frame space. In other words, freedom to splinter off from the group, spreading the enemies out. Still, you can stick together and bounce enemies around between you, as it's possible to pull off team-up attacks. As a team, battles get frantic quickly, as the speed of the game tends to run high, and if one person is deploying an overdrive combo, everyone else slows down to what is essentially bullet time. It can be distracting or unfavorable in many instances, but it's still kind of cool to fight in slow motion as your friend tears through enemies at multiplied speed, or vice versa. Ah, who am I kidding? It's more trouble than it's worth...

    Full review at http://www.bloodwcinnamon.com/rev/phantombr.html
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