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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SummaryPhantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. Enjoy fast and frantic arcade-style beat 'em up gameplay with cute characters. Beat up hordes of weird enemies with awesome special attacks. Local co-op and PVP supported for up to 4 players.