Cartoons are great for young and old I reckon. It’s the one genre where there are no limitations on imagination and creativity.
When I was a kid it was the likes of BUGS BUNNY, DAFFY DUCK,POPEYE and DANGERMOUSE that ruled the airwaves,
Unfortunately I then grew up - well sort of (I am a man after all) and there came a gap in my life until my son came along and rekindled my love for the wacky world of cartoons.
I used to sit with him for hours watching such classics as DEXTER’S LAB, JOHNNY BRAVO and SAMURIA JACK.
That’s why both my son (who is 18 now) and I were pleasantly surprised to come across a copy of CARTOON NETWORK PUNCHTIME EXPLOSION XL developed by CRAVE ENTERTAINMENT and PAPAYA STUDIOS.
All our old favourites are here, and the gameplay is very similar to the SUPER SMASH BROTHERS games. So if you like that then you will know what this is going to be like, although it isn`t as good.
The game play is pretty straight forward and aimed at younger gamers (I would assume).
The actual violence is very cartoony and acceptable for younger players, as in SMASH BROTHERS when you strike an opponent a glowing orb falls out of them. Collect enough to fill your power meter and then unleash a “punch time explosion”.
You can play with up to 4 players (human or cpu) on a multi-level 2D stage. Preceding the fight sequences there is a small side scrolling platform section which involves a number of tasks and vanquishing of some rather odd looking enemies, all easy stuff as you would expect, with basic controls and simple moves.
You can team up with certain other characters to assist you with your battles which results in some very humorous explosive attacks.
There is an actual storyline to this game but I can’t imagine most kids will be bothered about it as it is very long and convoluted.
Mind you, kids will enjoy the cut scenes and cinematic sequences.
The graphics are very clean and bright and the characters are very accurate. Gameplay is easy and reasonably fluid, even though the button configuration isn`t what most gamers are used too; using the Y button to jump instead of the A button can be a bit awkward at times.
Unfortunately, the actual moves aren`t much to write home about and the overall gameplay isn`t the best. OK it will probably entertain young gamers on a wet afternoon (of which there are plenty lately) and for the price it is reasonable value.
There just seems to be something lacking within this game, whether it’s the choice of characters or the sluggish, sometimes annoying gameplay.
CARTOON NETWORK PUNCHTIME EXPLOSION XL is one of those games that has a “Marmite” kind of feel to it - either you love it or you hate i. I got bored with it easily thanks to the frustrating controls and my son who remembers all these characters didn`t like the fact that you had to play a large portion of the game to unlock your favourite character.
This game might be similar to SMASH BROTHERS but it isn`t in the same league, which is a shame as it is another game that had potential but didn`t deliver.
I give CARTOON NETWORK PUNCHTIME EXPLOSION XL 5 out of 10
Cartoon Network Punchtime explosion Xl
Developer :Papaya Studios
Publisher : Crave Entertainment/deep Silver
Genre : Fighting
Age rating : (varies)PG to 12
Release date : 18th May 2012
Review by Dayvid Ryan