Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a fast side-scrolling 2D brawler with an animated charm that will hook you from the outset. It captures the addictiveness of a retro arcade fighter and delivers a fresh dose of action to the West.
Aesthetically, Phantom Breaker looks super cute with its pixel-perfect throwback guise. The persistent and angry lynch-mob of obscure and bizarre creatures look mighty fine on the small screen. From motorbike-riding hoodlums that look like cast offs from Streets of Rage, to ape-like giant bosses, it’s certainly a fun and whacky fighter.
The story, in short, is a tale of the kidnap and subsequent search for your sister who has been snatched and thrown into a different dimensional world. Starting with a choice of four equally sweet girl warriors who have a bigger bite than your ex-girlfriend, it’s your task to wade through each level in a bid to find your missing sister. It’s a simple and uncomplicated story, nothing to get het up about. The button configuration is nothing too taxing either. Launching attacks can vary from light, medium to heavy and the levelling-up tree adds a bevy of customisation at your fingertips. Special moves, trips, throws and unleashing your special move can be delivered with considerable ease.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds really does keep it simple and there’s no big tutorial either; just a plain page-by-page text explaining combat techniques.
Where Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds excels is having the ability to jump back and forth into the background. Here you can dodge larger incoming foes then swap lanes, as it were, and leap back to pummel other unexpected warriors. As the game can be repetitive this feature really opens up different combat tactics and spices up gameplay.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds really is about ploughing through level after level of misfits which swarm around you like peed-off hornets. Take out one bunch and the next lynch mob is just around the corner. The action is relentless. Making the game more interesting is down to you and your choice of combat.
Even with your powers stripped, your chances of survival are still pretty high. This may not be the most changeling brawler you’ve ever played; I completed the game in 2 hours only using a couple of continues. For the seasoned fighter the difficulty level can be notched up. Here we have a brawler that caters for all ages and encourages return plays by offering different character selection.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a fine retro-looking beat ’em up that may lack the sucker punch but definitely lands a firm cheeky slap. This Phantom does not do blood, guts and gore, but it does give the Vita a cool and cute beat ‘em up. Young ninjas in pyjamas to older ultimate warriors need only apply.
Lizard rating 7.5/10