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Planet Crashers (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Planet Crashers on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Throughout the year, the 3DS e-shop has been gaining momentum, but despite various titles hitting the virtual shelves very few actually stand out. Planet Crashers, a simple dungeon RPG with colourful worlds, is one of the titles hoping to stand above the rest. Is it good enough to warrant parting ways with your cash?

As described in the introduction, Planet Crashers is a dungeon RPG that's available for download now on the 3DS eShop. The game has three modes, single player, local multiplayer and online multiplayer, and the game lets players customise their character any time and use that same character in all modes. The game's story sets the lead character off to defeat an unknown evil that wants to destroy the universe; typical, eh?

The object is to travel around planets and complete quests for people who ask you to go in one of three dungeons on the same planet to complete their missions. Once a mission has been completed, it is back to the person who gave the task initially in order to receive a reward in the form of some experience points, along with a new weapon, or secret move (or both). Returning to the mission giver can be a manual procedure or an automatic one, but the game seems to decide at random which one it is. Quests can also be received from a clipboard on each planet, which will give money as an alternate award, and after each quest the player will be sent to rest at their house and save the game; this can also be entered at any time.

Screenshot for Planet Crashers on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Dungeons on each planet are coloured green, blue and red; they each have multiple floors and each floor gets harder, with green being the easiest and red being the hardest. Each dungeon has a different map to navigate through, but the full dungeon can only be seen if exploring every nook and cranny. The map is shown on the bottom screen where items laying on the floor are visible, but not enemies. Enemies, however, are visible on the main screen and when running into them, or vice versa which is often the case, a battle will start.

Battles are turn-based; there are four options: skill, item, swap and escape. Skill is literally the attack command, of which the character has four skills to use in battle, and these can easily be swapped in and out of battle as more powerful and complicated attacks are gained. Each skill has a timed pattern in which pressing the A button a number of times as it flashes on screen is required, and as the game progresses, attacks get more complicated in terms of timings and numbers of presses. However, if able to pull these off perfectly, a hefty amount of damage will be dealt. The lead character can't defend against the enemy, with them simply missing most of the time, especially if at a high enough level. At the same time, though, there are stats that go up in value when levelling up -- Strength, Defence and Speed, as well as HP. When winning a battle, 100GP (money) is given and an allotted amount of experience points depending on the difficulty of the enemy. When levelling up, the HP automatically goes up, and the choice to level up another stat from two options is provided and where strength and defence are the most worthwhile, since speed only ever seems to matter when running into an enemy and they attack first. There is also a minute to choose an action otherwise the enemy gets an automatic free attack.

Screenshot for Planet Crashers on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

There aren't many choices in items; there are potions that come in three sizes, ranging from small to large, and heal a percentage of the health, with large healing the character fully. Buckles can be used to make the lead sturdier during battle by upping defence, and various foods up attack levels, although doing enough quests will mean these items will never be needed. The swap option lets you swap out skill and weapons during battle, and this can be a big help if you have forgotten to equip a new item or skill that can make the battle easier, although like attacking and using an item, this will cost a move and probably some damage. Each item, as well as being found on dungeon floors can be bought from each planet's shop, with the prices never changing, although if buying potions most of the time, there is also the option to sell, since there are some items that can be picked up that can't be used in battle.

Once levelled up enough, traverse to the next planet is possible, with each planetoid getting consecutively harder, and most of them having moons where extra quests can be found. These will usually give weapons and moves as well as level the character up enough to make the next planet seem almost like a walk in the park, and if you do a lot of the quests then the final boss will be disappointingly be a complete breeze to overcome.

Screenshot for Planet Crashers on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Planet Crashers itself will easily take about 6-7 hours to complete without finishing all of the quests, but this game seems like it was designed more as an introduction to the dungeon RPG genre and, therefore, should be used that way. The story is light, in fact you could guess what the "Unknown Evil" is very early in the game and there's not much else to it. The graphics are basic but look nice due to the colours used on the different planets, with each planet having different themes, like Halloween or even cheese. The enemies aren't very imaginative and all have generic names, with a few being parodies of people in real life; in the Halloween-themed planet, for example, there's a common enemy called Bill Mummy.

The music does run its course after a while with each planet having a different tune that continues into the dungeons as well. The battle music, however, stays exactly the same throughout and does get boring, especially since it's the same tune as the menu screen. Of course, the quest mode isn't the only option in the game; you can also battle against others in local or online play, which can be pretty hard to do if you don't know anyone with the game. Players can also customise their character with gear unlocked by beating the quest.

Screenshot for Planet Crashers on 3DS eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


As a turn-based RPG, this doesn't do much wrong, but there definitely can be improvements made. Battles can get too easy and it renders a lot of the items useless.


The colours in the game and some of the art is nice, and sort of has an Animal Crossing-like feel to it. However, most of the characters and dungeons are generic, and don't look great at all.


There isn't much in the way of sound effects, and the music can become tiresome after a while, especially when completing a quest that takes you to the third level of a dungeon.


The game can be completed in less than seven hours without all the quests, and there isn't much variation or motivation to complete them all. If you're a completist, though, or have friends to battle online, this could be worth it.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


About this score

Overall, Planet Crashers gets very repetitive for those without patience. The graphics aren't great and there isn't much of a story, but if you have someone that you would like to introduce to the dungeon RPG genre, you can't do much wrong with Planet Crashers. It's a simple yet addictive game that can get hard if not experienced but it is rewarding once you've got the hang of it. If, however, you're an experienced gaming veteran, or like to play games that take more than 40 hours to complete, this is definitely not for you.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Rob64 (guest) 22.08.2012 18:02#1

Isn't this on iPhone? Did Renegade Kid just do the grunt work to get it on eShop?

Staff Member

I guess so, I wondered why it was so short only takes up about 640 blocks on the 3DS

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw

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