Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Andrew 26.10.2014

Review for Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle on Nintendo 3DS

Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle is the videogame adaptation of Tenkai Knights, a recent anime. The story follows a group of teenage boys that become the Tenkai Knights (LEGO-like bricks that can transform into robot-esqu knights). The game is a 2D fighting title that also features some basic platforming. Unfortunately, the gameplay is quite basic and can become stale due to its repetitive nature.

The plot to an outsider is rather confusing. There are teenage boys, bricks that transform into robots, and a general vibe of "We're the good guys, let's go kill the bad guys," which is really all the information that's required. The story is told through text heavy cut-scenes that are disappointingly absent of any real animation. This wouldn't be a problem if they weren't so long, but the fact is that the uninteresting dialogue drags on, leading to an inevitable mashing of the "A" button until the action can start. Fortunately, there is a skip option available if the scene has previously been watched, but even watching them through once is a chore that fans of the show would struggle to put up with. The cut-scenes are also totally irrelevant to the actual action, as every mission plays out in almost exactly the same way.

Screenshot for Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle on Nintendo 3DS

Missions basically involve walking around and killing enemies. The maps given are all 2D and are generally quite small, with only a handful of enemies present. However, they annoyingly respawn after every kill, requiring the map to circled several times before the level is (seemingly arbitrarily) deemed to be complete. The controls lack some basic abilities, such as being able to adjust a character's position once they are in the air. This means that vertical jumps are an occasional unwanted occurrence when trying to jump diagonally onto a platform. Characters also lack the ability to run and attack simultaneously. These issues give the game quite a clunky feel, as if made in the 1980s. As ever, players will always work with what they have been presented with, and ultimately there's nothing fundamentally flawed with the controls once adjusted to the mechanics of the game. It's just a shame that the action is unnecessarily slowed down because the character is unable to do what is reasonably expected.

There's also a multiplayer mode, which basically emulates a standard 2D fighter. Sadly, the controls lack the finesse and subtlety necessary to create a fully engaging experience. Battles typically descend into mashing attack buttons until the opponent is defeated, as even something as basic as jumping is usually awkward due to the control mechanics. There are no combos to learn and the fighting lacks a natural flow. The experience itself is not bad and can be fun in short blasts, but it's lacking any real depth, and, like the main game, it becomes repetitive rather quickly.

The title has clearly been designed to appeal kids, presumably fans of the anime. The limited voiceovers deliver sound bites such as "Never give up!" and "Time to kick some butt!" It all feels like it's been made to sound "cool," and even the title music follows this trend with an energetic beat. It's a shame that the cut-scenes kill any hint of atmosphere between battles. Overall, the music can't really be faulted though, and, if anything, it's one of the more enjoyable components.

Screenshot for Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

There's nothing awful or fundamentally broken about the game, and Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle has a pleasant atmosphere and presentation. However, it's blunted by the lacklustre and repetitive gameplay, along with controls that lack polish. The story and cut-scenes are also boring and pointless, serving as nothing more than an inconvenience, especially for those unaware of the source material.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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