Champions of Vestroia, the Switch-exclusive game for the anime series Bakugan, ran quite a feat in international tests. But is the title really as bad as everyone says? We checked out whether it might be worth a look for series and genre fans. But first, a brief explanation of the source material: Bakugan is an anime series that was designed to market special toys – so similar to He-Man.

Linking merchandise and animated series has become commonplace, especially in Japan, just think of Yu-gi-Oh! or the big competitor Pokémon. In 2007, the first of four seasons of Bakugan was broadcast on television in the Far East.
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The game world is inviting and colorful, but it is also very empty and hardly interactive. Your map automatically shows you the objectives of the main quests.



The game world is inviting and colorful, but it is also very empty and hardly interactive. Your map automatically shows you the objectives of the main quests.

Source: PC Games




But now to the game: As a boy or girl, at the beginning of the adventure you stumble across your own Bakugan, which you can choose from five candidates – Professor Eich sends his regards. The intelligent, alien life forms are used in the world of Bakugan in a mixture of turn-based and real-time battles. As usual, elementary weaknesses and advantages play an important role. There are up to three Bakugan in your team, each with four skills: To activate these, you have to actively pick up power items that appear on the field. Your opponent does the same, so grab the items as quickly as possible. If you have collected enough energy, you can use the directional buttons to make the attack you want (there are also moves that give you an advantage or give the enemy a penalty).

Grab them all – there aren't that many anyway






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2021/01/Bakugan_Switch_Test-3–buffed.jpg" alt = "The story is irrelevant, the character models look really strange.
The Bakugan creatures are definitely the best characters in the game.”/>



The story is irrelevant, the character models look awkward.
The Bakugan creatures are definitely the best characters in the game.

Source: PC Games




After the attack you have to wait for a cool-down period even with sufficient energy reserves, so that you are encouraged not to always unleash the same attack, but to switch through. As usual in the monster duel genre, collect your Bakugan experience, increase your level and become stronger. Picking up the power items during the fights is basically a nice idea, but practically the arguments drag on terribly, especially if the opponents are constantly changing their Bakugan and you are then forced to do so because of your monster type otherwise has a disadvantage. Then you have to collect energy again. Despite all the tactical options, in case of doubt the one who has collected the randomly appearing power plates faster wins. It is also annoying that attacks that have been saved up fizzle out if you use your move almost simultaneously with your enemy. Its animation overwrites yours as a result, and you neither land a hit, nor do you get the energy back. Compared to the Pokémon, the Bakugan look more martial, are quite detailed and for the most part attractively designed. But there are fewer different monsters than the competition.







While the monsters wait in the background until you give the order to attack, you collect energy in the foreground.



While the monsters wait in the background until you give the order to attack, you collect energy in the foreground.

Source: PC Games




In addition to the fights, you pass the time exploring a friendly, but also very interchangeable and boring game world brand small town in America. There are many classic collect-this-tasks and errand boy orders, which are even more fun than usual due to the long walking distances and the constant loading times. Visually, the Bakugan models are the bright spot, otherwise Champions of Vestroia is reminiscent of mobile phone games in places: it jerks, the animations are rudimentary at best, the human figures are not very appealing.

The wooden cutscenes seem as if the animators have completely gone on strike. Overall, Bakugan leaves the impression, despite the nice approaches, that they went to work here with very little passion, time and money. By the way, the makers are anything but unknown: WayForward, for example, draws for them acclaimed Shantae series responsible.

Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia (NSW)

Some cool designed monsters
Colorful environments
Fights drag on
Repulsive character design of people
Often jerky, long and frequent loading times
Lots of boring side quests
Bad story
Cutscenes seem unfinished

Uninspired monster combat RPG with technical flaws and lots of grind

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Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia: Exclusive Switch game announced

Nintendo announced Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia exclusively for the Switch in a livestream. The game will be released this year.

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