Super Smash Bros. on 3DS? Close enough!
I had a pleasant surprise playing Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion. The game, simply put, is Super Smash Bros. with characters from popular Cartoon Network shows. And that is a wonderful thing.
The game mimics Super Smash Bros. very closely, from the percentage damage, to flying off screen and returning with a triple set of jumps. There are even Final Smash-esque moves. There have been a few clones, but this is the first game where I really felt like they got it right.
With a wide variety of fighters and locations spanning a number of shows, Cartoon Network shows are perfectly suited for such a game. Each character has their own assortment of moves, and there are lots of items as well. I don't even know most of the characters, but I had a lot of fun playing with them due to the gameplay similarity to the Nintendo titles. Fans of the shows should have an even better reason to pick up the game.
The game isn't quite as detailed as the previous two Smash Bros. games, but the stages look good in 3D, with activity going on in the background, and many levels transform throughout the fight. Some stages change altogether in the middle of the fight, such as a Ben-10 level where players are teleported from Earth to an alien planet.
The multiplayer mode features up to four players over local wireless. Unfortunately, internet play didn't make it; perhaps next time.
Punch Time Explosion also contains a full single player adventure mode. This mode looks to be better than the similar Sub-Space Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as it features more platforming elements and 3D gimmicks such as cannonballs that fly at your face. I'm told there's even an Angry Birds spoof level that uses the touch screen.
With no Smash Bros. for 3DS yet in sight, Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion is a welcome entry in the 3DS library. Featuring a large number of unique characters and stages, the game comes pretty close to the Smash Bros. experience. The game releases in May in North America.
Check out video below.