3DS

North America

Battleship

by Alex Culafi - May 24, 2012, 11:22 am PDT
Total comments: 1

5

Apparently, Super Battleship 2 was already taken.

Battleship is not a bad game. It's not a great game, and has some serious issues, but it is not a bad game. This is especially impressive given its status as a handheld licensed game—developed by a company with a rather eclectic track record—based on a movie based on a guessing game.

Developed by Magic Pockets, Battleship is a turn-based strategy game in the vein of Advance Wars. Well, it practically is Advance Wars. You use units on a grid (in this case, the ocean) to fight enemies, with various objectives tossed in. Sometimes, you simply need to defeat all the alien invaders. In other battles, you have to protect cities, control harbors (to produce more units), or escape by knocking down debris. Unfortunately, unlike Advance Wars, the game is neither addictive nor creative, nor does the core gameplay change often.

Lack of uniqueness notwithstanding, Battleship's gameplay is impressively competent. The AI is smart (sometimes too smart), often requiring actual strategy on the part of the player to best. Battleship is also of solid length (about 12 hours, reports my Activity Log), and in that time, the game does attempt things outside the strategy game norm. Occasionally, two large ships can enter Duel mode, where, instead of dealing damage, the game places you in a first-person action sequence to destroy the other ship with missiles. It's pretty fun, even if the concept is ripped straight from Super Battleship on the SNES. In addition, each character you play as, who leads a given fleet during a level, has their own special ability, such as adding units and powering up one of the many different ship types.

From a difficulty perspective, Battleship presents a surprising challenge. As soon as a few missions in, battles become much tougher and much lengthier. While this keeps the game interesting for a while, checkpoints are nonexistent, which can often lead to frustrating moments of repetition in the game’s later missions. Outside of the campaign, there are achievements (called medals) that don't unlock anything, and a skirmish mode that allows missions to be replayed with any officer.

Concerning story and presentation, Battleship fares far worse. In the title, the world's fleets are attacked by aliens during an international maritime exercise. The game introduces characters and events (sometimes through flashbacks), but the plot demands so little attention that I could barely tell you what happens if I tried, and that's coming from someone who actually read everything. Aliens come, aliens invade, and humanity fights back. That's it. 

Marring the game even further is how unimpressive it is from a technical standpoint. The sound has the same few generic action movie tracks playing over and over again, and the graphics (barring some of the least effective 3D I have ever seen) could have been done on the DS.

Although fairly competent and often challenging, Battleship is a mediocre licensed game through and through. This is a shame, because after playing it, I feel like Magic Pockets is capable of so much more.

Summary

Pros
  • Challenging
  • Competent gameplay
  • Good length
Cons
  • Feels rushed
  • No checkpoints
  • Terrible story and presentation

Talkback

TlonMay 24, 2012

I agree with every aspect of the review. Playing the game makes me wish for an Advance Wars game or Fire Emblem game on the 3DS.Furthermore, I would always get the feeling that I would be better off replaying Tom Clancy's Shadow Wars since it is better in every aspect as a turn-based strategy on 3DS.

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Battleship Box Art

Genre Strategy
Developer Magic Pockets
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Battleship
Release May 15, 2012
PublisherActivision
RatingEveryone 10+
eu: Battleship
Release Apr 20, 2012
PublisherActivision
Rating7+

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