[Review] Battle Hunters – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Phase Two Games
  • Publisher: Phase Two Games
  • Release Date: 05/11/2020
  • Price: £12.99 / $16.99
  • Review code provided by Phase Two Games

Introducing Battle Hunters Nintendo Switch Review

It’s hard to abide by the advice of don’t judge a book by its cover. And I’m pretty sure few follow that saying, otherwise book covers wouldn’t look so epic. Similarly, the eShop acts as a digital cover to show off its vast array of titles. More often than not, I’ll scroll through the seemingly endless barrage of titles until I come across a game that catches my eye. Once drawn in, there are more “covers” to peruse by way of still images from the game and typically a video.

Unfortunately, too many games are glossed over and not given a chance. I was recently sitting with my son as he browsed the shop. He skipped by Battle Hunters with little more than a glance. Nintendo’s updated display which scrolls through screenshots of the game didn’t even have time to play. I can’t say I blame him with how many games come out at any given time. I asked him why he skipped it and he said it didn’t look interesting enough. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review Battle Hunters so it stood out to me differently than it did for him. I told him he shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and luckily we have reviewers to help people find games suitable for their style. Without further ado, I present the Nintendad review for Battle Hunters.

The Villain of Old

A veteran hero finds himself on the path to saving the world once again. Captain Devon Highcastle is literally on a path when he’s visited by the magical “Old One”, who tells him of impending doom. The Old One warns that the way ahead is rife with beasts and that the brave Captain should seek out fellow companions to aid him on the way. Little information is given of the powerful villain but Highcastle springs to action and is soon joined by a throng of heroes from across the land and even further.

The story is delivered in bits through typical dialogue. This isn’t an earth shattering tale but does its job getting your team out and into harm’s way. There’s enough purpose driving the narrative but it’s certainly not Battle Hunter’s strong suit. There’s a huge cast of playable characters and each have their own personality and humor which adds a nice touch but the main story is fair to middling.

A Kingdom in Peril

Battle Hunters gives the appearance of an open world game with a large map and extensive zones to visit. However, to unlock sections of each map you need to find keys. This mirrors a lot of mobile games and presents a linear style. It’s not so directly linear that you’ll simply walk in a straight line so you will track back and forth at times while visiting various locales.

The combat is a mix of turn-based and live action. Despite the large catalogue of team members you’ll gain, only three will be present at any given time. During battles, you can select any of your three current heroes with the left, up or right D-pad buttons. Doing so pauses the game and allows you to enter a command. Selecting the attack and picking a target, the character will do nothing else until you alter the order or the enemy dies. Once initial commands are given, the battle plays out real-time with the enemy and characters moving on their own accord. As your team fights, they build up skills to be used. Again, you have to pause combat with the D-pad and pick the skill you want to activate. Be careful, though, because some skills require you to be within a set range of an enemy and can be wasted.

The combat became more and more exciting with each new companion as it opens a ton of customization for your party and gives you a lot of facets to experiment with. A bit of strategy is also required as your wizard can become surrounded and easily taken out. You can issue commands to move your ranged team members around the board while setting your tank to head off enemies. Despite the linear approach, exploration was still fun and the combat was a fresh take for a Role-Playing game.

The Heroes Brave

When I first saw Battle Hunters, it looked like a mobile game I’d find on my cell phone. The art style is a tad rudimentary and may cause some to overlook it. I sincerely hope not because the more I played, the more I enjoyed the look. As the game progresses and the humor starts to shine through, the overly exaggerated characters fill into their roles a bit more.

The music in Battle Hunters is unimposing and gives way to the ambient background noises like bird’s chirping in the forest or the pouring rain. It’s not spectacular by design but helps fill the silent gaps during battles and echoes the setting.

From a technical standpoint, Battle Hunters ran well regardless of playstyle preference. If you fancy the big screen, the vibrant colors really pop and handheld was equally cozy with the game up close and personal. One thing I did note was the absence of touchscreen controls. Being able to give quick touch inputs seems like a perfect option considering Battle Hunter’s heritage. All in all, the game ran well and never surprised me with unwanted glitches or bugs, excluding the nasty spiders my heroes had to squash.

Final Wrap

Battle Hunters offers a memorable experience wrapped in a mobile skin. The biggest risk it takes is with the combat and it paid off. Unfortunately, the gambling stopped there. This resulted in a rather run-of-the-mill story, sporadic music and an art style which will likely turn some away. When I first ventured into this world I was taken aback by the asking price. Once I experienced the engaging combat and saw how vast this game is, it made more sense. I genuinely feel bad for those who judge this game by its eShop cover because there’s more under the hood than visual impressions would give.

Pros

  • Unique Combat
  • Huge Playable Cast
  • Vast Environments to Explore

Cons

  • Story Doesn’t Dare
  • Mediocre Music
  • Graphics Won’t Impress

Verdict

Battle Hunters boasts an exciting combat system which outpaces the rest of its presentation.

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