There is no denying that Cartoon Network has become one of the biggest child and adolescent programming channels on cable today, and it has a lot of characters new and old to thank for that. From the eco-friendly Captain Planet to the chef-in-training Chowder, the variety of characters is so large that it eventually spawns the question: who would win in a battle, Samurai Jack or Ben 10? Or Flapjack? Or the Powerpuff Girls?
Enter Papaya Studio's Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion, a CN-themed fighting and action game. Originally released on the Nintendo 3DS this past summer, Punch Time Explosion is getting a special XL edition for home consoles this holiday season, and from what we saw at Comic Con, it is certainly improving on what the original game had established. For one, the new adventure consists of as many as eight brand-new characters, including Him from Powerpuff Girls and Kevin Eleven from the Ben 10 series. Also, a large number of new battle maps have been added, expanding the locales of the many worlds, including Mandark's Lab and Candied Island. So for those who liked the 3DS version and wanted more of everything, there is nothing to worry about here.
Of course, an XL version is not just more characters and levels. The console version's graphics have been improved, and the framerate has been stabilized, which is certainly helpful for keeping up with the action. Players can play the Story Mode cooperatively, and there are a number of new battle modes for multiplayer. There is even a Practice Mode so you can learn each new character's abilities before you jump into the fray. Even older characters have new abilities, particularly the Synergy Attacks, in which an assisting character and the playable character join together to perform a special destructive attack on unsuspecting opponents.
From my experiences, the game has quite a bit of activity happening, and at first, the controls might be a little daunting, but even less experienced players should do rather well, what with the Punch Time Explosions and assist attacks. Considering all the characters, crazy level selection, and new Synergy Attacks, this game will certainly compare well against Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and considering there are not many games like this on HD platforms, this could be a good contender for children's wish lists this holiday.
We had an interview with Senior Producer Richard Robledo regarding the game and its new features, not to mention the controversial question: which Cartoon Network character is his favorite?
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion is available now for 3DS and the console XL version will be available this holiday season under a budget price. For more information, head to the official website.