As our resident beat-em-up enthusiast, I am of course highly stoked for Japanese developer 5pb’s upcoming brawler Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. Since its announcement, we’ve known Battle Grounds would feature 4-player co-op, but details were scarce – partially because the tiny developer doesn’t seem to have an English-speaker on staff. At last they have released a couple of trailers highlighting the game’s cooperative and competitive modes, so now we know what to expect!
Battle Grounds’ co-op trailer reveals both good and bad news. The good news is that up to 4-players (offline or online) can tackle full stages together. With all four heroines fighting and pulling off special moves against hordes of monsters, the action looks positively frantic. Unfortunately though, it seems that only stages unlocked in single-player will be accessible in co-op, much like the Dynasty Warriors series. Since beat-em-ups are nearly always better with friends, I’m not sure why certain devs persist in locking away the full co-op experience until after the player has already completed the game.
We also get a full look at the Battle Grounds versus mode. As expected, it’s simply a 4-player battle royale, not unlike the larger scale versus mode in Guardian Heroes. Character stats from the main game transfer to Battle Grounds mode, which could make for an unbalanced experience. I doubt this mode will have any staying power, but it’s a nice inclusion regardless.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is due out for Xbox Live Arcade sometime in 2013 with both offline and online co-op.