Now for something that’s not a building toy: a video game based on a building toy. I’m a big fan of Tenkai Knights. Though I don’t show it much considering I’ve only reviewed one figure out of a blind bag set. So when I heard there was a video game coming out, I probably wanted it. Then they put a figure in there… definitely wanted it. Welcome to my first video game review. This is Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle.
Initially I was very cautious about buying this. The reviews were almost all bad which doesn’t surprise me as many video game tie-ins are rushed and lack effort. But to be honest, the figure really won me over so I went for it despite the bad reviews. I looked at it more as buying the figure and having the game to kill time even if the game turned out to be awful.
Shots of the box and case
You’ll notice here that the rating mentions mild language. I questioned that because the game’s rated E 10+ and the show itself is for little kids. Turns out Ceylan says “hell” once at some point. Did they think of the children? Why bother putting this word in which ends up adding “mild language” to the rating? Doesn’t make any sense…
When the game starts, you get an introductory cutscene with narration by Steve Blum. Problem is that I can’t hear him. The voice is way too soft while the music overtakes it completely. When I get to the menu I try to adjust the volume settings but that doesn’t help much. The voices are simply too low. It’s passable if you turn the music down but you sometimes have to try to be able to hear the voices.
The cutscenes are either screenshots from the anime or use blocks with the character’s faces and their expressions sometimes change. To simulate action, sometimes the blocks clash during dialogue.
Going off that, voiced dialogue comes up very randomly. Some cutscenes have maybe one or two characters with voiced dialogue while many characters have a text box that are left unvoiced. Sometimes a character will talk and then stop talking leaving you to read the rest. Not sure why this is because they were able to get all the voice actors from the show for this.
So I start the game and I pretty much have to figure it all out myself. The basics of play I figured out for the most part but certain elements require you to just know. I still don’t know what some of the power-ups do. It came down to trial and error. Several of the items are indicated by different arrangements of purple lines. They couldn’t use something else to distinguish them better?
I actually bothered to check the “manual” screen (who does that?) and all it did was tell me what the buttons do. That’s it. Of course the physical booklet is useless like all physical booklets these days. They couldn’t put a tutorial into the game? A training section for practice? At the core it’s a beat ’em up game so you can get through most of it by just attacking but even if many ignore the instructions, they should still be present.
One issue is the controls. They feel so stiff sometimes. These are little robots so I suppose they have some heft to them despite their size but making them move at times can get annoying. The flying/jetpack is so awful and doesn’t last long enough. To be fair, some characters can jump higher or fly longer because they have better stats in those areas. Still, moving around can be awful. If you jump, you can’t change directions while jumping. This is a big problem especially in a fighting game.
As I went through the game, the levels become way too repetitive. They have goals which include destroy X enemies, last X seconds, defend the base, etc. Some levels have multiple goals and if you fail one you have to start from the first goal to beat the level. My biggest problems with the game is the difficulty. You can easily breeze through most of these levels but some of them are just insane. The enemies eventually take a patrillion hits to die but you only need five hits or way too few in comparison. If they gang up on you, you’re dead. I did beat everything in the game so it’s possible but it required dumb strategies, figuring out enemy patterns, and taking advantage of the stage’s surroundings. Still, it can feel impossible because I can’t for the life of me figure out why I’m at such a disadvantage in attack and health. I thought that maybe it’s because the game was set at normal. I change it to easy and the enemies are no different. How should I put this…?
Yeah, that’s it.
As I mentioned, there are levels where you need to live for a certain amount of time. Sometimes the clock runs out and the level isn’t over. I don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to do. My health might be low at harder levels but I have no choice but to try and attack. What else? If you’re lucky they might drop an item that specifically ends the level. How am I supposed to know that? Why doesn’t the level just end when the clock runs out, especially when that’s the goal?
You have to be patient with this game. As you progress the basic enemies take way too many hits to defeat while you only need five or so to die. This can get frustrating when the goal is destroy 15+ enemies. These can take forever and it’s no fun. If you die, all the time you took taking down these health hoarders is wasted. This is not an easy goal so I feel even worse if I was close. One level needs you to beat 60 enemies, each taking forever to die. This is Sparta right here.
When you’re a little Knight, you have Tenkai Energy which fuels your special moves (A button) or ultimate attacks (from an item). You fill this a little each time you land a hit on an opponent. When you become a Titan, your Tenkai Energy never goes down so you spam A and your Titan opponent dies in about four hits. You don’t even need the ultimate attacks. Levels where you’re a Titan fighting another Titan are way too easy. It gets harder when you’re a Titan fighting anything else. It’s those levels when I realize how slow and heavy Titans are. These generally require me to figure out the enemy’s attack patterns and timing but it doesn’t help when you’re a heavy load.
When fighting as a little Knight, you get knocked down with one hit. There’s a breakfall I don’t fully understand but it takes forever and requres Tenkai Energy. Not only that, when your breakfall’s done they can just shoot you again. Try to avoid fighting the enemies with guns because their range > you. They hit you from far away, you fall down, and the enemies gang up on you… Also, when I get hit once, I fall down yet I’m susceptible to more hits. When I knock them down, they fall but get immunity even when they stand back up for a bit. That’s fair.
Something cool about the game is the ability to customize the Tenkai Knights. You can equip jetpacks, weapons (swords, guns, crossbows, etc.), and shields. The weapons can vary in usage. The swords don’t all work the same when fighting so that’s something to consider. The problem is that many of the equipments merely add stats. There are no additional effects. You try to get the best version of a weapon type for maximum damage output and you’re done unless you can unlock a stronger one. Speaking of unlocking, there’s no mercy here. You can’t level up your characters but when you destroy enemies they may drop resources you can put into getting weapons which do have levels. Thing is they’re too expensive. You can grind for resources by replaying levels hoping for the right item drops but that can take forever at how much these cost. I played Bravenwolf for almost the whole game so I have mostly swords unlocked as he’s best with them. After that, I don’t have the resources to get weapons for the other Knights. That’s lame. I have what is essentially the strongest sword I could access and the grunts still take forever to go down. They really needed to give you rewards for completing levels or give you more if you take down bosses. As it is it requires a lot of grinding and sticking to one character.
There are passwords to unlock certain things. The problem is that there’s nowhere to find them. A few of them are online but the company never posted all of them. For whatever reason, the passwords are different from the Japanese version which is stupid because they actually gave out all the passwords. I started to think that maybe they were in the toys or as you go the game tells you, but no. You’re just going to be missing tons of unlockables unless you sit there and try every combination. I was able to get two by randomly trying but it turns out one was revealed already… This is really stupid. I don’t know why it was so hard for those who released the English version to just put up all the passwords. After all these months I doubt they care enough to put them up so no completion for you.
I was able to beat everything in 15 hours and change if you count my playing certain levels over and over to collect resources for upgrades. You have the story levels and side levels. Once you beat those, you’re done. The only replay value is in trying to unlock all the weapons which just isn’t worth it at what they cost and how many there are. I suppose you can keep trying random passwords too.
I don’t think the game’s as bad as the ratings (not reviews) say. There’s definitely a lack of effort and testing. There are TONS of problems and while my biggest is the difficulty, the game is beatable. That said, I’m an old person. This game’s for kids. I’m all for not talking down to kids or dumbing things down for them. But there’s no way they can beat this with how cryptic, repetitive, and confusing it can be. There’s little strategy as most of it is just destroying enemies. You get by fine just attacking through most of the game. Luck played a big factor in my beating it but to be fair a few of the levels I would not have gotten through if it weren’t for stupid strategies I came up with so I don’t know. I doubt what I came up with is how those levels were intended to be beat.
As for what’s good, I did like the way the models looked. They were spot on. I also liked the cutscenes for the transformations, fusions, and ultimate attacks. They looked right out of the show. Another interesting aspect was the fused Titans. They have all the good/bad guy combinations, even ones I don’t think were in the show. The soundtrack was also really good. Makes me wish that they had all the music as an unlockable. Surprisingly, the game got pretty far in the show and the conclusion felt like one. A few things felt glossed over. All the character development/interactions and school parts are cut out but I think that’s fine for the game. One thing I didn’t like much about the show is the inclusion of humans. Michael Bay Transformers logic, right? I don’t see any toys for the humans so why couldn’t this just be about the robots?
I’d recommend the game if you’re a fan of the series but get it at a deep discount. Just be prepared for frustration and unfairness after breezing through early levels. Try to get the limited edition as well because hopefully what’s next will make up for any game-related anger.
Now we get to the real star of this purchase: the figure.
Bravenwolf is my favorite so if you make him shiny, I’ll want him. He even comes with an exclusive instruction sheet!
As you can see, the brick is done in red chrome and it looks great.
I do wish it was chromed in show accurate colors. It’d be a silver brick but I’m really wondering how that would’ve turned out. The arm and leg joints are really loose. You can still pose him fine but I just wanted to point that out.
The first thing I worried about was popping in his cape. The cape is translucent plastic and the chrome is an extra layer perhaps making it too thick for the holes Apparently they thought about this and made the connection in the same translucent plastic so there’s no chrome to scratch off. Good for them! The problem is that it’s an extra piece attached to the brick so the brick can’t lay flat… Oh well.
The sword is done in a cloudy but clear plastic with elements of glitter. I put the sword in. I took the sword out and the chrome in his hand came off… It’s inside his hand so it’s never really visible but that doesn’t make me feel any better. Make sure to snap the sword into his hand and not twist it in/out to reduce this.
Unfortunately, this Bravenwolf’s head cannot turn. Ionix has mentioned that future figures will have turning heads and I thought this was late enough to have them. Guess not. I’m also disappointed that he doesn’t have his shield.
The figure itself is no different from a standard Bravenwolf. I think it’s a cool variant and would like to see more chrome figures but at the same time I have to handle this guy carefully so the chrome doesn’t scratch off. Maybe I don’t want more chrome figures…
Hope you enjoyed this one. Feel free to leave a comment here if you have any questions about the game. There’s no walkthrough for this one as far as I know so I hope I can help you guys out since I just beat the game. It’s late considering when the game came out but maybe you guys’ll pick it back up with help.