Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay (Video Game Review)

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is a new release from 1st Playable Productions and GameMill Entertainment set after the events of Disney's Big Hero 6 film. The game is a side-scrolling action game set in the city of San Fransokyo where players can take control of each of the hero team depicted in the upcoming film. The game incorporates very simplistic gameplay and controls with a decent amount of unlockables and other content to create an above average experience for players on Nintendo handhelds. The game isn't a must own , but fans that can't wait to see the soon to be released Disney film will have a fun time with the game while counting down the days until the movie releases in theaters.

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay features a decent storyline that finds the heroes of the film doing battle with an army of robots. The game doesn't feature any cutscenes or any instances of spoken dialogue, and levels are bereft of any audio minus the same theme songs across many levels and repeated sound effects. There are panels with written text before each level that allows the personalities of each character to shine through in a virtual comic book scene of sorts, but the game's narrative is overall forgettable and not a reason gamers will want to pick up the new title.

The 2D action gameplay featured in Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is the game's key selling point. The game is easy to pick up and play for gamers of any skill level. This both works for and against the game, since casual gamers can pick up the game and blaze through it in a couple of hours, but more skilled gamers will find the button mashing action dull and annoying. Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay does do a good job of mixing up character usage across the game's 20 levels, as consecutive levels will rarely feature the same character in the same location.

The cast of playable characters in Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay includes Hiro, Wasabi, Fredzilla and Go Go. Each character has different attacks and weapons that make them feel a bit different from the other. For example, Hiro battles with electrically charged bursts and combination melee attacks, Wasabi uses blades to slice up opponents and Fredzilla can breathe fire or body slam enemies while jumping. Using some attacks will deplete the stamina meter, but it recharges so quickly that it never really becomes a problem. Other special attacks recharge over a longer period of time but are more powerful. Some characters seem to have different moves used to platform through levels as well, but the concepts included in the game aren't fleshed out and are rarely utilized during many stages.

One saving point for Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is the in-game collectibles. Players will notice a grid on bottom screen of the Nintendo 3DS showcasing a cat, a plus symbol consisting of five cubes and the word HERO spelled out in four blocks. Each level in the game has these hidden items to find scattered in different locations on each level. Finding each of the plus cubes will unlock a health upgrade for a particular character, while finding the other items will give the players more unlocks including trophies, art work and other neat content.

After players complete Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay for the first time, Challenge levels unlock for each of the campaign's 20 distinct levels. This offers players more difficult versions of cleared levels and gives the game both replayability and a difficulty setting of sorts. The bonus content outside of the game's main campaign give players many hours of enjoyment beyond the game's relatively short story mode that can be completed in a little over an hour to give gamers more time for their money spent on the game.

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay doesn't have the best presentation. The problems begin with the previously mentioned lack of spoken dialogue and bland sound design that often repeats the same sound effects and average theme songs. The game doesn't look bad, but it doesn't push the graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS in ways that some Nintendo exclusives and other third party titles do either. There is nothing from a visual perspective that stands out as special throughout the entire campaign, but character models and animations are fine, while the game's camera and controls do a fine job of keeping up with the action on-screen.

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay isn't a must own title, but it's a fun way for fans of the upcoming Disney film, Big Hero 6, to celebrate the release of the film or interact with their favorite personalities from the movie after seeing it in theaters. With 4 playable characters, 20 levels, multiple locations and plenty of unlockables, there is enough content included with Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay to make the game worth a purchase, but we'd like to see any future releases for the series further expand on each playable character's unique abilities and have a more polished presentation overall. Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is out now exclusively for Nintendo 3DS, and fans can look for the release of Big Hero 6 in theaters nationwide beginning November 7, 2014

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is now available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS and can be purchased for $29.99. Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is rated E by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • 6 Playable Characters
  • 20 Levels
  • Inspired by Disney's Big Hero 6
  • Hidden Collectibles and Bonus Upgrades

Game Information:
Developer: 1st Playable Productions
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Available for Nintendo 3DS (reviewed) and DS
Release Date: October 28, 2014

Score: 7 out of 10
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