One has to love a prompt port. Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds came out on Xbox 360 in February 2013, meaning that its PC port follows a mere 23 months on its heels. Its port is to be released via various digital distributors, including that really big one with all the money hats, on January 23rd. Battle Grounds is a side-scrolling brawler spin-off from the Phantom Breaker fighting series, with a chibi aesthetic which means you’ll either hate it on sight, think its adorable, or just shrug and get on with the actual gameplay. That whole Marmite factor thing is nonsense, isn’t it? I think Marmite is… kind of okay.
Battle Grounds was a solid beat ’em up on the last-gen consoleslab. It may not have stood out to Western audiences in the same way as, say, Castle Crashers, but if you’re a fan of the genre then there’s a worthy contender beneath those anime stylings. The parrying and counter systems keep you on your toes and the action is fluid, and when you’re playing a game with friends that’s exactly what you want. We’re promised local co-op play but no word yet as to online play (a feature of the console original).
Grumbling about ports aside it’s nice that we’re getting it at all. A lot of Japanese developers don’t port their games to PC, as it’s not that popular a platform over there. I’d say they don’t know what they’re missing but, to be fair, we don’t really know what we’re missing either.
Thankfully we do get some idea via to the work done by companies like Carpe Fulgur, developers like From Software bowing to fan demands and porting their games to PC despite openly not knowing what they’re doing, and the odd odd project popping up on PC. To this list of glorious exceptions we can add Battle Grounds’ developers Mages / 5pb and publisher Degica.