Cartoon Network’s Punch Time Explosion XL for PS3 is the type of game you either like or hate. In fact, most people seem to not like the game that much. Perhaps this is because PTEXL is basically a Super Smash Bros. knockoff? (That could very well be the reason). However, is this title really so bad that it deserves all the hate it is receiving online from critics? Your first instinct is going to be to look at the visual presentation and the familiar characters and say, “it can’t possibly be that bad”, right? The truth is, it is that bad, friend. With this game, the developer has found a way to take what could have been a mildly successful and somewhat derivative concept and turn it into an extremely boring experience.
From a visual standpoint, Punch Time Explosion XL has a very pronounced and cartoon-like art style. Well, it’s essentially visually identical to the manner and style in which its (television) characters are portrayed on their home network. The visuals are enjoyable, there’s no question about it. The problem of course is in how they are used to reinforce gameplay.
Uninteresting combat, level design and a general lack of fun, those are just some of the problems with this title. You would expect a bright, colorful, and animated brawler / fighting game to be somewhat entertaining, yet it isn’t.
The only redeeming feature of this game is its roster of familiar characters, and the aforementioned visual stylings that go along with them. This version of the game, which is really an update from a previously released version, features several new content additions as well as an entirely new set of playable characters. While these additions are still not enough to entice devoted gamers to take up the game, die-hard fans of the shows (from which the characters are pulled) like the Power-Puff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, or Samurai Jack, might find something redeemable about the game. Good luck with that.
This is the type of game that you really want to like, but simply can’t because it won’t do anything interesting for you. Nevertheless, serious fans of Cartoon Network programming will probably still be interested in this game simply because of the affiliation with their favorite characters and so forth. As far as the casual gamer is concerned, you would do best to stay away from Cartoon Network’s Punch Time Explosion XL.