Little Battlers Experience Review
Unless you have young kids, there is a really good chance you have never heard of Little Battlers Experience, or LBX for short. I am not in that camp; my five year old son watches LBX religiously and was very excited for the release of this 3DS title. When the review code finally came through, however, I was surprised, as I thought this was a Holiday 2015 title.
This is the first issue I have with the game, and it has nothing to do with the actual product. The problem is in the marketing. Outside of a few instances in a Nintendo Direct, Little Battlers Experience – developed by Level 5 and published by Nintendo – has been dwarfed by Super Mario Maker, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and numerous other big titles Nintendo plans to release in 2015. This is unfortunate, because LBX on 3DS is a fantastic game that will appeal to kids and adults alike.
Level 5 has always produced excellent titles on the 3DS, and LBX is no different. You play as young protagonist named Van is who can only dream of one day owning his own LBX. Unfortunately, a fairly dark backstory outlines Van’s fathers disappearance and apparent death due to his work on LBX robots. The connection between his fathers death and LBX is why Van’s mother prohibits him from having one.
All good games have decent stories, and LBX is no different. In fact, I constantly was curious to see what would happen next, which actually drove me through the game – originally, I assumed collecting parts and building different robots would be the driving force. The writers leave enough mystery with each line of text to create cliff hanger scenarios on an hourly basis. Within a few hours, I genuinely wanted to see what would happen with Van, his friends, and his family.
The core of the game, however is not the story, despite how good it is. Little Battlers Experience is, well, all about the battles. Before each round, players are given the chance to customize their robot however they feel is best, taking into consideration the terrain, the enemy, and the level of their equipment. There are tons of accessories for players to use in their customization efforts, ranging from swords to guns, various body armor kits, and legs or wheels. The possibilities are really endless as there are hundred of items to collect.
Battle are really fun themselves, but can become repetitive, especially when you enter areas where battles randomly happen, much like when you walk around in grass in Pokemon games. Here, the battles become a little too frequent, and they quickly lose their appeal, especially when you play on the same terrain, against similar enemy types.
There is also a multiplayer component to LBX, but it is restricted to local play, which is completely mind boggling. With their recent push to move all things to an online community, it is surprising that Level 5 never added that feature, and that Nintendo never pushed for it. In fact, I would have purchased a standalone LBX experience without an open world to explore, and without a story, just to play LBX with others. While this will probably never happen, we can hope for it!
Overall, it is unfortunate that Little Battlers Experience hasn’t been advertised more by Nintendo, especially on social media. What many people are likely to miss is an excellent title that will appeal to a wide variety of people. Whether you are old or young, anyone with a love for customization and robots will want to give LBX a try on their 3DS!