Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion

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Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion
Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion cover art.jpg
North American cover for the Nintendo 3DS version
Developer(s) Papaya Studio
Publisher(s) Crave Entertainment (US)
Deep Silver (UK)
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s) Nintendo 3DS
  • NA June 2, 2011
  • EU April 20, 2012
Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA November 15, 2011
  • EU May 18, 2012[1]
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer (via wireless/StreetPass)

Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion is a 2011 crossover fighting video game developed by Papaya Studio and published by Crave Entertainment, for the Nintendo 3DS. The game was released on June 2, 2011, in North America and in Europe on April 20, 2012.

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports of the game had since been re-issued in North America by Little Orbit in 2014.

Plot[edit]

Space Ghost decides to take the day off and watches Dexter's Laboratory. However, to his horror, he finds Dexter's world facing a very strange, utter destruction, which soon crosses over into the network's other shows such as Kids Next Door and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. The Ultimatrix detects that there's a dimensional disturbance, as Marzipan City is disintergrated.

After defeating the corrupted samurai warrior, Jack joins up with the heroes, but are attacked by Vilgax. After Vilgax's defeat, the now rather large group travels through Jack's world and defeats an army of Ultra-Robots.

As the dimension capsule prepares to make one more warp to save the universes, it suddenly explodes for some reason, leaving the heroes floating in a very odd and unrecognized dimension. There, the heroes find the main villain responsible for the whole dimensional meltdown - the Announcer's TV remote! The Announcer then watches, shocked, as his own remote control transforms into a giant robot, revealing it had been responsible for the destruction of the individual worlds. It then entraps the heroes in an energy ring and is about to send them through a portal to oblivion, presumably to permanently erase them and their shows forever.

Once the evil TV remote is defeated and turned into a normal remote control, Ben and Dexter reinserts the batteries to restore the universes and, after one last goodbye, everyone is returned to their home dimensions. Chowder is returned to Marzipan City, Mac and Bloo to Foster's Mansion, Dexter and Monkey to Dexter's Lab, Numbuh One to the Kids Next Door Sector V Tree House, Samurai Jack to Samurai Dojo, Grim, Billy, and Mandy to Endsville, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup to Townsville, Flapjack and K'nuckels to Stormalong Harbor, and Ben to Bellwood. Everything then goes back to normal, except, as the Announcer (Space Ghost) points out, that he now does not have a remote and must get up and change the channel himself. Then, he wonders if he could get a lava-man to change the channel for him with a giant lever, the idea of which he likes the sound of. (A reference to Moltars role on Space Ghost Coast to Coast)

Gameplay[edit]

Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion is a mascot brawler fighting game bringing together several playable and assist characters from the Cartoon Network Multiverse in one epic battle that plays very similar to the Super Smash Bros. series. Up to four players (human or CPU controlled) can control a character and fight on a multi-tiered 2D stage. Players may use various items that appear randomly to get the fighting edge over their opponent. Additionally, the stage may use set elements in order to take out other players. For example, in the Dexter's Lab Stage players can pull 2 different levers, one setting off a conveyor belt, and the other firing a deadly laser.

When players strike one another, glowing cubes will fall out of them. If players collect enough of these cubes, they will fill up their special meter that, when full, unleashes a powerful "Punch Time Explosion" (the equivalent of a Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl) attack against their opponents. For example, Ben Tennyson turns into Ultimate Humungosaur and launches missiles all over the stage.

In the XL version, fighting characters can team up with certain assist characters (the equivalents of Assist Trophies) and do Synergy attacks. For example, Madame Foster brings a plate of cookies to the arena, Chowder eats them, turning fat, and Madame Foster rolls him around the stage.

Each playable character has their own special move set that uses different elements from their respective TV shows. Each has an up, down, side, and neutral attack. Most characters have a projectile attack. Captain K'nuckles is the only character who has a disabling attack.

Port[edit]

On October 3, 2011, representatives of Papaya Games unveiled a new Developer's Diary featuring the console version of the game, announcing new characters, stages, and new gameplay modes. In addition, some characters who were voiced by stand-ins (IE Grey DeLisle as Blossom, Yuri Lowenthal as Numbuh One and Flapjack, and Tara Strong as Cheese) are now voiced by their original actors (IE Thurop van Orman as Flapjack).

In the XL version, there are new Story Mode changes. For example, in the 3DS version of the Ultimate Kevin Levin boss battle, Ben Tennyson was only supposed to attack Kevin and avoid his attacks. In the XL version, Gwen Tennyson shows up to help Ben in the battle with Ultimate Kevin Levin by trapping Kevin's arms and head with her powers. Also in the XL version is a shop where players can buy playable characters, including several characters who were bosses in the original version, arenas, alternate costumes, and TV show clips featuring all the shows except for Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

In Europe, this game was released on different dates. In the UK was released on May 18, 2012, in France, the game was released on June 14, 2012. In Italy and Spain, the game was released on August 22, 2012, through the PlayStation Store.[2]

Reception[edit]

The 3DS version of Punch Time Explosion was received with mixed to negative reviews. Jack DeVries of IGN gave the game a rating of 4.5 (bad) and said "the fun comes in very small doses", and felt that "the levels, though aesthetically varied, are basic and boring", criticizing its gameplay and plagiarism of the Super Smash Bros. games. The game was also criticized for not using any recent Cartoon Network characters and using characters from series that have ended prior to the game's release, with Ben 10: Ultimate Alien being the only ongoing series during the game's release, as well as not using other popular former Cartoon Network characters, like Courage the Cowardly Dog and Ed, Edd, n Eddy. The console version of the game however, has seen better reception. Jack DeVries of IGN gave Punch Time Explosion XL a rating of 5.0 (Mediocre) saying that "Having so many characters in one game is cool, but the story is the laziest way to do it."

References[edit]

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