Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion is a 2011 fighting game with Cartoon Network characters.
- The game feels like a cheap knock-off of Super Smash Bros with the Cartoon Network license slapped on, and its story mode rips off Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s Subspace Emissary.
- The Nintendo 3DS version is pretty boring, considering that the characters have limited moves and lack the intricacies of Super Smash Bros. Characters have generic punch and kick attacks and random "Supers" that are broken to either being easily abused or are not very effective. Also, the actual game system outside of the battle mode is generic, with boring minecart or shooting segments to break up a general progression. Also, there's plenty of asset flipping and recycling character models for the background.
- The level designs have some balancing issues and glitches tend to appear frequently.
- Some characters are extremely overpowered, such as Captain Knuckles and Blossom.
- Many of the characters' voice actors have been replaced, even those that would have most likely not have a problem reprising their roles like Jeff Bennett, Elizabeth Daily, Greg Cipes, and Dee Bradley Baker.
- In fact, in the 3DS version in the game, only four characters receive their original voice actors, Grey DeLisle as Mandy, Tara Strong as Bubbles, and Yuri Lowenthal as teenage Ben.
- Fred Tatasciore as Aku just sounds like a stereotypical martial arts teacher. Though Mako had died, they couldn't get Greg Baldwin to do the voice?
- Grey DeLisle's Mac is just her generic boy voice and sounds nothing like Sean Marquette.
- Tara Strong's Chowder, meanwhile, tries too hard to imitate Nicky Jones and just comes off as annoying.
- Yuri Lowenthal as Flapjack and Quinton Flynn as Billy are particular bad miscasts.
- The character roster is rather weak due to the lack of characters from many iconic Cartoon Network franchises, such as Ed, Edd n Eddy, Courage The Cowardly Dog, etc. There are also no characters from then-recent Cartoon Network shows such as Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Regular Show.
- And yet they included Captain Planet, which predates the channel, and wasn't even produced by Hanna Barbera until the second half.
- Some of the characters in the roster are also questionable such as Monkey (Dexter’s Laboratory) and Toiletnator (Codename: Kids Next Door).
- The alts skins of this game are lazily done, every character in the game has their alt skins be some form of red, yellow, and an evil appearance(XL however did fix this up slightly adding in a 4th alt skins that actually changes the characters).
- The super attack animations in the Nintendo 3DS version are extremely slow, lasting at least more than 20 seconds.
- The disappointing sales led to the eventual closure of its developer Papaya Studio.
- It features quite a few authentic voice actors reprising their roles in characters.
- George Lowe is the narrator of the story mode, and the writing for his character leans heavily towards being Space Ghost (as in, the "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" version) watching the whole show. He even mentions Moltar in the ending as a suggestion for hiring a servant to change the channel for him.
- XL, which was the console adaption, made an effort to bolster the value by adding 8 more characters, an unlockable costume for each fighter, video clips to purchase (though the editing is rather shoddy), more of the original actors reprising their roles, improved graphics, better gameplay compared to the 3DS version, and information towards all the fighters and assistants.
- The graphics in the console version are improved greatly compared to the 3DS version, and the level design is much more spacious.
- The game introduces a move that was not present in Super Smash Bros. called the "Synergy Attack", which involves a playable character teaming up with a particular assist character to perform a powerful attack like Ben 10 teaming up with Fred Fredburger and using Swampire to ignite Fred's fart clouds and create huge explosions.
- The game has some unique references to the shows with the backgrounds of the levels. What's even more interesting is how each enemy in the game is from each of the shows present in the game.
The 3DS version of Punch Time Explosion has received mixed to negative reviews. Jack DeVries of IGN gave the game a rating of 4.5 out of 10 (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; Ben 10: Ultimate Alien is 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 out of 10 (Mediocre) saying that "Having so many characters in one game is cool, but the story is the laziest way to do it."