Thursday, October 11

Review: Battle Group 2 [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The Switch’s touchscreen certainly adds to the system’s versatility and opens the door to some experiences coming over from the mobile and tablet space. Depending on your tastes and preferences this can be a good or bad thing but while many games that come over can be lacking there are sometimes diamonds in the rough. In the case of Battle Group 2 there are elements of it that work, and in many ways it reminds me of the arcade classic Missile Command as you’ll need to precisely knock your enemies and their missiles out of the sky. However, as happens with many games that were formerly powered by in-app currency, at some point it just gets to be a bit too grindy and one-note for its own good.

In the game you command your primary and secondary naval vessels as they move through enemy waters. Your mission is generally focused on mere survival but there are times when civilian aircraft will be in the area and you’ll need to be mindful not to hit them. Enemy planes, helicopters, and aquatic craft of all shapes, sizes, and health will appear and you’ll want to destroy them. Depending on their rate of movement and heading you’ll need to be careful to lead them as your missiles take time to get to their spot. Beware of their own missiles as well, which you’ll need to destroy before they hit your ship, depleting your health. In terms of control you can opt to use the controller but it’s pretty cumbersome, the game is very much meant to be played with the touchscreen, which works well.

On a general level that’s the majority of what there is to know. You’ll slowly accumulate barrels of oil which can be used to purchase new ships with new capabilities and strenghts as well as buy upgrades to do critical things like reduce your reload time (which is always your enemy). Your secondary ship’s function is to provide you with a secondary attack which has its own recharge and you’ll generally need to use wisely. Power-ups also become available but tend to carry a high price so they need to be used sparingly.

This is really where the problem of the grind comes in as it moved over from being about getting people to plunk down real currency to move things along. Lacking such a provision we’re instead left with what is too much grinding for too little overall diversity in content as a reward. Yes, there’s a certain level of methodical fun to be had if you want something to kick around with as you watch TV or something. That said there’s just not enough meat on the bones of what the game ultimately offers to justify the repetition of it all.

Score: 5

  • Not bad as a game to kick around in spurts if you don’t mind the grind
  • Has a general feel similar to the arcade classic Missile Command that I can appreciate
  • Works well in handheld mode on the touchscreen

  • There’s just not enough diversity in play offered
  • Docked play with a controller is sluggish and a bit clumsy
  • There are too many game systems and remnants of in-app purchases without proper re-tweaking, leading to entirely too much grinding