Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Dev: Papaya Studios
Pub: Crave Entertainment
Release: November 15, 2011
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Tobacco Reference

Punch Time Explosion XL certainly looks better than its 3DS counterpart, but it's pretty obvious it's a 3DS conversion. None of the models look as if they were designed for HD consoles, and the game still feels as stiff as it did on the 3DS. The physics are still pretty wonky, and while the controls do feel a bit more responsive, the game is still a pretty heavy mash-fest. Platforming in the single-player mode is just as infuriating as ever. The game honestly wasn't designed to be a side-scroller; it didn't work in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and it doesn't work here.

Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL Screenshot

As much as has been added to Punch Time Explosion, the game still feels like it is missing something. The 3DS version was missing online play, and many fans thought that the console version would bring us a full online suite. Nope, online mode is absent again. Matches are just too mashy and random to be much fun to a hardcore crowd, and they don't control easily enough to appeal to a casual crowd, making it tough to find a demographic that actually likes this game. Even the franchise choices are kind of random and might only appeal to a small subset of even the most hardcore Cartoon Network fans.

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Now, I'm not stranger to poorly made licensed titles. I know when you put a brand on a game, more often than not, it's going to be a letdown. However, Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL is extra disappointing because of all the potential it had. The development team obviously cared about the game they were making, as shown by all of the additions to XL, and the subject matter was perfect for a party-style brawler. It's just a shame that the basic formula of the game was flawed enough to keep it from being appealing. If you are a Cartoon Network fan, you should pick up this game for the inside jokes and the awesome retro references, but no one else is missing anything by passing this one up.

By Angelo M. D’Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.1
Graphics
It's pretty obvious that this game is a 3DS port.
3.2
Control
The game is pretty mashy, but still fun.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music isn't the best, but the voices are true to the Cartoon Network originals.
3.8
Play Value
It's hard not to like a game that lets you play as Captain Planet.
3.3
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Brand new characters.
  • Brand new art and unlockables.
  • Brand new stages.
  • Brand new "Punch Time Explosions" and "Synergy Attacks."
  • Other brand new things!
  • Captain Planet!


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