Battleship Review – How not to adapt a board game

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Battleship
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There’s something about the Xbox One marketplace currently that really does bother me. Maybe it’s because of the influx in borderline shovel-ware titles like Battleship. I honestly feel a feud with HASBRO Games coming on at this rate. Presumably it’s my fault for buying their terrible titles, not only this but also Monopoly Streets. Actually the entire monopoly HASBRO will get from these games is quite stellar. Anyways all bad jokes aside I had the displeasure and discomfort of playing Battleship these past few days. Was it one of the worst games I’ve ever played? No, of course not. It’s a game that doesn’t even try.

You know how to play Battleship, don’t you? Well, this game certainly doesn’t because it decides to change up the formula of how you play. Instead of one shot per turn (which, to be fair, would be boring as hell) it gives the game its own very unique spin. Each ship does something different. Every turn you get points towards using these special upgrades. For example one of them is to reveal a chunk of 12 squares. It’s a good idea, sure, but it’s not implemented very well.

For some reason there’s a campaign. What possessed them to do this I honestly have no clue, but it’s there. The campaign more or less serves as a showcase of what you can do in this game. Which, after thirty missions, is not much at all. There are four ship types that have different abilities throughout. But other than that there really isn’t anything worth your time in that regard.

Honestly what are you expecting from a game about blowing up some ships? I can’t really describe how difficult it’s been to review this game. This game is the embodiment of what happens when you take a board game and try and get a full priced game out of it. HASBRO are notorious for this and it’s not going to stick here.

There was actually a variety of ships to choose from and each had a different level of skill to them. Sort of.

See games like this are not only ten a penny but are also extremely popular within certain communities. This game has very easy gamerscore, it’s completely plausible that the game will sell on that fact alone. To be fair it’s working for the NEOGEO games which, to be honest, are terrible. No I won’t be reviewing them considering how much of a struggle this review was to do.

But the point still stands though doesn’t it? If you make a game with easy enough achievements then people are going to eat it up like it’s, I dunno, ravioli. See, they make the achievements easy and people will shell out for it as soon as they can. It’s a great strategy, but it’s a terrible game.

Graphically speaking this is some of the worst looking gameplay I’ve seen in a long while. My main problem with it seems to be that it just looks so comical. I’m almost certain that this is in fact a game for children. Most of the screen is taken up by the actual grid itself. But above that, there’s a little screen where you can see some very terrible cartoon ships being blown up. It’s almost comical in regard to how genuinely poor it is.

Yes, I did buy this game for the achievements. Why the hell else would I be sat playing Battleship at three in the morning? The achievements are very simple. The only problem you’re going to have is the final achievement. Playing through the campaign is certainly not something I plan on doing. Well, it is, especially considering I already have done so. Most of the achievements can thankfully be done with a second controller. Also, there is a multiplayer option, which I didn’t even consider playing.

There’s nothing interesting about the soundtrack or anything of the sort either. I turned off the music and considering the only noises were explosions, you can’t really blame me. Playing Battleship while you have David Bowie on? Yeah, fair enough that does make the game a little better. But only by a little.

Battleship doesn’t work when you add split screen to it. To play split screen, one player puts their ships down and the other is literally told to look away from the screen. It’s at that point you tend to notice that this game should not have been made. No, I don’t hate the fact it has split screen. What I hate is that it expects me to actually play it with friends. I don’t think I’d have friends if I told them we’d be having an all-nighter playing Battleship.

See, you can play the classic version if you really want to

At least they don’t mess about with the general formula of the game all that much. I must admit I did sort of like the new game mode more than the traditional one. The ability to switch between the two was helpful and to be fair there’s only so much you can do with Battleship.

Verdict

Why I wasted my time with this game is really beyond me. The gamerscore angle was pretty tempting, especially considering I’m working my way back into playing games for achievements. That was the sole reason I spent £4.64 on Battleship I am sure of it. Why else would I have bought such a poorly cobbled together game? I mean really, I’ve got the actual Battleship game in a cupboard somewhere. No, I didn’t buy this game because I was too lazy to find out where it got to. I bought it simply because I didn’t think it could be that bad, and I wasn’t disappointed.

A poorly cobbled together game that I didn’t expect anything from but somehow got less. There’s something about that which annoys me. I expected nothing, I already knew how bad this game was going to be. Yet when I did in fact find out this was true and confirm my suspicions, I was even more disappointed. Games like this annoy me, so poorly cobbled together and it looks like pretty much no time was spent on it.

Because of that, clearly I’m going to recommend you don’t play this game. That would arguably be a stupid thing to do, don’t spend your money on this. For the same price you can probably get a toy battleship or something.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Battleship
2
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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