Review: Teen Titans GO! Figure01 Aug 2018 1
Review: Teen Titans GO! Figure
Released 19 Jul 2018
Teeny Titans - Teen Titans GO! is a mouthful of a title, a great game, and one of the most successful premium games on the App Store. Grumpyface Games and the Cartoon Network are back two years after its release to bring us the next installment in the collect-and-battle franchise. A sequel always invites comparison to its predecessor. Is there enough new hotness to make it feel like a different game but not so much that it loses what fans loved about the original?
Teen Titans GO! Figure walks down the middle of that line like a tight-rope specialist. In the game we're back in Jump City, but the figure-battling craze has cooled off and the game looks to be in trouble. Powerful forces are looking to shut the game down for good and the culprit seems to be…the Justice League? As a last gasp, new figures were just released which jump-starts interest in Jump City and puts the teen heroes on a path to save their favorite game.
The main quest line follows the fate of this game within a game and features a couple major DC heroes, Batman and Superman, along with a lot of other familiar faces. Naturally, there is also a whole host of new side missions to accept and new neighborhoods to explore. The city looks familiar but is rearranged and while many of the assets from the first game are reused, most of the content is new and is packed with the same tongue-in-cheek approach to collect-them-all games and the hero genre.
Now quests are great, but the figure battles remain the highlight of the game. Grumpyface Games didn't try to fix what wasn't broken here, and thankfully so. You can battle pretty much any character in the game and take part in figure-battling tournaments as well. Battles are still fast-paced, a lot of fun, and full of enough tactical bite to satisfy strategy gamers. You pick a trio of figures to go into battle against one to three opponents in a real-time showdown. Your goal is to defeat the other team by reducing each figure's health to zero before they can do the same to you. Each side has a battle bar that builds up charge over time and each figure has three powers that fall somewhere on that bar. Powers deal damage, heal your team, and provide a variety of other support effects and the longer you must wait the more powerful they tend to be. This sets up some nice tension and key decisions: Do you pew-pew-pew with fast lower-damage attacks or do you save up your charge for one massive-damage hit?
Balancing your team of figures remains a strategic challenge. The game has six classes, and each has an advantage, and disadvantage, against one other class. When you have advantage your attacks do more damage, so making sure you go in with an advantageous crew is key. Figuring out an assortment of figures that work well in different trios and leveling them up remains a central part of the game and is definitely my favorite part of Teen Titans GO Figure.
So, what's new in battle? Quite a bit. First, there's a slate of new figures available, including fast-hitter Black Lightning, who quickly became one of my primary damage dealers. I had been worried I'd end up running with the same crew as in the first game, but this was not the case. Between all the new figures and getting some really good guys much earlier, hello Killer Moth, I ended up with a considerably different team of regulars to power through the game.
Teen Titans GO Figure not only has new figures, but also new powers, such as a blast of super-cold air that freezes your opponent's battle bar and causes it to crack and fall to pieces, losing all progress made. It's effective and adds a great tactical element to the game as you look to time it perfectly to maximize your opponent's woe. There are also new tofu effects that are a lot of fun. Tofu are blocks that drop during combat and when you click on them you gain a bonus power that you can activate at will. Existing tofu did things like provide a damage bonus, regain health, and remove enemy effects. New tofu let you speed up your battle bar progress, create a shield, and freeze and break your opponent's battle bar among other things.
Yet another big change to the figure-battling portion of the game is the introduction of accessories. Accessories are items you can add to a battle that provide a bonus. You must charge them by attacking and grabbing batteries that randomly drop like tofu and once ready, you can activate them and unleash more pain on your foe. Just a couple examples are a Lil' Penguin that continually freezes your opponent's battle bar, a Titan Coin that increases your team's hit points, and Cyborg's Waffle Shooter that fires waffles that temporarily block one of your opponent's powers. Both sides get access to accessories and figuring out how best to use and play around them introduces yet another aspect to the game's already compelling combat system.
Figure customization has also gotten some intriguing new features. The original game featured mod chips, which provided a nice bonus to a specific figure, as well as the ability to enhance each of the figure's three powers to make them more effective. Teen Titans GO Figure includes both of these but has also introduced figure painting and power-order customization. Each figure has several different color-scheme outfits you can unlock with repaint tokens. At level 10 you can also customize the order of a figure's three powers as well.
Teen Titans GO Figure remains a premium game, but unlike its predecessor includes in-app purchases that include the ability to buy rare figures, extra repaint tokens, and eggs filled with a random assortment of figures, accessories, and repaint tokens. I've played through most of the game and I can attest that you don't need to buy any IAPs and there's no pay wall of any kind. All of what you can buy is relatively easily obtainable in the game. The IAPs might be really tempting for collectors and completionists who are impatient to collect them all but are easily ignorable for anybody else.
If you played Teeny Titans and are ready for more great figure-battling action, or enjoy the genre in general, Teen Titans GO Figure is an easy recommendation to make. The game is a great blend of old awesomeness and new hotness and does feel like a new experience, one that I am enjoying just as much the second time around.