The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a simplistic, painfully short, easy and ultimately forgettable Metroidvania-style game.
When I was a kid, The Powerpuff Girls was one of the most popular shows on Cartoon Network. One of the things I distinctively remember about the series is that most episodes followed the same structure: there are three girls with superpowers who live with Professor Utonium. Every now and then, their red-nosed phone would ring and the girls would help fight criminals using their special powers. The Powerpuff Girls: The Defenders of Townsville embraces this awfully familiar premise, but ultimately the game feels like a simplistic, short and unsatisfying episode of the TV series.
In The Defenders of Townsville, you play as the Powerpuff Girls (Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup) as they try to stop evil ape Mojo Jojo from taking over the world. In terms of gameplay, the game adopts mechanics and concepts from a Metroidvania-style game, since you explore sprawling environments that are interconnected. In the game, you move from room to room, defeat enemies and bosses and collect items and upgrades that improve your health or energy. Each girl has three attacks: two regular attacks and a unique one that’s not only helpful to dispatch enemies, but also to unlock specific doors.
But as far as Metroidvania-style games go, The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville must be one of the easiest games in the genre. Since the game targets a young audience, Defenders of Townsville is a piece of cake: enemies seldom pose a threat, identifying where to go next is never a problem, defeating bosses is a matter of remaining in front of them pushing the attack button as fast as you can and locating every single item is extremely simple, if you don’t mind backtracking a bit. In other words, there’s nothing challenging about the game.
But the meager difficulty isn’t the only problem with Defenders of Townsville. This is a short game as well and these two problems combined make Defenders of Townsville feel like a tool to promote the upcoming TV series and little else. I saw everything the game has to offer in an hour and a half and at the risk of sounding like one of those people who judge’s a game’s quality according to their length, this is definitely one of those instances where a game feels way too short, especially for a Metroidvania-style title.
Apart from the meager difficulty and short length, the game’s structure also leaves a lot to be desired. I never got the feeling that I was unlocking mechanics that improved the way in which I was exploring my surroundings exponentially. On the contrary, I felt like my characters had been deprived from their powers on purpose so that I unlocked those powers one by one in a very specific order. In other words, the process of unlocking powers felt mechanic rather than organic; a chore that I had to go through to beat the game.
On top of that, the story felt way too simplistic, voice acting was limited and characters kept repeating the same lines over and over. If you’re interested in the upcoming TV series, The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a poor attempt at catching your attention. The only interesting aspect about the game is related to its graphics. From a visual standpoint, the game features two visual styles appropriately named classic and modern, which follow the aspect of the original show and the upcoming one respectively.
The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a simplistic, painfully short, easy and ultimately forgettable Metroidvania-style game. This is the kind of game you don’t remember having played a month later. An intensely forgettable cash-in that exists to promote a TV series and nothing more.