[Review] Battle Group 2 - Nintendo Switch

Every so often you run across a game unlike anything that you've ever played before. As a result, you aren't always quite sure what to think of that, and I'm still trying to scratch my noggin through this one for Battle Group 2.

While it bills itself as an arcade, action, strategy title, I'm not really picking up on the action or strategy portion of this game. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game...but I think that it is best described as an arcade on-rails shmup. Where most shoot 'em ups have you flying through space, usually back forth, left and right, up and down, and occasionally some dodging and rolling to weave in and out of enemy flight and attack patterns while ground units hurl projectiles at you, Battle Group 2 puts you in the position of turret gunner on a naval ship while the computer propels you forward. As enemies fly on screen and into your sights, you swing a cursor around screen and fire at them to destroy them before they plink away at your health.

You can hold down the R button to make your cursor swing around more quickly, which is great when you have enemy ships and missiles coming at you from different sides of the screen at the same time, but the default, slow movement of the cursor when not pressing down R is perfect for lining up precision shots and singling out that one little cannon on a quick approaching islet.

Battle Group 2 has the cool feature of eventually unlocking a second ship to help you take down aggressive aircraft and win a war where global destruction is a possibility, but it also became one of the annoying bugs(?) that I encountered while playing the game. You see, after playing through a few stages, I had earned a bit of money, and then turned it off. When I loaded the game back up, it prompted me to purchase a second ship to continue my campaign. Problem was, I hadn't yet earned enough money to buy a second ship, but I also couldn't just hop back into the campaign to grind for that money to unlock a second ship. If you're going to make upgrades necessary to progress, they need to unlock automatically after a specific stage unless you have side missions or the ability to replay levels. It kind of breaks the game when you have to play it for some previously unspecified time to not have your initial progress invalidated after you take a break.

Battle Group 2 is a very basic game, but it is unique, and fun while it lasts. If they fixed that issue and made some more boats and upgrades available, the game could be extended beyond its 2-3 hour run. The graphics look good, the music and sound effects never really get old, and the story is pretty decent, but there just isn't much to do, and no replay value.



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