Bravoman: Binja Bash is an side scrolling adventure game filled with an ample amount of snarky, self deprecating humor, as our titular character is a geek who is transformed into a superhero thanks to an alien named Alpha Man. Bravoman's main villain is Dr. Bomb, a power hungry evil doer ready to unleash his robot corps and ninjas onto unsuspecting planets. The game's comic book strip style aesthetic is definitely pleasing to the eye, but is Bravoman just a pretty hero with zero substance?
Bravoman: Binja Bash immediately makes a great first impression even though it takes a bit longer than the usual app to download. While you're waiting for the game to start, you can read about Bravoman's back story and his mission to stop Dr. Bomb. Though he has a diminutive frame, our hero packs a pretty powerful punch, as his arms can stretch out like Mr. Fantastic and knock out more than a few villains with a combo of punches. He can also transform into a torpedo filled submarine. Still, I love the guy's true power as a total ladyklller.
During the endless runner, beat 'em up stage of each level, you tap on the right side of your device to stretch out your arms and punch out your enemies. Jumping, protecting yourself using a shield, and a power up which turns Bravoman's arms into a wildly flailing killing machine are all located on the left side of your device. The control system is my only complaint for an otherwise stellar experience, as having to block out attacks while leaping or fighting requires a two finger coordination which I don't currently have on my left hand. Basically, there's just too much business going on during one side of the screen, and my lack of love for the control mechanic for Bravoman definitely puts it down a couple of notches.
By mixing it up with side scrolling action as well as an underseas adventure wherein Bravoman faces his deepest fears, this app steps it up to another level. During this section, my control issues didn't occur, as all that is needed is a simple tap to fire off the torpedoes and move up and down to avoid this creature's destructive laser beams. You're getting two types of games in one with Bravoman: Binja Bash, and since it's a free to play title, what more could you want?
Don't be discouraged if you plummet to your death or get brained way too often by sword wielding ninjas, since you can use one of your three available hearts to continue the stage. Once these hearts are exhausted, they will replenish after several minutes. You can always purchase hearts with real cash, but cheers to Namco for enabling more frugal gamers the chance to just wait it out and work their way back into the level. During the following sequence, my miserable combat skills leads Bravoman into a very bad and steely situation.
I really do love Bravoman: Binja Bash, and if it wasn't for the control issues, it would easily stand as one of my favorite apps of 2013. But it's just one minor flaw in an otherwise first rate experience.
There's another feature in the title called the 'hero builder,' and as you gradually collect parts during your combat runs, you will get the chance to unlock Brave Man, Waya Hime, Anti-Bravoman, and even Alpha Man. Grabbing all these parts will require, if you don't want to spend the cash, an inordinate amount of time. That's fine with me. I plan to share more hours, even days with Bravoman, especially since my arms can only reach so far.