LBX: Little Battlers Experience, is a new 3DS game from experienced developer Level-5.  I am completely new to this series both from a video game perspective as well as the series in general.  From my time spent with the game, the series is very similar to Pokemon and Yokai Watch in terms of target market and gameplay.  Without further ado, let’s get into this latest entry in the series!

The gameplay in LBX is very reminiscent of Pokemon games with several key differences.  It’s similar in the sense you start off at home and then embark on your own journey like a ‘coming of age’ story.  Unlike Pokemon’s turn-based combat, LBX employs a more action-oriented combat system that unfolds on a 3D battlefield.  It’s very fast-paced and players have to use time their dodges and attacks well in order to defeat enemies.  When I first started playing the game, the combat was easy to pick up and not that difficult.  As I progressed, upgrading my LBX became more and more critical to success in battle.  It’s not a huge step up in difficulty by any means, but definitely more noticeable than many of the Pokemon games that I’m used to playing.  There are plenty of tutorials and reminders to upgrade your LBX in the game so younger players should adapt easily enough.  Another key difference from the Pokemon series is the level of customization.  LBX customizations include new weapons, arms, legs, head, torso, helmets, and all sorts of added color combinations.  In total, the game boasts more than 30,000 possible variations.  Customization is definitely a big selling point for the game since you can create a LBX that’s very unique.  LBX robots are very easy to customize by simply dragging and dropping parts onto the robots exoskeleton.  Other than that, gameplay progression is very similar to Pokemon games.  Players will encounter various people to battle LBX to hone their skills and unlock more upgrades.  Once players have their LBX customized to their liking, they can battle with up to 6 friends (The game doesn’t have download play so players will all need their own copy of the game).

Visually, LBX is very impressive on the 3DS.  I must say the graphics engine that Level-5 is using is amazing both with stereoscopic 3D turned on or off.  For those of you that read my Yokai Watch impressions from E3 2015, the engine is very similar.  I hope to see more 3DS games taking advantage of fully 3D worlds in the future because it definitely creates a more immersive experience.  The menus and design of the game in general are all what you’d expect to see from Level-5 and are well designed. 

Overall, my time with LBX was enjoyable.  The gameplay is definitely fun but sometimes too many options meant that item upgrades can became more meaningless.  You may go through several useless upgrades before finding the items that really give your LBX a boost.  Younger players may not find issue with this and there is still plenty of content to enjoy throughout the game.  If you are looking for a gift for a young gamer, LBX will provide hours and hours of fun.