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The Walking Dead Battleground was made in 2014 by Supper Happy Fun Fun as Merge Interactive. It is a Plug n Play device and was published by Jakks Pacific. The same developer already did a The Walking Dead plug and play light gun system in 2012 which I covered in episode 77.
The system is inside the same gun as in 2012 and the light source is also the same. Just the colors differ a bit and on the Battleground devices are some blood stains. The trigger on the new gun felt a tad bit worse than on the previous system, but that could be pure coincidence and both guns still could be from the same Gaussian quality distribution. As with all Jakks Pacific light gun games made by Super Happy Fun Fun besides the Buck Hunter games the calibration routine at the start up screen is fake and serves only a tutorial purpose.
The game consists of a story mode with 22 levels and a horde mode in which parts of 9 of those levels are playable. The story mode saves the progress on a per level base which is really handy considering the battery eating nature of plug and play gaming systems. It would be really frustrating having the system running out of batteries in the final level and therefore losing all progress. Sadly there is an annoying bug that forces the player to finish a level once it is started. Leaving the game and going back to the main screen won't give the player the choice to select a new level or other options for the story mode.
The player takes the role of Clifford who took shelter in a prison. When a horde of undead attacks he escapes and eventually gets to a city called Woodbury. There he is betrayed by the local leader called "the Governor". As Clifford fleas he finds himself back at the prison again which is now occupied by Rick and his group. The prison gets attacked by "the Governor" and Clifford helps to turn the attack down.
Usually the player may pick a primary and secondary weapon of choice at the beginning of a level. Some of the weapons are unlocked over the course of the game. Furthermore the player is typically assisted by an invisible companion. The player can choose the kind of benefit this companion brings in. More ammunition, more lives or more fire power are available. Once a level is beaten, it can be selected freely in story mode. Some levels feature branching paths however the impact of the chosen path is very minimal. From time to time crates appear which can be shot for armor, health or ammunition for the primary weapon.
Similar to Star Wars Clone Trooper the game has very noticeable loading segments. Personally I think the game is much more refined and polished than the 2012 game. However there is still plenty of bad design. For example ammunition pick ups appear in the prologue levels even though they are completely unusable in those levels. The art style takes a more realistic approach. The digitized live action footage reminded me of the FMV game Corpse Killer which I reviewed in episode 73. I like the idea of selectable weapons and upgrades. Never the less boredom kicked in after some time as the difficulty of the game is rather low and therefore there is not much of a challenge playing this game. I like the pseudo 3D effect shown when the player is moved forwards. Reloading the gun works much better than in the previous The Walking Dead game.
I was happy about the inclusion of the character Rick, as I know him from the so called Coral memes which were wide spread in the internet.
I think the packaging is more pleasing than the previous box. Funny enough there is again an error concerning the RCA connectors. This time just connectors for stereo audio are connected, even though the game is mono and has no right channel audio connector. The video connector is omitted completely in the picture. Furthermore the connectors have the wrong gender.