Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds -Cocoa's Nightmare Attack- is a side-scrolling beat-em-up released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on February 27, 2013. It is a spinoff of Phantom Breaker, a fighting game released by 5pb. Due to issues regarding the localization of the original fighting game, Battle Grounds is the first Phantom Breaker game to be released outside of Japan.
Battle Grounds sports a retro-styled presentation, with chiptune music, pixel art characters, and 8 stages that combine 2D objects with simple 3D models. The game contains Story, Arcade, Co-Op, and Battleground modes, with the latter two modes playable over Xbox Live.
Shortly after the game's Xbox release, Mages/5pb announced that the game would be ported to the PlayStation Vita, both through the PlayStation Network and as a limited-edition physical release. Furthermore, a digital PlayStation 4 port titled "Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive" was announced at Tokyo Game Show 2013. While the Vita port is said to be faithful to the 360 original, Overdrive will allegedly add new features. One of Overdrive's screenshots feature Frau Kojiro from Robotics;Notes as a selectable character; however, it is currently unknown whether or not she is exclusive to that version.
On March 12, 2013, the "Kurisu Pack" was released as downloadable content; it adds Kurisu Makise as a playable character, 100GS worth of new achievements, and raises each character's maximum level from Lv50 to Lv99. The game also received a title update that, in addition to fixing several minor issues, adds a new "Nightmare+" difficulty. In January 2014, Fin and Ende were announced as DLC characters for the 360 and Vita versions.
The game's story takes place in Tokyo. The mysterious man known as Phantom has lost his dark powers, but works behind the scenes to regain them. He gives young women armor known as "Fu-mantion Artifacts" and promises to grant their wishes if they are victorious in battle. However, each time an F.A. strikes, it damages the space-time continuum; with enough cracks, Phantom's full power will be unsealed.
Waka Kumon, whose family is tasked with protecting the world against Phantom, and college student Mikoto Nishina attempt to stop Phantom's plot; however, Phantom escapes with Waka's little sister Nagi. Waka and Mikoto, along with aspiring hero Itsuki Kouno and high-school ninja Yuzuha Fujibayashi, rush to rescue Nagi and prevent Phantom's plan from succeeding.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is a four-button beat-em-up. Players have access to low, medium, strong, and SP attacks, and use combinations of these buttons to activate other skills. Instead of giving players the ability to move up and down at will, the game uses a "lane"-based system akin to the movement systems of Guardian Heroes and Code of Princess. Below each character's health is a "Burst Gauge" that fills as enemies are attacked. This fuels several skills such as the homing Out Range attack and the Phantom Break finishing move.
Characters build experience as they defeat opponents. This experience can be used to either increase the characters parameters or to purchase new skills. The characters parameters are Attack, Defense, and Speed; purchasable skills include High Jump, Double Jump, Air Throw, and Overdrive.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds features four gameplay modes: Story, Arcade, Co-op, and Battle Ground. Story Mode tells the game's story through cutscenes. Arcade Mode removes the cutscenes and keeps track of the player's score, max combo length, and max combo damage. Co-op allows 2 through 4 players to participate, and Battle Ground is a verses mode.
The game features four normal characters, six unlockable characters, and at least one DLC character. Story Mode restricts players to Waka, Mikoto, Itsuki, and Yuzuha while the other modes allow players to use the unlockable characters.
Each character has three unique special moves, performed with forward+SP, down+SP, and dash+SP. They also have a Phantom Break finishing move, which is available once the Burst Gauge is full.
Mikoto Nishina is Phantom Breaker's postergirl. The collegiate violinist fights using a giant blade named Maestro. "Schneidend" fires a sword-shaped projectile, "Gestrichen" causes Mikoto to slide forward before performing an upward jumping slash, and "Geschwind" is a far-traveling sword thrust. Her finishing move, "Schaurig," is a large sword laser.
Waka Kumon is a descendent of the Kumon family, who have battled against Phantom for generations. The oracle girl uses her Naginata to cut down the enemy. "Suitouha" is a short-ranged shockwave, "Kouryujin" is a spinning upward slash, and "Sougetsujin" sees Waka scooping the opponent and tossing them over her shoulder. Her finishing move, "Absolute spear/Dragon team," is a gigantic jumping slash that creates a pillar of light.
Itsuki Kouno's family was once wealthy, but hard times has forced her to become a maid. She uses a bullet-headed hammer named Maggie. "Vapor Wave" is a double ground pound, "Bullet Stinger" is a leaping hammer strike, and Itsuki performs a twirling forward attack during "Fike Helix." She pounds the ground to start her finishing move "Horizontal Grand Slam"; after that, a Banzai Bill-like bullet flies down her row.
is part of a ninja clan. The high school student uses a pair of short blades and other ninja weapons. "Hyou Hail" causes her to jump into the air and fire two shuriken, "Reppashou" is a dashing elbow followed by a ki attack, and "Rakuhozan" causes her to teleport into the air, dash forward, and perform a series of slices. Yuzaha's "Kasumi Warriors" is a downward slice followed by a forward dash that damages everyone in between.
M is an amnesiac who fights simply for the thrill of battle. She clobbers her opponents with a concrete club named "Humongous." A short fireball is unleashed with "Meteor Blast," the "Junk Rolling" attack is a spinning technique followed by a downward smash, and "Rubble Crash" causes her to jump forward and unleash a shockwave of rubble. Her "Descartes Wanderers" finishing move summons several bombs via parachute.
Cocoa is bored with reality and thus models herself into a character from the fictional game T-DA. She hopes that she can remodel the world to match T-DA by way of her giant claw. "Stumpfer Flugel" is a forward-moving series of clawing attacks, "Kurzes Messer" is an upward, then downward claw attack, and "Barbarischer Nagel" is a grab that engulfs the enemy in an explosion. Her "Unendliche Angst" combines her three special moves into a relentless assault.
Infinity served as the boss of the original fighting game, and is this game's only male character. Phantom's bodyguard uses a variety of supernatural projectiles to assault his enemies. "Edge of Extinction" shoots four crystal blades, "Horizon of Horror" creates two blades that skewer the enemy from below, and "Flaming Judgement" is an aerial move that creates an explosion on the ground. His finishing move is "Penace of Confession," fires a short-range orb that explodes into a gigantic crystal-like structure.
Nagi Kumon is Waka's kidnapped sister. Nagi somehow gains access to a reality-warping katana. Her "Space-Time Slice" begins as a normal slice before the upper-half of her body slices the enemy from behind. "Thorn" is a downward thrust that causes many sword blades to emerge from the ground, and "Moonshine Formation" is a ground roll that creates a gigantic shadow slice. "Arc Moon Blade" is her finishing move; she creates a gigantic crescent-shaped shadow slice in front of her.
White Mikoto is an alternate universe version of Mikoto. She has a unexplained grudge against the main universe's Mikoto. White Mikoto is essentially Mikoto with slight changes to the properties of her moves.
L is the Demonsphere universe's version of M. Unlike the other sub-characters, she is not battled as a stage boss. Like White Mikoto, L used a slightly-tweaked version of her counterpart's moveset.
Kurisu Makise, the heroine of Steins;Gate, made a guest appearance in the console version of Phantom Breaker. After buying the Kurisu Pack, the young neuroscience researcher joins the cast of Battle Grounds. "Future Gadget 1" is a particle beam gun, while "Future Gadget 5" is a vacuum cleaner rigged to act as a flamethrower. "Future Gadget 4" is a small mine that, upon being attached to an enemy, causes a series of explosions, and her "Selection of the Steins;Gate" finisher causes a space satellite to crash onto the ground.