Fallin’ for the Love of Ballin’ - Let’s Play Bakugan: Defenders of the Core


[Thanks to my good friend keroberrycola for the banner image!]

Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a Japanese-Canadian animated series made to help advertise the strategic miniatures and card game Bakugan developed by Sega Toys and Spin Masters. The series began airing in 2007 and, while it was a commercial failure in Japan, Bakugan found significant popularity in Canada and the United States. This prompted Canadian co-producer Nelvana Animation to commission three more seasons of the show, which would continue to air until 2012. A reboot of the series, Bakugan: Battle Planet, started airing at the end of 2018 to coincide with the release of the trading card game of the same name.

Bakugan: Defenders of the Core is an action-adventure game released in 2010 for the seventh generation of consoles. Unlike the previous video game in the series, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Defenders of the Core is less interested in emulating the real-life game of Bakugan and instead provides a more traditional video game experience. The game is split between stealth-adventure sections where you play as a human character, and arena battles focusing on collectible kaiju-sized Bakugan. It actually comes off as an inspired adaptation of something as cynical as an anime based on a toy franchise, providing a simplified but still feature-rich series of video game systems for children and also me to enjoy.

While Bakugan’s plot originally dealt with common shonen anime plot beats about how power corrupts and the importance of reconciling differences between people, its second arc, New Vestroia, aims for higher ambitions. Defenders of the Core takes place in a game-exclusive scenario during the events of New Vestroia. The player takes control of a customizable avatar who has to use his Bakugan battling abilities to bring peace to an alternate reality being threatened by the Vestals, a race of people who have enacted colonialism on the Bakugan home planet of New Vestroia and are now aiming to take over Earth. It’ll make sense later, I promise.

I’m ChorpSaway and growing up with a brother much younger than I has given me an odd sort of fondness for this series. I also think this game is genuinely good and an example of a strong anime tie-in game, especially as a children’s anime tie-in. Joining me are my fellow brawlers TheJayOfSpade, FutureFriend and Taoc, who have no knowledge or appreciation for Bakugan as a franchise. Together we’re going to save the world of New Vestroia and learn a little something about friendship and self-respect along the way.

I will be completing the story mode and showing off all available Bakugan from the campaign, as well as getting all of the collectibles in the game.

Look, I get it, we’re playing a kid action game based on a toy franchise and it’s very silly. That said, I’d like to keep the tone of the thread more light-hearted; I don’t need anyone going hard in on Bakugan just because it’s a ploy to get kids to buy toys. We were all into stuff like this as children, none of you are free from sin.


:siren: LET’S GET THIS STARTED! :siren:

It’s time to start a new adventure into the world of licensed anime games, and this time we even get to be an OC, lovingly crafted by yours truly! After a simulation battle goes awry, our character finds himself in a dimension much unlike his own. The Earth is in danger, and the Bakugan Resistance is much more worse for wear. With everyone else out of commission, can our cynical MC learn to love Bakugan and brawl for the fate of humanity?



Bakugan is like, right up there with Battle B-Daman and Beyblade in “ridiculously stupid and fun anime about toys that start with the letter B” and I love it. I know Bakugan the least, so this’ll be fun to watch.

Having watched it: Damn this game looks good actually. Not like, perfect by any stretch, but definitely worth a rental.

Concerning American companies taking over or commissioning more seasons, the biggest example of that is Ultimate Muscle/Kinnikuman Nisei, where they basically revived the series in Japan! I mention this only because I fucking love Ultimate Muscle.


You gotta hand it to Shadow, he has a clear excitement for his job and doesn’t let failure get him down.

edit: Regarding the colonialist group Vestal. You do not, under any circumstances, “gotta hand it to them.”


:siren: SUPER UPDATE TIME! :siren:

While we may have saved Japan for now, there are other parts of the world being corrupted by the Vexos Crystals! It’s time to visit jolly ol’ England, but we have no time to enjoy the sights and sounds as we’re immediately thrust into another conflict! And things get even weirder for poor Chorps as he learns more about his destiny in this alternate world!

:siren: WOW, A PODCAST! :siren:


MP3 Download

It’s finally time for us to count down the greatest, and maybe not so greatest, anime of 2018! Joined by JordanKai once again, we spend a staggering four hours going over everything we thought of the previous year of anime, and look forward to 2019 with bright eyes!


I do absolutely love the design of the Bakugan. They look really cool, even the mooks like these umbrella crab mechs.


:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

First of all, reposting the previous episode since a server issue ate it all up!
Today, we’re taking a journey to the east in order to explore China! One of the Resistance members, Baron, is locked in a fierce battle with the Vexos there, and it’s up to us to help him out and save the local landmarks(?)! It’s silly designs versus sillier designs today as we continue to protect Earth from the new colonists!


Percy being a horny grow-up of Spyro is something I’ll never not be able to get out of my head. I think my cousin even has Percievil’s orb and now I’ll never be able to look at it the same way again.


:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Today, it looks like the Resistance aren’t the only ones with bigger plans! Having discovered the truth of Chorps, one Vexos member decides to see if his morals are as strong as his brawling skills. Will Chorps turn himself over in order to save himself, or will he finish his work with the Resistance and save Mira?


It’s a shame that Ingram sucks because she looks really rad honestly.

I think my cousin has Hades’ orb as well and I admit I do like how the big true forms do match up to the orb form pretty well.

…so is Aura evil? Because some of her dialogue and basically everything about her presentation screams “secret villaaaain” to me. Also what the HELL is she, beyond “the core”. And if the idea is that she is the Earth’s core…does that mean the Earth is a giant bakugan?

And why can’t she say Bakugan right???


:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Things are starting to heat up with the Vexos, literally! First, a new Vexos Crystal has appeared in China, causing massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions! And meanwhile, the Vexos have set up a base in Egypt where they’re planning to dig straight to the Earth’s core and harness its energy in order to take control of Earth! Things are looking rough for the Resistance, who always seem one step behind. Can they reach their goal in time and still save the world as it falls apart?

…so is Aura evil? Because some of her dialogue and basically everything about her presentation screams “secret villaaaain” to me. Also what the HELL is she, beyond “the core”. And if the idea is that she is the Earth’s core…does that mean the Earth is a giant bakugan?

Yeah, Aura is literally the Earth’s core. And all planets are just very large Bakugan, waiting to be unlocked and sent spiraling into space due to the gravitational shift.


I love this.

Invisible guards, even if they have to stop to recharge is…a bit much honestly?

Y’all better make a magnanimous joke when you use Mega Nemus.


:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Today, things take a turn for the worse for our heroes! Despite an important series of wins for the Resistance, it looks like their campaign for Egypt was not meant for the same success. They’ve fallen right into the Vexos’ trap, and it’s left them without an important ally! Will the Resistance be able to bounce back from this heavy loss and continue their pursuit of the Vexos, or will this mark the end for the Core, and Earth as we know it?


Yeah those armadillo guys are cute as a button!

Also wow Mega Nemus is…way stronger than I expected. Jeez. Guess that’s the power Buddha.

I can say definitively I am acing that test, Future Friend.



EDIT: Oops, uploaded two versions with cut commentary, will re-render and have the proper uncut video up shortly!


:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Today, it’s time to start the final push for the Resistance! We’ve tracked down the Vexos headquarters to America, where they’ve set up the origin Crystal almost completed their path to the Core. Even without Drago, we can’t give up the fight! There’s no time to waste; let’s brawl!


You know, that conversation about “what do you call horns?” is surprisingly legit. Like yeah, if they’re on the back they would be called spines, and…I mean I guess claws are hand horns! I’m having difficulty saying that these statements are wrong.

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I really like to think that Spectra as an adult turns into BANDIT KEITH.

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Although likely not intended in anyway, I like that the mismatch of children’s anime that I know means that to me you basically wished Spectra gets shot with a finger gun he thinks is a revolver.

Which truthfully is a fitting end for the chap.

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:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Today, it’s time for the final push against the Vexos! In the heart of New York, the Resistance has discovered where the Vexos base is located, as well as the origin point for all of the world’s Vexos Crystals! Now that they’re far into enemy turf, will our heroes be able to infiltrate the base and save the core in time? Find out on the penultimate episode of Let’s Play Bakugan: Defenders of the Core!