Perhaps I was the only male over the age of thirteen to hope that Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL for the Xbox 360 was something more than a sloppy clone of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series of character-driven fighting games.
What can I say? I love cartoons. I've loved them all my life, and during the turn of the century you couldn't find better cartoons than the ones on Cartoon Network. Shows like The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and The Powerpuff Girls weren't just new animated television shows. They helped shape a changing perception of what a Western cartoon could be.
I realize I am in the minority here, and that the target audience for most of these characters are, at the very least, a third my age. I can't expect a game featuring the "kiddy" characters I love to be crafted to my level of appreciation.
Why the hell not?
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL, actually an enhanced console port of a Nintendo DS game, treads the same territory as another 2011 cartoon-themed release, Nicktoons MLB. The Nickelodeon game also features iconic characters that have garnered as many (if not more) adult fans than children. Characters like Ren and Stimpy or Invader Zim and Gir have the potential to really draw in a crowd of fans, if not for the all-too-often correct perception that games like these are sloppy titles meant to make a quick buck of a character's likeness.