Simply Smashing: Brawlout Review (Switch)
By Ramon Rivera On 8 Jan, 2018 At 02:49 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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When Smash Bros was released, it took the world by surprise. No one ever imagined to see Nintendo characters fighting each other, and the idea proved to be well done. After Smash Bros came out, many games emerged with the same idea of, throwing the opponents from a platform in order to win the match. Many had different mechanics, but all usually had the same objective to them.  Some were average and others were bad, but ultimately, no game was able to stand apart as anything other than a smash clone. That is until now that Brawlout has entered the fray.

At first glance, you might think that Brawlout is another smash clone because it shares some similarities with the aforementioned series. Once you get into it, however,  you can see that Brawlout is very different from Smash, and that it can stand proudly next to it. Control wise you have two jump buttons, an attack button, a special button, and L and R serve as dodge and aerial dash buttons. One novel thing in Brawlout is that while you can do basic attacks with the A button, and directional and charged attacks (like Smash the developers decided to add something new: combos.

While it’s true that there are combos in other games,  they tend to be more advanced level combos than most entry level gamers can’t pull off. Brawlout on the other hand, decided to go the extra mile and make the game accessible to everyone, while keeping tech and skills at a level that even advanced gamers can enjoy. The combo system is really intuitive: pressing the A button three times and then pressing the B button will have your character performing a combo. While the command is the same for all characters, each one has different attacks and properties.

There are some that have follow up attacks on their specials.  Also, there is no shield here.  Instead of blocking, you can simply dodge pressing either the L or R button. For me, this is awesome because match are more fast paced, and if your opponent is combo happy you can dodge and bring some punishment.  The lack of items is another thing that I applaud.  If you win, it’s based on skill, not for an item, another great mechanic in Brawlout is the Rage System.  While you are receiving damage, a red gauge starts to fill.  When it’s at fifty percent, you can press L and R at the same time to use it as a combo breaker, so if you are getting pinned down, it is a way to turn the tables on your favor. If it reaches 100%, you can enter Rage Mode by pressing L and R.  Rage Mode raises your attack power, makes you harder to knock down, and gives you more recovery speed, while being thrown out of the stage.  If you are being thrown you can use the double jump and the aerial dash to get back to the platform.  Also Up B  can get you to the edge, so you can use all three to get back so even if you are thrown far you still have a chance.

You have six original characters, plus two guest characters: Juan Aguacate from Guacamelee and The Drifter From Hyper Light Drifter. Each character has different move sets with their own strengths and weaknesses.  For example Paco, whose moves are set around, throws like a luchador.  For me, this is one of the stronger characters on the game. Brawlout is a fast paced, all out battle royal, meaning that in order to win, quick thinking and fast reactions are key to victory. Brawlout feels really smooth: running at 60fps both docked and undocked.  The game allows this fast pace to work really well.  It also has several modes for you to get into, as well as an in-game store to unlock extras. Single player offerings include your standard quick-play and tutorial options, a free practice mode, and an arcade mode where you have to play through rounds of matches across three difficulties. Playing in these matches will raise the ‘mastery’ (or skill level) of your chosen character, eventually working towards future unlocks. Some things, such as new skins or taunts, are unlocked randomly as you earn more in-game currency by playing matches and completing daily challenges. New stages, on the other hand, are locked behind specific characters.  You’ll need to get each character to level 10 to get their specific arena.

There is also an online mode which consists exclusively of one-on-one matches. In a nice touch, you are able to jump into local matches or browse through the in-game store while the game tries to find an online match for you. Following the theme of the action so far, when online matches are working perfectly they are great fun and you can host your own games for friends to join.  If you like, however, due to the nature of peer-to-peer online servers, several matches where a user had a poor internet connection caused the entire match to run in unplayable slow-motion. Of course, everyone’s experience with this will differ, but I recommend ensuring that you have a very fast and secure connection if you wish to jump online.

Bottom Line: Brawlout is another great addition to the Nintendo Switch.  If you were hungry for a Smash-like game, you can’t go wrong here.  It has a great cast of characters, fun game play unlocks, and daily bonuses. Brawlout has something for everyone, and I definitely recommend it.  I hope to see you online!

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