I’ve got a confession to make…
I could never get into the Smash Bros. series of fighting games.
There. I said it. I feel better.
Ok look, it’s not that I hate those games, because I don’t. I find them incredibly crazy to watch and they still have some of the hypest matches every year at EVO. I’m just not that great at it and I think that’s where my natural frustrations about the game come into play.
There has been a slew of “arena-style” fighters over the last few years with a few making names for themselves (Rivals of Aether and Brawhalla). These games have been making the rounds amongst PC circuit and put a ton of money into their tournaments. With the announcement and hype for the super-mega-ultimate-edition of Smash Bros, is there room for another arena fighter? Brawlout is here to answer that question.
Brawlout, at first, seems like a Smash Bros. clone. It’s got some fighters, beating each other up while damage slowly ticks up. The more damage a fighter has on them, the more likely they are to go flying off screen and be eliminated from the match. Players familiar with this style of fighting game will feel instantly at home with Bralwout and it’s control scheme.
Players who might be new to the arena fighter will be able to take advantage of Brawlout’s training mode. It manages to give the player a well thought out and thorough look into the mechanics of arena fighters while not overwhelming the player. Controls are tight, even using wireless controllers. Responsive and quick, Brawlout matches are fast hitting and high action.
Visually the game looks beautiful. Every character is super bright and the stages are all lush and colorful. Speaking of characters, Brawlout helps make its name known by adding some great special guests like from games like Guacameele, Yooka-Laylee, and Hyper-Light Drifter and, (newly announced) Dead Cells. Someone new to fighting games or even this game might feel more at home seeing characters they recognize. I know when I first booted this game up I instantly picked Juan from Guacameele.
There isn’t a ton of variety within the characters. Players can unlock “variants” of most characters. These variants are basically a color/skin swap with the same base moves, and maybe 1 – 2 special moves that are different. While they aren’t different characters, they play different enough to make the game interesting.
Brawlout has a ton of options for players. Couch fighting for up to 4 players, online matches and more are all part of the game. For the single player fighters, there is an arcade mode with varying degrees of difficulty.
Competing in the game both offline and online gets you some in-game currency. That currency can be used to purchase skins and other accessories for your fighters. It doesn’t alter the gameplay, it just adds some more personalization to the game.
After spending some time with Brawlout, both online and offline I found myself coming around to the idea of arena fighters. We might be a ways away from the next installment of Smash Bros. but I will be honest, Brawlout has gotten me excited for it. In fact later this month I am hosting a fight day here at my house, and Brawlout is going to be one of the featured games.
So thank you Brawlout, for changing my mind on how fun arena fighters can be. I look forward to all you have to offer.
The author was given a copy of Brawlout on Xbox One for review purposes.