It’s time to take a look at Brawlhalla. I remember this game being brought up quite a bit back in the day when it first came out. It was supposed to be a FTP Super Smash Bros type game. Unfortunately while it is a platform fighter I can’t say that it is anywhere near the level of Smash. It’s a decent game, but one with more flaws than Playstation’s Battle Royale game. There isn’t a lot that will keep you playing as the years go by. Maybe recreating Super Smash is really impossible. It seems like everyone ends up failing at this task after all.
There are a few main modes here. One of them is naturally going online to spar with other players. You can do so in team battles, 1 v 1, and free for alls. You can also play an online survival mode where you compete with other players to see who can score the most kills. Finally there’s also an offline training mode to tighten up your skills. When it comes to non gameplay content there is also a shop where you can buy other characters with a lot of gold. It’ll take you a very long time to get those characters if you are a free to play user. Still, with the daily log-in bonuses you are sure to get them eventually. There are other characters where the only option is to buy them with real money. One such character is Hellboy as the game is doing a marketing tie in for the movie. That’s fine, Rayman’s the only real notable character to nab and I can get him for free. It would take a lot of days though and I doubt I’ll be playing this game by then.
The gameplay is fairly straight forward. You fight on top of a platform and the goal is to knock your opponent off the platform and prevent their recovery. Do this 3 times and you’ll have won the match. So far so good, but here’s where the game falters. Rather than just attacking each other to claim the win the game throws in a lot of items the whole time that can’t be turned off. Owning a weapon just doesn’t feel as natural especially since you’ll be throwing and tossing the weapons pretty quick. After a while you’ll find the right weapon for you and use that to win. Once you’ve done so, you can just keep grabbing that weapon every game. The characters barely even matter since once they have the weapons they all play in pretty much the same way. Character recoveries are also a little too good and end up dragging the match a bit.
It’s not as bad as Playstation’s rule that you could only win by using a final smash. It’s still a bad one though because the weapons don’t feel like they’ve been designed all that well. The attacks don’t feel powerful and the weapons prevent you from getting in the hype. I know this game isn’t technically a button masher and you would definitely get wrecked online if you were to try it, but after a while you’re tempted to just keep swinging. The gameplay’s not really all that deep and I just don’t see the game lasting very long for a lot of people as a result.
Then we come to the graphics which are all right I guess. It’s always nice seeing the sprites running around. They aren’t going to bring down the house or anything but the characters do look accurate. For example, Hellboy and Rayman’s sprite appearance looks pretty good. The soundtrack is less impressive and I doubt you’ll remember a single tune by the end of it. They just aren’t memorable and I feel like this part was more of an afterthought when developing the game.
As for replay value, there is technically a lot here. There isn’t a story mode and so from the start you’re playing this purely for the multiplayer. These kind of games never technically end so the replay value is infinite. Really it’s all about how much you enjoy the gameplay because if you don’t then it’s not like you’re going to last for any significant amount of time anyway. For what it’s worth, I do think you’ll enjoy the game well enough. Especially since it’s free as that makes everything look a little better. Still, the game just isn’t too deep and there’s not much of a point to playing it when you’ve got Super Smash at the ready. There isn’t any area where this game is able to get to that high level.
Overall, Brawlhalla isn’t quite as fun as I expected. I just thought it would be a little closer to Super Smash to be honest, but it really isn’t. Take the genre away and you don’t really see many other similarities. As the cast grows larger I can see this game improving in the future. After all, if people are still buying the game and the devs are getting their money then they may still see the incentive of adding more updates and mechanic changes. I can hope at least. In the meanwhile you may as well get the game and start stacking up on Gold so you’ll be able to spend it all once you decide to jump in. It’s a free game so you’re not losing any money.