May 14, 2012
There’s nothing like a simple and clean game of “break into the other team’s base.” This is the essence of a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I’ve played a few of these style games without knowing they had their own title (my bad). Awesomenauts differs slightly from most of it’s genre in that it is a 2D side scrolling MOBA as opposed to a top down one. The goal of Awesomenauts is to (as a team) break into the other team’s base before they break into yours. Simple goal, right? How hard can it really be?
Since this is an online game, it can essentially be very hard depending on who you are playing against and who is on your team. There are a number of different characters to play as, all of which have different weapons and special attacks. There are a few other characters that you can unlock through the course of play too, which can be a bit of a downside if playing against those who already have unlocked them. This is because the locked characters can tend to be a little better in every way than the starter characters. I was partial to the cowboy looking guy that could release a bull to knock back enemies. Although this attack is very awesome and borderline hilarious, that same character has a very weak primary weapon and I did poorlywhen faced with some of the unlockable characters.
Weapons and attacks can be improved upon slightly back at your base, where you can buy more attack power or faster recharge speeds for powers which have to be bought initially. These upgrades will even out the odds a little bit as you continue to play in the match. This can be only done to a point though, before you’ve reached your upgrade limit of a few each power. Solar (Awesomenaut money) for upgrades is dropped upon defeating an enemy. There’s a fair bit of strategy that comes with taking down the other team’s base which is guarded by gargantuan turrets. There are a number of different ways to each turret within the game’s few maps, so it is possible to avoid enemies on your way there. Avoiding enemies is a good strategy if you want to focus your health conservation for the turrets. Health drops are present sparingly around the level.
Trying to march right up to a turret and take it down is a guaranteed suicide mission. If it were really that easy, this wouldn’t be a multiplayer game. It’s essential to take a team member or two, or at the very least some bots (which spawn at your base). These bots will be your entourage if you find yourself facing enemy team members by yourself. Unfortunately, new comers to this game will still have a hard time trying to do anything when faced with more seasoned players. There is no system to match players by skill level.
The style of Awesomenauts is very cartoony and it is a side-scrolling game, which is different for it’s genre. The look and feel of the game is matched by it’s soundtrack which switches at will from cheesy 80′s guitar riffs to twangy western sounding music at will. Everything about each fits the game very well and sets it apart from anything else you’ll see on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.
Overall, Awesomenauts is a good game for those that enjoy the genre, and will definitely keep you entertained with it’s replay-ability. Just starting out as a new player is definitely challenging. This is a multiplayer game, which means it’s ten times more fun when playing with a few friends. If you enjoy MOBAs and playing games online with your friends, Awesomenauts could be the game for you.
[Images via Ronimo Games]
Out Of 5
The whole cartoony, cel-shaded look isn't really that innovative, but it works for this side scrolling strategy game. Everything is well animated and runs fairly smoothy, even when there is a lot going on on the screen.
Music alternates from cheesy 80s metal to western sounding music, and it fits the character styles and overall look of the game well. There is a little repetitiveness to the sounds though. Characters are goofy and they'll often says things that will make you laugh.
The characters control the way they are supposed to, and nothing is really that difficult. The button layout, as in which button controlled which attack, was a little different and therefore frustrating at times.
If you enjoy this type of game, Awesomenauts will definitely be your cup of tea. Keep in mind though that it isn't quite as much fun without a few friends on your team. Playing matches with bots will definitely defeat the purpose of the game. Newcomers will find a little bit of difficulty as they unlock new characters but once they are unlocked it feels more fair.
Awesomenauts is a lot of fun if you're into the game type, but not that much fun if you aren't. With only a handful of maps, the long run playability of this game is limited.