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Awesomenauts Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, May 09, 2012 21:48

Awesomenauts has a lot of good ideas. It uses the general premise of ’MOBA’ genre titles like Super Monday Night Combat and League of Legends, then combines them with the intuitive and comfortable controls of a 2D platformer like Contra or Mega Man. If you’re already familiar with both concepts, that description may be enough to interest you in picking this up. Rest assured that it is fun, but it has some snags you need to be ready to deal with.

Awesomenauts (Xbox 360)Each game involves two teams of three (six players total, bots will fill in for any missing players) fighting one another to escort a small army of drone robots into the other team’s base and destroy it. It’s up to you to shoot, slash, and explode your opponents and their own robots, as they’ll be trying to do the same thing. Each player uses a different character from a small pool, each with their own set of talents and weapons that fill certain roles. One character might have lots of wide-area damage, suitable to taking out the enemy’s drones before they reach your base’s turrets and core. Another might provide special support to allies, and another still could have heavy armor to let them bear the brunt of the enemy’s attention. A good team goes a long way, as does the coordination to use your talents together.

Along with this run-and-gun action in a classical style, you have a set of upgrades to purchase. Nobody is given enough resources to buy every upgrade, so you have to make choices and plan ahead. Extra running speed might help, but so will having more health or improving your special abilities. Experienced players will have a ’build’ plan in their head at the start of the game, as the choices you make yield characters that are different in subtle but important ways. This system is pretty typical for the genre, but that’s fine; why go messing with something that already works?

While bot play is supported, it’s not worth your time except perhaps to try specific early game builds. They more or less understand the game and will pursue its basic goals, but they’re not particularly skilled or smart. These same bots will fill in for missing players in online games, though this gives that team a major handicap and even two bots fail to measure up to one human player in any meaningful way. Local versus play isn’t available either, making this mostly an online experience.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Awesomenauts Review (XBLA)
7.0 Replay
Both forced and genuine replay value come from competing against other teams online. You’ll have to put in a few hours unlocking the content you need to have a fair chance, but it’s fun after that.
7.0 Graphics
The whimsical, cartoon visuals fit the action and a smart layout makes it easy to understand what’s going on.
6.5 Sound
Decent effects and narrator voices keep you on top of what’s going on, though some lines (especially a few characters’ quips) get old very quickly.
7.5 Gameplay
Excellent controls and good use of MOBA conventions make this a game that is easy to learn and pretty entertaining if you have friends handy.
6.5 Multiplayer/Online Content
Primarily an online game, but it’s one that you really need to bring people along with you. Going alone means you may wind up on a team by yourself (aided by very underwhelming bots), which isn’t much fun. Getting past the frustrations of the matchmaking system is a significant hurdle, but worthwhile.
7.0 Overall
An enjoyable take on both MOBA and 2D platforming at a reasonable price, Awesomenauts is worth checking out if you can overcome its initial problems.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0


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