20th Sep2017

Digital Shorts: ‘League of Evil’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Matthew Smail

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at the popular League of Evil, released recently on the Nintendo Switch.

league-evil-screen

Shovelware is a strong and unpleasant word. It conjures up images of the kind of software that you might find on a CD-ROM stuck to the front of a self-help PC magazine from the nineties, but for me, it has a second meaning. Crap re-releases.

It’s a bit harsh to describe League of Evil as crap, but it’s also not the kind of re-release I’m especially exited about, especially not when the Switch has such potential. Originally a 2011 mobile phone game, League of Evil first made waves with a super tight control scheme that defied the traditional standard of touch-screen operated platform games.

Whilst the fluidity and snap of the movement translates to the Switch flawlessly, it’s much less of a selling point on a proper mobile games platform. Simply being playable is kind of a given, and the basic, Super Meat Boy style gameplay is perfectly fine but never particularly enthralling.

Players can jump, double jump, wall jump, punch and fly kick, and must make their way through a claimed 160+ levels over several campaigns, although I must admit, I lost patience and inclination to continue after about 100 of them. There is no multiplayer mode, and there isn’t much to bring you back for a second bite of the cherry except for a single collectible in each level, and a three star rating system. Online leaderboards are present, and clearly speed running is a possibility.

Graphically, League of Evil looks like a mobile phone game from 2011, and it is absolutely a game for playing on the move rather than on a large TV. I dare say it has probably never looked better than it does on the Nintendo Switch, and yet, it’s still just a very basic pixel-art game with unremarkable characters and levels. The sound is fine, but completely forgettable. There is no chip tune ditty stuck in my mind, and I can’t recall any particular sound effects worth calling out.

League of Evil is going to get a low score from me because it’s not the kind of game I want to play, but it does offer Meat Boy style thrills for a low price, and it may take you two or three hours to finish entirely. Don’t expect the same level of challenge or such a strong identity as most similar games, but for the price I guess it isn’t the worst game ever.

** 2/5

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