04th Jan2018

‘Brawlout’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Paul Metcalf


If you are a fan of Super Smash Bros. you’ll know the fun of competitive platform fighting combat. The hectic battles to drive others off the edge of the platform, while not falling off yourself makes for good entertainment for audiences too. Brawlout is a new platform fighter – now released on the Nintendo Switch – that is recognisable as a ‘bros-like’ game, but with an added level of cartoon violence that gives it an interesting charm.

Brawlout comes with six original characters, 16 character variants with their own movesets & visuals, and the Switch iteration features the inclusion of two popular indie guests in the form of the Hyper Light Drifter and Juan from Guacamelee! (with even more characters promised). Whereas we’ve previously played the Early Access version on Steam, which had the odd issue, the Switch release is stable and fairly well optimised. What you do get with Brawlout right now is the ability to play against people online, or go up against AI opponents. I enjoyed playing against the AI to get a feel for how to play the game, and to experience the different fighting styles of the characters.

What is noticeable is that Brawlout’s fighters are all unique in style and have a significant different feel to their style of fighting. My favourites to use so far have been Chief Feathers, and Paco. Chief Feathers has an edge because of his ability to fly, which makes it easier to stay on the platform, and Paco with his four-armed attack style is more power based and packs a hard punch. Interestingly, Brawlout does away with blocking to encourage fast-paced melee over slow-paced defensive battles, encouraging gamers to go all-out with its lightning-fast aerobatics with features like wavedashing, a free-form combat system, and a Rage Meter that levels the playing field the more damage you take!

While the game does feel more violent than Super Smash Bros. it is definitely a cartoon style violence that is on show. This violence is even more apparent when the aforementioned rage meter builds up and you are able to unleash more violent attacks to try and finish your opponent off. While the learning curve for the game is a little harsh, you start to pick up your character’s strengths and weaknesses and you are throwing the opponents around the screen in no time.

Brawlout may be hard to master but it is definitely fun, and good looking graphically. Obviously fans of platform fighters will know the important of a good framerate and Brawlout on the Switch did have some issues – however the developers have promised a patch that should be coming shortly after launch (our review copy was played BEFORE said patch) which addresses any minor frame stutters or crashes that have been reported by a few people (good on the devs for listening to their audience).

With the Switch release, Brawlout has also received an upgrade in the form of a new Pinata reward system – which allows players to unlock alternate skins, taunts, combo effects, death effects, stage variations, and more! No micro-transactions necessary; everything is available through regular play by earning gems. If players are looking to grab this extra content even faster, they can jump into online matches to acquire gems at an accelerated rate!

Speaking of online matches, it will be interesting to see how the competitive side of Brawlout grows as the game becomes more popular. While I’m sure it won’t have people rushing from Super Smash Bros. and taking over its dominance I can still see this one getting a good following, we’ll just have to wait and see if this happens.There is some real potential in Brawlout, and I’ll be watching with interest to see if it comes to fruition once the game hits ALL platforms.

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