There will be a moment in your first Lethal League Blaze competitive game in which you will think that the ball can not go faster. Usually, when someone sways so hard that a burst of echo shakes the ground, all the sand turns red and the ball goes away, a blurred image.
And then, somehow, another player will perfectly time his own hit, catching the white streak in full flight. The boom gets stronger, the colors merge into a psychedelic haze and that line of white, now incredibly fast, hits the side of your character's head, bouncing off the screen. So yes, Lethal League Blaze can always go faster.
Part fight game, sport part of the future, Lethal League Blaze is pure brilliance. You and up to three opponents hit a ball around a closed arena, and every time you hit it, it gains speed. Only the last player who hits the ball is immune to the damage if he touches it. Then, while someone else is in control, he runs the risk of getting KO-d.
It's the sequel to the 2014 Lethal League, which introduced this strange fusion of baseball and Street Fighter. The formula is the same here, but the small changes (the new 2.5D graphics, the funky soundtrack and some mechanical turns) make the matches even more frantic and enjoyable. It is simply a shame that the peripheries of Blaze do not coincide with the central action: the tutorial is half-baked, the artificial intelligence of the computer is too easy and the single-player modes feel like a late occurrence.
If you are a newcomer, you will master yourself in a matter of minutes. It does not have complex combos of buttons to remember: you only approach the ball and move away, change the angle of your attack by jumping or pointing with the left stick. You can also hit (which kills the speed of the ball temporarily, lifting it in the air to make it easier to hit) or grab it in midair to throw it forward.
The joy of playing in the Lethal League is in the domain. The time of these simple actions. When you hit a fast moving ball, your character freezes for a moment, and a bar at the bottom of the screen tells you when the ball will begin to move again. The trick is to judge when, and where, your opponent will hit him and swing a millisecond before to make sure to make contact.
Pinning a ball that is pinging on the screen and seeing how the game reacts with blinking lights and special effects is a fantastic feeling, and with each hit the tension increases.
You can grab three friends who have never played before and have a good time in a free game for everyone, but it's apparently hard to master: you can play 50 hours and still be overtaken by online opponents.
Each of the 13 characters, three of which are new, has a special ability, and you'll have to learn when to use them. For example, the smiling Candyman can pass the ball through the walls of the sand so that it leaves one side of the screen and returns to the other.
You can also steal the ball directly from the bat / skateboard / giant fist of your opponent (the cast is a varied group) by swinging in the same place as them when throwing the ball. They, on the other hand, can counteract that stolen theft, which creates a force field around the ball, stunning anyone who tries to touch it.
Mix all this, throw some mental games, double jumps and dodges, and you have a lot to learn if you want to scale the leaderboards online. The community is already discussing advanced movements and producing guides on how to improve.
Related: Best PC Games
If you were good at the original, you'll still be good at this, but it's not mechanically identical. Blaze makes three important additions: two that I love, and one that I'm not so sure about.
The addition of a health bar is a master stroke. In the original, you would be knocked out if the ball touched you no matter how fast you were traveling. Here, if you move slowly, it will only take a portion of your health bar, so it is more likely to reach high speeds. And do not worry, if you crush the ball, your opponent still falls in one fell swoop.
It also adds powers: periodically a floating goal will appear at the top of the screen that will engulf the ball and Spit it out in a different way. The ball could become invisible or become an American football that bounces unpredictably, all serves to increase chaos.
The final major change, of which I am not convinced, is a new "grip" button. At any time, you can grab the ball and throw it to your opponent, which could interrupt your time. He is also a hard accountant for stops. If your opponent stops, then the grip will stop immediately. It feels very easy to achieve and, therefore, makes the stops less useful, which is a shame because they are vital to stop consecutive players hitting the ball in one place.
But it's a small problem, and I'm sure that level players will find a way to make it work, maybe stopping at the last possible minute. And besides, when you play with friends one night, nobody will worry about that in detail: you'll just think it's funny that you can pick up the ball and throw it in someone's face. 19659002] Related: Best PS4 games
Blaze looks much better than the original, too. Now it's 2.5D, which means more texture in the character models and more in the background of the levels. I like how the sands change as the pace increases. Once you reach a certain speed threshold in one of them, police cars with sirens will ring in the background. In another, the elevator in which it is found collapses to the ground, the floors of a building that fly by in the background.
Cinematic shots of framing movements in off-line modes are a highlight. When someone is knocked down by a fastball, it will freeze the frame, rotate it and change the background to a solid red that highlights the special effects that were happening at that moment. It's a screenshot of the sky, and I found myself posing every time I hit an opponent to get the perfect shot.
Changes that are specific to a player are, unfortunately, less successful. A new story mode feels rushed and useless, and his story about a squadron of the Lethal League in a city that has banned sport is hard to follow. This is not a game you are buying for the narrative, but this mode does not even serve as an introduction to mechanics because it is very easy. Even if this is your first time in the Lethal League, you will be unharmed in every game of the story, which quickly becomes boring.
Related: Best Xbox One games
Versus mode for one player has similar difficulty problems and It does not do anything to prepare you to play online matches, even casual ones. The CPU seems unable to hit or dodge the ball, and never mixes its game.
Not even the practice mode is up to the job: apart from two very brief tutorials, it only consists of you, a ball and an empty sand. That's. There are no clues about how the special movement of each character works or, more importantly, how their movements differ, which allows you to conduct your own online research.
Fortunately, you can create custom games and adjust the skill level of the computer, creating difficult matches. That's probably the best way to prepare to play online, although it makes you wonder what the other modes point to.
While it's a shame that the only Blaze player stutters, it does not take away infinite fun from everyone. Each multiplayer game is. It is one of the best party games you can have, with controls that anyone who goes to a game night can master quickly.
With friends, either locally or online, you can play duels, four free players for all, 2v2 team games, or a volleyball themed minigame. And when everyone leaves, you can hone your online skills, master the stops and climb the leaderboards in 1-on-1 games.
Whether you have a lethal League or not, you must buy this sequel as fast as you can. .
The Lethal League Blaze publication appeared first in Trusted Reviews.