Friday
Jun082012

QCF: Awesomenauts

What the heck is a MOBA? Well, apparently it stands for "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena". I learned something today, because it just so happens to be exactly what Awesomenauts is.

Developed by Romino Games and published by DTP on XBLA and PSN, Awesomenauts is basically an 80's-Cartoon-themed, side-scrolling, run-and-gun-styled online demolition match. Sounds... well, awesome, right? Woah there, just settle in for a bit. We'll get to how awesome this game is in a second. As for anyone looking for an in-depth single player campaign with an involved story? You need not apply. The extent of your single player experience will literally be practice stages versus bots in preparation for actual online play and for the most part, the experience is identical.

The object of Awesomenauts is simple: destroy the opposition's drill (which is mining precious "solar" from the planet in question) on the other side of the map. Each side has robotic minions and a number of automated turrets in place to assist in repelling the opposing team. Where things get interesting is how you can upgrade the character you're using. You start the match at zero; no matter their overall level, every player starts with default stock characters.

As you defeat the various creatures, robots and players, you collect money that can be used to strengthen the attributes you chose before the match. The higher your level, the more abilities and enhancements are available.You will also unlock a number of new characters as well, not the least of which includes a flying Russian monkey with a laser mounted to his back. Obviously.

And that's really about it. From there, kill, kill, upgrade, destroy, kill, upgrade, destroy. Admittedly, even though there's lots to unlock in terms of characters, weapons and enhancement, the journey to get there wears mighty thin mighty quick. A single player campaign is sorely lacking in this respect.

I'm not a fan of online games, because there's always an army of people that spend their every waking hour playing online and doing little else. With that said, you will invariably and consistently be absolutely wasted on the outset. The characters you unlock and the later abilities just lay waste to lower level players (such as myself) and will likely push away people looking for an enjoyable match with evened odds, because there's literally no such thing here.
 

Another inevitability of online gaming is people who quit in the middle of a match. Awesomenauts remedies this by replacing players that drop out with bots. If a new player joins, a bot is replaced. The mechanics are sound though, and some of the music is great, especially the incredible 80's cartoon charged intro music. The character design is good as well, though I could have done without the typical redneck sheriff and mutant space monkey tropes. 

On the whole, if you're looking to waste some time playing online and you like your 2D action games, you could do worse than Awesomenauts. But because of the limited, online-only, repetitive nature of the game, and its seemingly been-there-done-that characters it feels more like the game shouldhave been called Averagenauts. At least it only has an 800 Microsoft Point (9.99 on the PSN Store) sticker price.

Awesomenauts, while playable, is decidedly Awesome-not.

  



Three out of Five Hadokens


 

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