November 30, 2012

Awesomenauts: Addicting And Aggravating

Every year my best friend and I give each other gifts on Steam, anywhere from $5-100 with no need for return. Seeing as this years Triple A game selection really didn’t have anything interesting, all I asked for was Indie games. As much as I love it, this can raise a problem of the fact that I have limited broadband and downloading 38 games ( all of which cost less than 50 dollars) takes a lot of the connection.

A few of them I had heard of but never really played, but none of them stood out quite like Awesomenauts. The 2D online multiplayer battle arena game released in May of 2012 by Ronimo Games received high marks across the board for its innovation and art design. While the art design is fairly nice and does add a sense of nostalgia to it, I believe it is the gameplay that makes this game interesting.

For starters, Awesomenauts is entire class based, with a total of 11 classes including melee ranged, and all possible combinations in between. However, this is a major down fall because although the classes are there they must first be unlocked. While its true that many game developers have used this to extend gameplay, any smart developers will give some sort of opt in, with either money or in game currency to bypass this. This is not one of those games, and closest thing you can even describe it to is the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise. Instead of being able to enjoy the game as your class of choosing, you are forced to play level after level of what is normally getting your ass handed to you while slowly(emphasis on slowly please) leveling up.

Another thing that needs to be talked about is the ranking system itself. While ranking systems can play a nice roll in balance, more than often what happens is that you have one team that has nothing but high ranks and the other team has lower to middle range. Part of me wants to believe that the developers see some sort of intelligent plan in doing this; because I frankly cannot see anything smart about this. When will developers realize this doesn’t help keep people interested in the game, and makes it just that easier to quit. Its not even the fact that it can’t be fixed its the fact that its too late to. All thats actually needed is an autobalance feature that kicks in when one side is clearly getting their asses handed to them, and BAM; you have a working game.

Lastly I’d like to complain a little bit about the in game purchase system, not because it needs working, but because its presented so uniquely. Most games require that you complete a round or complete a certain objective before you can start buying upgrades and equipment. Awesomenauts  on the other hand gives lets you pick up currency and even buy an upgrade that gives you currency every minute or so. This actually comes in handy pretty often, because it helps soften the ass kicking you’ll be receiving from the other team by letting you get upgrades.

Overall, this game is great and I would recommend it to anyone that has a few hours to kill. Despite all its flaws that make it stick out like a thorn, there’s just something about it that’s keeping me playing it. Whatever that something is I hope the developers continue putting it into their games and I look forward to the next game they decide to make.

Image Credit: Ronimo Games

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