Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)
Darkish Display Video games’ Bounty Battle is such an excellent thought. “The last word indie combating recreation.” Tremendous Smash Bros. with a roster of pugilists from the cream of the underground scene over the previous few years. The protagonists right here hail from classics reminiscent of Lifeless Cells, Blasphemous, Axiom Verge, Owlboy, Nuclear Throne and Steamworld Dig to call only a few, it is definitely an enviably superior forged with the potential to offer a riotously good time for arcade brawler followers. It’s considerably unlucky, then, that each one of this potential has been completely wasted on a recreation that is among the many worst titles we have performed in a really, very very long time.
From the second you launch into Bounty Battle, the issues instantly begin to pile up. Its menus are janky and complicated to traverse, protagonist portraits are horribly low-res, the character choice display is darkish and dingy, there is no multiplayer, match mode is a irritating farce, problem mode is a tedious bore, the framerate is appalling… it is a real battle to search out something to reward right here, and that is only a crushingly disappointing state of affairs given the premise and the truth that Darkish Display Video games’ managed to accumulate the rights to all of those wonderful characters.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)
Fight in Bounty Battle sees you tackle opponents – in single-player or native co-op – utilizing your chosen protagonist’s poorly-implemented transfer set. You may string primary, janky combos collectively by bashing Y, hit out with garbage sturdy assaults utilizing X, “throw” with R, dodge with B, bounce with A and carry out a poorly-animated particular with ZR. As you flail across the display you will accrue bounty factors which you’ll be able to then use to buy a minion who, apparently, fights by your aspect as soon as summoned however, in our expertise, does completely nothing however mill round pointlessly within the background.
Let’s take Juan Aguacate from Guacamelee as a fast instance. Earn sufficient bounty factors and Juan can summon some… chickens. These chickens then proceed to knock about within the background with out affecting the battle at hand, pecking the barren backdrop, most likely in a determined try to discover a means of escaping the mess they’ve discovered themselves in. The titular bounty system right here and the purpose behind summoning minions is so poorly defined by the underwhelming and ineffectual tutorial that it is genuinely laborious to fathom what the builders had been attempting to attain with them.
Alongside your primary transfer set, your character can even carry out extra advanced offensive actions reminiscent of launchers – the thought of having the ability to put these to make use of within the face of this recreation’s atrocious framerate is laughable – unreliable dodge rolls and even teleportation (which consists of your character shifting in a straight line up after which down once more). The overwhelming majority of those strikes – for every one of many thirty characters obtainable right here – are janky, unresponsive and unsatisfying to carry out, a state of affairs made infinitely worse by animations so primary that more often than not your fighter appears to be like like a static cut-out shuffling round no matter poorly designed area they occur to be getting pummelled in.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)
To be able to try to make some sense of what we had been enjoying right here, after banging our head off all of it for what appeared like aeons, we determined to go forth into battle with probably the most simple character we may discover – Hint from Axiom Verge – whose three weapon assaults are not less than straightforward to learn and discernible amidst the nonsensical carnage. Using Hint on this means totally laid naked how ill-conceived all the things about this recreation is. There may be zero move to fight right here, no sense in the way you assault, defend, take or dish out harm. It is nothing in need of a catastrophe.
Through the recreation’s match mode you will usually face off in opposition to three opponents directly – and this in a recreation the place two opponents on-screen completely cripples the framerate. With three or extra protagonists, you are mainly coping with a slideshow. The one place we had a clean framerate in Bounty Battle, and even then not 100 % of the time, was within the coaching area. It is an unplayable mess and an insult to anybody who shells out the ludicrous asking worth. If this recreation was playtested at any level, we actually aren’t certain what the playtesters had been considering.
Event mode is the primary draw of the content material you have to dig into right here in single participant and it is simply shockingly badly put collectively. You may’t select your fighter; as a substitute, you make your means by way of 5 phases per character taking up random formations of enemy combatants rounded out by a crap boss battle. If (and it is a huge ‘if’ given the framerate) you handle to emerge victorious from this farce, you are then awarded on your perseverance with a blurry, low-res, static picture of the pugilist you had been presently utilizing. The least quantity of effort doable fully evident at this level, there aren’t even any problem settings. Problem mode fares barely higher however solely as a result of it permits you to select who to combat with and retains issues on a 1v1 foundation so the framerate can merely battle reasonably die on its arse totally.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)
If we needed to discover something optimistic to say amidst the amateurish button-prompts, horrible menus, poor combating and atrocious framerate, it is that the soundtrack is ‘OK’. Oh, and the opening sequence, which you might have seen within the trailer, could be very good. That is it. It isn’t a pleasant feeling to need to condemn the work of others like this, however Bounty Battle is simply an inexcusable, shockingly lazy, godawful mess of a recreation. It feels damaged and unfinished and there is no conceivable means the developer is not conscious of all of this. In case you are in any means tempted to select this one up due to the promise of an indie Smash Bros.-type affair, please rethink. You may choose up anyone – and even two or three – of the wonderful indie video games from which Bounty Battle has plucked its protagonists for lower than this atrocity prices. Keep away from just like the plague.
Bounty Battle is likely one of the very worst video video games we have ever performed. It is obtained an incredible premise, for certain, and Darkish Display Video games’ has someway managed to acquire the usage of all of those improbable indie characters, however that is so far as the positivity goes. Every part else about this appalling mess is completely damaged. Janky menus, terrible fight, a stunning framerate, crude animations and poorly defined mechanics depart this one in a gap that is absolutely unattainable to climb out of; a gap that ought to be boarded up and forgotten about. Should you’re contemplating choosing this one up on the power of that attractive indie Smash Bros. premise, belief us, run away.