Awesomenauts Review: Blast in, but with Friends
Awesomenauts is a lot of awesome mixed with MOBA.
The MOBA genre (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is one that I personally have never been into, but once I saw the beautiful and witty art style of Awesomenauts, I decided to give it a endeavor. If you can deal with some unbalancing issues, you will find Awesomenuats to be a simplified 2D arena shooter with some real legs to keep you coming back.
If you are familiar with the MOBA genre then getting into Awesomenauts will not take long. The goal of each match is to conquer your opponents’ base by destroying their turrets defending their main base. This is done by players controlling a group of different classes, each with their own set of unique abilities. Each stage possess its’ own set of different ways to approach your opponents’ base, and some even have hidden paths to sneak up on your enemy.
Launching into battle is rather exciting, and once your rocket crash lands you start the battle. When players first start their mission they are very weak, and you must collect Solar to upgrade your character to make them able to take on the enemy. Each hero in Awesomenauts has their own unique skill tree, and the leveling system keeps their arsenal fresh with new abilities.
Awesomenauts has truly unique and creative heroes.
There are 6 different heroes to choose from in Awesomenauts. Some heroes, like Sherriff Lonestar, are set on keeping your enemy at a distance with a pistol and dynamite. You then have Leon Chameleon, who uses his stealth abilities to catch players off guard, and then uses his laser sword to destroy you. There is even a hip frog name Froggy G who knows only how to launch himself as weapon.
The diversity of the heroes in Awesomenauts is truly where the game shines. Every player can pick a character that suits them, and allows them to play the game the way they choose to. Each match only allows one of every character, so issues of players picking the same character is not present.
Awesomenauts is plainly a blast to play. Trying to defeat your opponent by upgrading your character to be as amazing as possible is very entertaining. When you have a match that lasts almost 30 minutes, and consists of a group of players who are evenly matched, Awesomenauts is downright awesome. Even when you lose a prolonged battle, you still get a ton of experience based on your performance.
The presentation is the original reason Awesomenauts caught my eye, and the visual and audio presentation is top notch. The art style is very colorful sharp. Each character has stunning detail and characteristics that stand out. There are only a few music tracks, but I never found myself wanting to turn on a custom soundtrack. Instead, I actually ended up humming a few tracks while I was away from my Xbox.
There are a few issues with Awesomenauts that can frustrate players relatively quickly. The AI is not the brightest, and if you get stuck with an AI teammate during a pivotal point of a match you mind as well just gives up. Since there is no penalty for leaving a match early, sometimes when players are losing they simply leave instead finishing the fight.
Character balancing also seems to be a little off as well. Some combinations of heroes work better than others, and if your team consists of 3 heroes that just don’t compliment each other well, you will end up losing horrifically fast. Leveling up your profile also grants players with new abilities that can be applied to heroes, but if you get paired with players who are a much higher level they will have much stronger characters.
Play Awesomenauts with friends….seriously.
The bottom line about Awesomenauts is that you will want to play with friends. Getting stuck in a game with players who do not have a headset, and frequently decide to use their own strategy, is simply infuriating. If you choose to try your fortune and play with strangers, be prepared to get upset.
Awesomenauts is a great addition to the Xbox Live Arcade, and is a great MOBA title if you have never experienced this style of game. The presentation is very tasteful, and the gameplay is solid. Balancing issues can be irritating, but as long as you have a good group of players, you will definitely have a blast blasting your way through your enemies and leveling up your heroes.