Awesomenauts Review

Awesomenauts from Ronimo Games has hit the Xbox LIVE Arcade with a mighty awesome bang, with its 80’s style cartoon graphics, 90’s 2D style side scrolling action and modern HD backdrops that will soak you into its intergalactic surroundings. For gamer’s in their 30’s this is sure to be reminiscent of the days when Saturday morning television was the highlight of your week as a child – it’s an original game that feels like a modern take on old-school memories, a mash up of the competiveness between friends, futuristic animations, arcade gaming and group rivalries all captured, then developed into one bundle of awesomeness. Awesomenauts is a trip down memory lane despite being totally original – it’s pure magic; your childhood in a digital download only format without the attitude…

Awesomenauts on the Xbox LIVE Arcade is ideally aimed at all gamers with Gold subscriptions as it’s a Multiplayer online Battle-Arena title in 2-dimension where you get to take control of elite, intergalactic mercenaries, and fight out an interstellar war in objective-based matches, you’re going to need friends or randoms to play with to get the full experience. If you thought this was a 2D funky platformer in outer space, then you’re mistaken – but it is an action packed all-out battle while you take on an offensive role as well as also defending your team’s Drillcore! … Drill-what? – You’re likely to be thinking at this point, but whilst it isn’t a platformer it still does have a form of story to it; this brings a purpose to the role of defending your team and equipment.

The year in-game is 3587 and huge robot armies are locked in an enduring deadlock, but a team of elite mercenaries known as the Awesomenauts are fighting each other on the front line (so to speak) and are using drones, as well as a whole host of technology tailored to each Awesomenaut to assist in the take down of laser shooting turrets. Eventually after a heavy battle one team of Awesomenauts will gain access to the enemy Drillcore and destroying this will win that team the game! RESULT!!

Initially starting out in a small tutorial game, you’re set up with the character controls in no time and Xbox LIVE matches are unlocked only after completion. Each battle will place you in one of the games alien 2D environments and there are six different characters to choose from that will represent you in battle, from a Robot with anger management issues, a breakdancing Frog who’s a hired gunman, a Monkey with a jetpack, a Cowboy, and even a tongue-slapping chameleon. Some characters require ranking up to unlock through gameplay and others will be added to the game in the near future.

As well as bright, fun looking futuristic backdrops – the game has its own personality as you might be able to tell from the roster of fun selectable characters, each of which also feature their own range of individual abilities and purchasable items to improve battle tactics from the local Store that you’ll find at the start of each arena battle. Every character has a combination of abilities and upgrades that allow you to take a more offensive approach, or sit more suited as a defensive player to support the team. It’s thanks to this form of character set up and upgrading abilities that requires the team to work together; by combining abilities you can counter attack the enemy as a unit. Scattered throughout the Battle Arenas are Solar Coins which can also be obtained from defeating your enemies, so the better you play, the more coins you’ll grab and eventually the more upgrades you’ll be able to purchase at the Store.

Each battle within the arena will vary based on your character preferences, so as to keep the game fresh with each play through and even learning curve until you find exactly the right ability and upgrades to suit your own unique playing style. Battling it out with friends in Awesomenauts is only half the fun, as the other half is in the addictive nature of the battles to rank up your character and check out as many of the weird and wacky upgrades… summon a raging Hyper Bull, order homing missiles, dash attacks, or even the outlandish Psychokinetic Repulsion! The Store is like a Pick ‘n’ Mix of entertaining surprises for your enemies.

If you also thought Prestige was just for Call of Duty gamers, think again as Awesomenauts too features this ranking up scoring process which can be reset to keep you hooked into playing over and over again. You’ll also get to show off your Prestige icons up to Prestige 5 in game as a reward for dedication and starting again from scratch. For those anti-prestigers, a simple switch off in the options menu will stop you from being offered it.

There’s not a lot at fault with Awesomenauts since this is one of the few games to feature drop in, drop out multiplayer on the Xbox LIVE arcade so that gameplay is not affected by a member of any team losing connection or rage quitting. However one of the minor nuisances is that the Battles tend to go on way longer than you had hoped sometimes. The game play is enjoyable and the competitive aspect constantly in your face, but it can become borderline tedious if you’re one of those ‘no-brainer-gamers’ who just like to switch on, get involved, play and go. Without working as a team and managing your upgrades you’ll likely be killed, and killed, and erm…killed. If you’re going to go running head first at the enemy expect to lose out every time.

For just 800 MS Points, this is a fantastic game best enjoyed with a few friends on Xbox LIVE and is a fun, wacky approach to a genre that is often taken too seriously. It’s fun, humorous and highly addictive – a simple game of two sides, but  a challenging battle of wits. Definitely a game worth owning.

Queue Awesomenauts to your console right now via this direct link.

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