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Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla is a 2D fighting game where players choose a legendary hero and use their skills and items to knock their opponent out of the arena. Learn your hero's play style and compete in both online and local game modes, both competitive and casual.

Publisher: Blue Mammoth Games
Playerbase: High
Type: Fighting Game
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Pros: +Local play. +Online competitive game modes. +Casual game modes. +Vibrant characters. +Smooth gameplay.
Cons:  -6-character weekly rotation. -Limited move sets. 

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Overview

Brawlhalla Overview

Brawlhalla is a 2D fighting game featuring the greatest heroes who must duke it out to prove they're the strongest. Master your hero and pick up item drops, from deadly bombs to individualized weapons. Each hero picks up one of two weapons with their own stylistic move-sets. Play online in competitive 1v1 or 2v2 matches and fight for the right to be declared the greatest warrior. Enter an 8 player 4v4 FFA where chaos rules and only the most vigilant player can survive. Or, play with your friends thanks to local play, either in a free for all brawl or custom teams. Train and test your might against bots in the single-player tournament—increasing their difficulty to prepare yourself for other players.

Brawlhalla Key Features:

  • Various Characters choose from 17 colorful characters each with their own signature moves.
  • Competitive Game Modes – claim your place as the greatest warrior in online ranked game modes.
  • Local Play – play with your friends at home supporting up to 4 players on one machine.
  • Single Player Tournament – learn the game's mechanics and train with bots in the single player tournament.
  • Party Game Modes – not every game mode is a vicious brawl, play casually in alternative game modes such as Brawlball and Bombsketball.

Brawlhalla Screenshots

Brawlhalla Featured Video

Full Review

Brawlhalla Review

By Chanel Hwang

 

Super Smash Brothers is a platform fighter franchise that has reigned since its release in January of 1999. No other game has come close to taking its crown, especially with the latest popular release for the Wii U and the Super Smash Bros Project M mod. However, Blue Mammoth Games presents a competent challenger to the stage for the genre. Brawlhalla brings 18+ characters with unique playstyles, abilities, and weapons for players to unlock and master. The best part about Brawlhalla is that it is free-to-play with a free six-character roster that changes weekly. It is also one of the first few solid PC (including Mac support) platform fighter games in a genre that is dominated by console releases.

Gameplay is easy to pick up, very spam-heavy, yet difficult to master. Make sure you check out the game controls before jumping in, because you'll want to know how to pick up items, throw items, use a light attack or a heavy attack, dodge, etc. You can use mouse+keyboard, keyboard only, or a controller. Battles are fought by either points or lives and are usually timed. Health is shown in the top right-hand corner by a portrait of your character and a colored bar. The colored bar ranges from white to yellow to red, each shade respectively representing damage sustained. Like Smash, the more damage you take, the farther you'll fly across a stage when hit.

I enjoyed how simple it was to start playing Brawlhalla. Anyone who has played Smash will have an easy time getting the feel of the game, though there are some interesting mechanics (like throwing an item and quickly picking it back up to interrupt an opponent). I thought the controls were fluid, the game's engagingly fast-paced and challenging, and fun. I also liked the cartoonish style of the characters and the detailed background art for the stages.

Items, Maps, and the Shop

There are very few items in Brawlhalla. Universal items that all characters can use are mines, bombs, spiky balls, and a horn that calls a creature to horizontally charge across the stage. I haven't decided whether or not the small amount of items are necessarily a con because I personally dislike items in Smash (*cough SUPERSTAR cough*). It is noteworthy that each character has two unique weapons with separate moves/abilities. Characters can only use basic attacks until a weapon is equipped. Once wielding a weapon, access to abilities is opened. These weapons, along with the characters themselves, have skins available in the cash shop.

There are 7+ stages available (called "Realms"), and they're all pretty small. Most have platforms, some stationary and some in motion, with poles to jump off of and edges to camp. Certain Realms are designated for 1v1, while others are for bigger free-for-all brawls.

One of Brawlhalla's best qualities is that it is not pay-to-win in any way. There's not even pay-for-convenience. This keeps the game pure, making it all about the skill. So how are the developers making money? The same way as League of Legends, through skins. Through the Shop players can purchase skins/costumes for characters, weapons, and even specialized Taunts (like "face-palm") with real-world cash. The Shop is also where players can use the farmable in-game currency to unlock new characters. The farmable currency is earned by simply playing the game, completing daily missions, and logging in.

Game Modes 

Brawlhalla features several game modes, ranging from the local Couch Party to a competitive ladder Ranked mode. Couch Party is a local co-op mode that allows up to four players. Single Player has three sub-modes: Tournament/Arcade Mode, Training, and Versus Bots. Tournament/Arcade Mode is where a player fights in a tourney with computer-controlled characters in 3-stock–4-people free-for-all battles. To advance from each round, you must be either the only survivor or the highest scoring player. For practice, you can jump into Training, where you can try new characters and familiarize yourself with their abilities, speed, and movement. Online is a game mode where you are randomly thrown into a four-people free-for-all timed battle. Custom Online is where you can create your own room with customized settings, and Ranked is the 1v1 or 2v2 competitive ladder mode.

Shortcomings? 

Honestly, nothing immediate comes to mind other than the fonts (the character bios and menus look a bit lackluster with the current typography). I think one thing that's not a major con is that none of the maps are really that huge or special (like Hyrule Castle's tornadoes). I'm not going to complain—even in Smash, most people opt to use the smaller stages. I do think that one weak selling point of Brawlhalla is the unfamiliarity of the characters or the maps. Unlike Super Smash Bros, players haven't played with the characters, background music, or maps in other games. However, you can't really hold this against Brawlhalla because it's by an indie developer. They don't have a large pool of popular titles to pull content from like Nintendo.

Final Verdict – Great 

Brawlhalla is a solid game joining the platform fighter scene. Being free-to-play as a PC game with fluid controls and no huge lag issues, it's a great game and is also backed by a strong community. I would definitely recommend Brawlhalla, and do believe it is paving a new path in the console-dominant platform fighter genre.

Screenshots

Brawlhalla Screenshots

Videos

Brawlhalla Videos

System Requirements

Brawlhalla System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 75 MB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 75 MB

Music

Brawlhalla Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Brawlhalla Additional Information

Developer: Blue Mammoth Games

Announcement Date: June, 2015

Closed Beta: November 12, 2014
Open Beta: November 03, 2015

Steam Release Date: April 30, 2014

Development History / Background:

Brawlhalla is developed by indie development team Blue Mammoth Games, formed in 2009. Closed beta began on November 12, 2014 and keys were distributed to players through the Steam platform. It released as an Early Access title and was sold for $19.99, but the developers had the intention of releasing Brawlhalla as a free-to-play game. It entered Open Beta, and adopted a free-to-play model, on Novemeber 03, 2015. Blue Mammoth Games also created the side-scrolling MMO Dungeon Blitz.

  • Brawlhalla is pretty fantastic. Simple controls, charming characters, and plenty of games modes. People overemphasize similarities to Super Smash Bros. but Brawlhalla deserves to be recognized for its own achievements. I highly recommend playing. It even has local play! Why don't more games have local play?

  • Lackege

    Very good game, nice community and very skill based game with no p2w just cool cosmetics.

  • Spammy game, everyone just throws biggest hitboxes they can and they are mostly stupidly hard to punish because of the dodge mechanics, There is some learning curve but at the end is just air space control with high spammable hitboxes.

    not that deep as a fighter

    • YordleJay

      Not as spammy as you think when you go against skilled players who know what they're doing

    • De Sorkerer

      In silver/begin gold? Yes. At my level (plat) Never. Learn how to counter them and actually put some time into the game

  • De Sorkerer

    The game is a whole lot less simple than these guys are showing. There are so much more mechanics that your average Silver/Gold can't do. The game is a lot bigger and more complicated, especially with extended combo's with GC's, MDodges etc. etc. My point is just that they have only shown how the game is when you just started. I'm in Platinum II which is pretty high and I can assuri you that the game is a lot more sophisticated than shown in the vid. Also is this version of the game really outdated.

  • De Sorkerer

    I think you misspelled "major"