Brawlout (PS4) Review
Release Date: August 21, 2018 (PS4/Xbox One), previously released for PC and Switch
Publisher/Developer: Angry Mob Games SRL
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
In April 2017, Brawlout was reviewed for The Gamers Lounge by Erik Kubik on Steam. At the time, Brawlout was promised to come soon to home consoles. Brawlout came to Nintendo Switch in December, and has now come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2018. At the original release, Super Smash Bros hadn't had a recent release and didn't have one coming soon. Now that Smash Ultimate is around the corner, is Brawlout worth picking up?
At first impression, Brawlout is very similar to the game it mimics, with a variety of colorful characters, levels floating in space, and damage percentages that cause you to fly further when hit based on how high it goes. By and large, the game plays much more offensively, eliminating shields and blocking. Nintendo's 1-up on the competition in this field is their licensing. Not only do they have a library of rich gaming history to look back on, they have the support of a lot of third party developers to pad their roster. Brawlout has gained the support of several indie developers, giving us characters from Guacamelee, Hyper Light Drifter, and even Yooka-Laylee, but their primary roster consists of unique characters that haven't been in other games. Not to say this is impossible; I could see most of the characters here holding some primary role in a solo game, but they don't have the attraction that a name brand brings to the table. There are alternate skins and variant characters, but the roster will never be able to match Ultimate.
Brawlout's simplicity plays to it's advantage, as most levels are pretty straightforward and there aren't a million random power-ups littering the stages. For the most part you are limited to your character's core fighting moves and a rage meter that can increase the damage and knockback you do to others. Fans of the "Final Destination No Items" kind of gameplay will appreciate Brawlout's base status. While simple, the game is smart, and allows those hardcore players to really shine. The game plays very fast, and I'll admit there's a learning curve. Playing solo against the computer I felt it knew all the general ropes even on the easiest difficulty, with me struggling to stay alive against an enemy who always seemed to be able to hop/toss his way back onto the play field. Characters gain experience, and you obtain coins on every playthrough to unlock more colors and character options. At least with the game modes I was able to test, though, coins were a slow acquisition.
I poked around through all the options and game modes, and felt that it could use a bit more variety. I would have loved to see more online content but my attempts at the game didn't find a lot of people online. Brawlout does what it does well, and as a budget title has quite a bit of content, but in the end, it's hard to recommend unless you can't pick up Smash Ultimate. This allows PS4 and Xbox One owners to get a taste of the mascot brawler. It's geared toward hardcore gamers who play competitively, which may frustrate newbies. The unlock system is randomized, with pinata "loot boxes" to get new skins and characters, and a level-up system to unlock new stages requiring you to master and level every single character individually. If you want a fast, friendly, inexpensive brawler, you've come to the right place, but if you are simply looking to satiate the Smash itch, it might be worth waiting for the real thing.
Rewards practice and precision
-Holds a bit too tight to it's inspiration and doesn't make it's own mark
-Enemy AI is a bit too good
-Hopefully the online community will grow
Special thanks to Angry Mob Games for providing a PS4 code for review!