The Nardio Review
Is Smashing The Battle Worth Your Time?
Oh my gods yes!
What Should You Play it On?
I’ve only played the Steam PC version with an X-Box controller. I cannot fathom using a keyboard for this. There is also an Oculus version I have not played.
How it Plays and Why it Works:
Hack and Slash beat-em up perfection.
This may be my game of the year.
I love 3D hack and slash games. I love being able to control a character who has the ability to take on large amounts of enemies and dominate. I love games that reward skill. Smashing The Battle is my kind of game.
tl;dr: This game is a must buy and totally worth the asking price. The rest of this review is going to be me gushing about every single part of Smashing The Battle.
Smashing The Battle is a simple game. You have one attack combination that happens automatically as you hold down the A button. You also get a powered attack, a special skill and magnet drop that pulls in nearby enemies. Finally you have a dodge button.
That is it.
You don’t even have jump or block buttons. I know that may sound a bit lame, but in practice it’s all you ever need. It’s how you use these playable actions that makes Smashing The Battle so intuitive. It’s easy to get into yet deliciously hard to master. There is massive depth and brilliance to Smashing The Battle’s simplicity.
Having only a set attack and move set might sound like it would get boring after a while. To keep things interesting there are two playable characters with similar, yet very different play styles to master and make use of.
For example, your first character Sarah drops mines with one button. The mines are great to drop while running away from enemies or pulling them into it with a magnet. You can find all sorts of ways to make this useful. Meanwhile with that very same button Mary drops a shield. Inside of this shield she is totally immune to ranged attacks. This is insanely valuable when you are trying to beat up a boss while under massive enemy fire.
Both bring a very different play styles and both have weaknesses players need to be aware of. Mary’s shield cannot block melee attacks and the shield is rather small, so your safe movement is very limited. On the other hand, Sarah can detonate her own mines. So you need to be very careful with how and when you utilize these abilities.
The big special attacks for both characters also very different. Sarah summons a large weapon called the Spanner that she smashes down directly in front of her. It’s a tricky special to use since you need to be very precise in order to pull off high damage.
Mary, on the other hand, summons a large robot that fights for her. It also has the perks of drawing enemy attacks, killing smaller enemies, and finally blowing up when its attack is charged and you press the ability button again. Enemies can kill your bot so you just can’t let it soak up damage forever.
Each playable character comes with a 30 stage story campaign that ties together. You can only access the second after beating the first. I think overall the plot was great and kept me invested in the characters and world. To make things even more interesting you are able to buy several different suits for both of your characters each with different perks. These can drastically alter your play style.
Now there are some silly points, like the risque outfits for instance. But Smashing The Battle sort of pokes fun at itself in that regard. Think Kill La Kill when Ryuko Matoi first discovered her suit.
The amount of skin shown is no secret when buying this game and is a big part of its appeal for a lot of buyers. I am totally fine with it, but it can be off putting for some people. Then again, there are screen shots all over the Steam store page so players should be able to see what they are buying. If you do like awesome art, the fan art gallery will be a gold mine. It shows off some really talented community artwork as well as some fun and silly stuff. These can be accessed with keys found in game. These keys also unlock some background story.
Now, Smashing The Battle’s campaign is set in one building so be prepared to see a lot of the same background and level design elements over and over again. This isn’t really a bad thing for me since it totally works story wise. While it would have been nice to fight against some more varied enemies, it’s not game breaking at all. Honestly, it’s not even that noticeable until I finished the game. The fact the developer could do so much with so little art assets blows my mind. The fact that I barely noticed thanks to the amazing gameplay is unbelievable. I honestly cannot wait to see what else the developer is capable of in his next game.
In addition to the 60 campaign levels there are 80 challenge levels.
Wrap your head around that.
It took me over 7 hours to complete the story mode with both characters. I can see these challenge levels taking me far, far longer. I enjoy grinding and powering up my characters as is. Now I also have 80 frigging levels of extra awesome to pass the time with.
Smashing The Battle is totally worth the $11.99 asking price on Steam right now. No doubt about it. It’s an engrossing, entertaining experience. Sure there were a few grind gates that forced me to go back and power up my character, but I was going back anyway to replay the earlier levels because it was fun. Having a few stages demand a little more of me was not an issue.
Mostly it comes down to sheer player skill: Learn what to avoid., when to use my special abilities, when to just rush in and destroy the boss before it could destroy me. It blows my mind such simple controls could produce so much game play variation. Smashing The Battle is practically perfect. It distills the very best of the hack and slash genre and creates something accessible yet deep. Not to mention tons up upgrade potential and the ability to go back to any previous level to replay them for fun.
The gameplay and progression system rewards this through a star system. They don’t affect the story or gameplay. The stars are just there for fun. As they should be. I know I have been going on and on, but I feel like I cannot overstate just how much fun Smashing The Battle is.
The music is catchy, the art is perfection. The lighting is great. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about Smashing The Battle.
JUST GET THIS NOW!
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Read our other App Reviews
- $11.99 on Steam
- One player game
- Full Controller Support
- Steam Achievements
- Steam Trading Cards
- TONS of replay
- Smashing The Battle Steam Page
- Smashing The Battle Oculus Store Page
- Studio HG Official Website
- Studio HG Twitter