Lethal League is a competitive projectile fighting game developed and published by the cool folks at Team Reptile. Two and four players face off against one another in either team or free-for-all combat and the objective of the game is to eliminate the other team or every other combatant on the stage. Differing from other fighting games, Lethal League’s combat is revolved around an anti-gravity baseball that is smacked between character to character. That’s right, no old-fashion fisticuffs, no slide-kick spamming, and no annoying grapples. Just good old ball-hitting fun, and not in a sexual way. The more the ball is hit, the faster it moves and the harder it is to hit. Getting the balls to tremendous speeds will make the game so much more lethal (see what I did there).
The gameplay aspects and mechanics of Lethal League both bring new innovations to the table while bringing back some of the older classics we all know and love from previous fighting game titles. Lethal League brings back all the favorite game mode types from throughout the ages, like free-for-all rumble and tag team rumble and allowing both online and local matches (and guess what, there is even four-person couch co-op!). But you are probably asking yourself, what if I’m not one of those online fighting people? Well for all you riding solo types out there, Lethal League has just the thing for you. This title provides a training mode where you can hone your skills to be the best fighter in the league and a challenge mode. The challenge mode is similar to the towers in Mortal Kombat, in which you fight a wave of different fighters to be the best of the best. Unfortunately, challenge mode never changes! You can change the character you play as, but the opponents never change their rotation. You fight Raptor first, then Switch and on and on down through the list of opponents.
The majority of fighting games each have their special character design with cool dialogue and move sets. Lethal League has an amazing cast of unique characters to pair with the wacky visuals and game design. All the characters have their quirks and interesting styles, but some of them were over the top and went above and beyond the call of duty compared to their counterparts, my personal favorites being Candyman and Latch for their cool design and overall personalities. Candyman is a mutated human with the head similar to the smiley face antenna toppers that use to be littered on every car throughout the nineties and Latch is a cybernetic crocodile with a bad-boy attitude and some kickin’ headphones. Now besides their visuals, picking different characters doesn’t really do much in terms of gameplay. None of the characters have different fighting attacks and they really don’t hit the ball much differently. They do, however, each come with a unique special attack that changes the effect on the ball.
The visuals and soundtrack for this title are rather solid and I couldn’t be happier with the appealing vibe that was given off. The visuals are a cool artistic style that reminds me a lot of street graffiti and fits quite well with the nature of most of the characters. The stage backgrounds also have an amazing presence throughout as most of them look to be dilapidated scenery or other landscapes when you think of cities overran by some deadly craze. Whether it is the sewers, a solitary confinement room, or a destroyed building, the backgrounds help brings the story together of what the world around our fighters is actually like. The soundtrack is high-quality and it features tons of jamming music from various artists. I’m not much of a music guy unless it comes to orchestral scores, but the developers did a good job and it reminds me of the music that would play on the selection screens of older sports titles.
Now for the moment, you have all been waiting for…my experiences! When I received Lethal League, I really did not know what I was getting into. I had previously seen tidbits of the game when it was on Steam and was expecting a small fighting game with some interesting concepts. While the game did live up to this, I was not happy with the experience. The game had an immense number of cool ideas, but I just could not get into it. I do like other fighting games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter and I know this is not a triple-A title, but it just didn’t feel like the fighting games I have come to love. It got old very quick and not even playing online against different opponents made me want to continue playing. Maybe it is just me, but I felt the game was lackluster and I was more amused with looking at the visuals or listening to the soundtrack than actually playing the game. I wish I could have enjoyed the game more, but it just didn’t hold my attention.
In the end, Lethal League is a unique title that deserves praise for their ingenuity and is a game that I would recommend fighting game enthusiasts to pick up. While it did not please me throughout most of my playthrough, I do see the potential that this game does have. So, if you want to play a cool and interesting title, pick this up today!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7.5/10
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