Bounty Battle – Review
Follow Genre: Action, fighter,indie
Developer: Dark Screen Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux, Switch
Tested on: PC

Bounty Battle – Review

Site Score
4.0
Good: The whole idea, graphics, sound
Bad: Gameplay in total
User Score
4.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Fighting games have been around for a long time, having titles like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. These games have placed their characters on the market or chose to put popular protagonists against each other, like Smash Brothers. Of course, there are more than enough indie games that also deserve some light and that’s where Bounty Battle comes in. Even though the idea seems nice, let’s see if the actual gameplay can take a punch.

Story

Whenever you boot up the game, the idea behind the game is shown. Each character is from a specific indie game and is pulled out of his home, his daily life, thanks to a supernatural event that created huge vortexes to fight against each other. The ultimate prize of surviving this onslaught is the control of the multiverse. Of course, things become more intense as every champion has a bounty on their head.

The idea of the game is indeed refreshing, but the actual execution is rather lacking. While playing the game, the narrative is nowhere to be found, so the whole setup of this world is kind of lost. It would have been nice if this would reflect more into the game itself.

Graphics

With a 2D fighting game, you have the foreground where your characters have to shine and the background that has to be interesting enough and Bounty Brawlers does deliver on this aspect. The different protagonists are really colorful and stand out so well, making it really pop on your screen. Every character has its own style from their indie counterpart and even though it’s a mix, it gives a great diversity and surprisingly enough it all really matches.

The same can be said for the environments, seeing that you have a huge variety of settings to pick from. Going from a lush forest to a floating platform, you’re able to delve into all sorts of cool worlds. The backdrops don’t overwhelm too much, so you can keep your focus on the fighting rather than what’s happening in the back.

Sound

Fighting games tend to have some upbeat music to get that adrenaline pumping and that’s exactly what you can expect in this title. The beats start rolling from your speakers the moment you start the game and it certainly doesn’t miss its effect. Even when entering an arena you’ll be able to enjoy the electronic beats, although some tracks are a bit softer which certainly is a nice change of pace.

Sound effect wise, there are some flying around your ears while giving out punches yourself. The combination of the music and these effects gives you a great experience, even though it might be a bit loud sometimes. The voice acting is mostly the introduction of the contestants before a battle, in a similar voice like other fighting games opt for.

Gameplay

Bounty Battle is a 2D fighting game that brings the stars of indie games together in a brawl. There are a few modes to discover in this game, where you take on AI via the Tournament and Challenge or fight it out in Local with one or more of your friends. 

The game also offers a tutorial level, which certainly helps you to grasp the different aspects of a fight. First of all, you have a life and energy bar that shows how much HP you have left and if you’re able to perform attacks. Light attacks are energy-free but the heavy, special, and ultimate attacks will cost you energy. The special attack can be triggered by combining both light and heavy attacks. Next to the offensive part, you can also go defensive by blocking or going invisible (again for a certain cost). Jumping and/or rolling are possible too, to give you that extra advantage in battle. Certain stuns and other kinds of status effects all will have their own particular visual effect, while the screen will start glitching when you’re getting low on health. The latter does give a nice effect, but the number of effects that are added tends to fade away in the midst of the battle as everything more looks like a blur.

You can get bounty points by chaining combos. This means that there is a penalty when just button-mashing, meaning that your bounty won’t go up that fast. If you kill an opponent with a bounty on their head, you get some of his points. The ultimate goal of the bounty is to obtain the help of a minion for a certain duration during the fight.

The tournament is, as expected, that you have to fight your way through opponents to get as far as possible and be victorious while obtaining alternative outfits on the way there, while the challenge mode is more of an endless battle. The training room is available for you too, if you want to learn to play one of the many characters the game has to offer. Online possibilities are only restricted to local play, although you can do remote play via Steam, which sounds great but might give you a headache. The connection is unstable a lot and it took a long time to figure out that both players had to use a controller as it was impossible to play with keyboard and controller at the same time. Even two keyboards gave issues for some unknown reason.

If you think that the hassle stops there, think again. When playing solo, it’s better to have a controller than to trust your keyboard as sometimes some of the commands don’t even work properly. Yes, for some reason the ESC button is sometimes not functioning correctly while accessing some of the menus is a hassle too. If you get past this first hurdle, you might notice that the gameplay on its own is imbalanced and requires you to just spam light attacks all the time to be victorious, even against more difficult AI. The outfits you get aren’t that appealing as they’re just a different color scheme while the whole game doesn’t really give you any sense of accomplishment as there is not much depth nor challenge to it.

Conclusion

The idea behind Bounty Battle was a good one, putting indie stars against each other to fight for the crown of a twisted universe, but the actual gameplay isn’t that appealing. The developers did a great job with the graphics and sound but the controls and how to control the game in general feels very lacking. If there would be some updates to fix some of the flaws and add a decent online function, Bounty Battle can become a real gem, but for now, it’s still covered in dirt.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Bounty Battle - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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