Billion Beat – Preview
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: Dronami
Publisher: Dronami
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Billion Beat – Preview

Good: Just like Punch-Out!!, High quality production
Bad: To soon to find anything bad
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Those who have played the Punch-Out games might recognize the layout of Billion Beat in the blink of an eye. The developer loved the series and took this as an inspiration to create a game that resembles the simple and addictive mechanics of Super Punch-Out!!. This concept has been given a fresh lick of paint, while also adding new gameplay elements to the mix. As Dronami wants to add more content to the game in the future, the game will remain in its Early Acces phase for around six months. While this early stage is already fully playable, the planned content is worth keeping an eye out for.

Momentarily, the game only has one story chapter. More of them will be added in the future, each corresponding with a different difficulty. Right now we play as a brawler that owes a loan shark a lot of money and you are forced to participate in the Billion Beat Tournament so you can pay him back. The game takes you through three tournaments with four opponents each. When beating all four fighters in a bracket, you will unlock the tournament where you must defeat each opponent in succession without losing, to grab the trophy and unlock the next bracket. In Billion Beat the difficulty means a lot. When playing on easy you can enjoy the game and try out the opponents, while in normal and hard your skills are put to the test.

For those who remember the Punch-Out!! franchise, will love how simple and familiar everything looks, sounds and feels. The character placement closely resembles Super Punch-Out!! with your own character slightly transparent, so you have a better viewpoint during the fights. The overall graphics of Billion Beat are a mix between 2D characters and 3D environments. With this unique blend of styles, it gives a mixed feeling of both an artistic impression and an homage to retro gaming. With all the available fighters being created from the ground up by a solo developer, it is astonishing how high the quality of the overall production is.

A game that is both flashy and fast-paced needs a good soundtrack to go along with the flow. The music in Billion Beat fits the game perfectly. During the gameplay and in the menus there are different hip-hop songs playing in the background. During certain fights, this music will change to techno, dubstep, or even pop music, depending on the opponent. Even with no voice acting present, each character has some sounds that resemble a different type of speech. This is a nice touch, to at least give a small extra to the characters.

The developer Dronami has mixed the pure fighting elements of Punch-Out!! with RPG elements. These include a skill tree for your fists and “Dranx” that you can use during fights for healing and implants. The latter is planned but it is teased that they will give passive bonuses and will make fights a bit easier. Depending on how much you use each fist, you will gain separate experience for each. Each hand has its own skill tree that you can assign skill points to as you please. This means you could flesh out a strong base punch with your right hand, while focusing on other aspects with your left. Because the game is based on the Punch-Out!! games, it will mean that if you are a returning player you can just go into the game. New players will get the hang of it thanks to the elaborate tutorial.

In the beginning, you may select your mentor. Of these, there are three different ones available and each possesses unique knowledge and behaves differently while giving advice. If you are ever stuck, then you can purchase tips from them with the hype gained from battles. You can also get Dranx to aid you during fights, all of them have different effects and you can equip more than one, so mix and match for the best match. Sip on your drink when your opponent is knocked down, or if you feel ballsy, then you could always just punch them in the face and drink it while they are stunned.

If you want to take a break from the story mode, then you can always consult the arcade section. Here you can fight against enemies that you already unlocked in the story mode or try to unlock them if you use a new save file. Here you can also try to beat your opponents and get a high-score in the true old fashion without the advantage of boosted stats. Each opponent has their own unique attacks and patterns, while the fights are really fast-paced, you will be able to quickly learn their patterns and use this to your advantage. Some will have unique defending capabilities while others take a long while to defeat.

Conclusion

Billion Beat is a game made by a real fan of the Punch-Out!! series. If you know the games, then you can easily step into the story and play or if you want to get the most of the experience, then you can always follow the tutorial first. The art style is beautiful and paired with the amazing music, it will bring a real smile to your face. Fights are fast and merciless, so don’t give up when you lose the first time as it takes a while to learn the patterns. Luckily, the easy difficulty allows you to breeze through the story mode. While the RPG elements are pretty new to the game, they are beneficial and give you a reason to grind easier fights, so you have an edge on harder opponents. If you don’t want that modern mumbo jumbo, then the arcade mode will perfectly soothe your needs.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Billion Beat – Preview, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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