Lethal League

Lethal League

You know that recurring mechanic in Zelda games where you and a boss bat a lethal sphere back and forth at increasing speeds? Lethal League basically expands that into an entire game along with heavy influence from Jet Set Radio and Smash Bros. Considering how often you hear about games with great ideas soured by poor execution, it’s refreshing to play one whose great idea is so great that it’s worth playing despite its scrappy packaging. Like Divekick before it, Lethal League is a fighting game for people who don’t like fighting games. To that end, an incredible amount of depth has been stuffed into only a small number of mechanics. These deadly tennis matches are augmented with bunts, parries, and character-specific special moves, creating a veritable spectrum of effects to consider.

These fine details are there for veteran players to master with time, but unlike most fighting games, Lethal League is still fun without them. The alternating tension and explosion of rallying the ball at ludicrous speeds is a totally unique pleasure. Despite overcoming this largest obstacle, the game still suffers from other problems endemic to the genre. For starters, there’s almost no single-player content – only a pedestrian excuse for a campaign, despite additional modes, ball types, and team formations being available. Characters’ voice clips repeat with unbearable frequency, and the neon-punk art style is unfortunately paired with choppy animation that makes indistinct hitboxes even more unclear. The music is appropriately catchy, though it doesn’t quite reach the danceable heights of similar soundtracks.

6.5/10
6.5/10

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