Battle Shapes Review
The time-honored arcade classic Asteroids gets a lot more competitive with the release of Kawaiisun Games’ Battle Shapes. Featuring dozens of ships, a number of different game modes, and a nefarious villain named “Evil Mustachio,” should you set out to blast your friends?
Battle Shapes Review
At first glance, the controls of Battle Shapes seem like a straightforward affair. The left trigger scoots you forward, while the right trigger is used for firing. With the left trigger, players can adjust their trajectory with carefully timed acceleration, getting to where they want to go without crashing into enemy fire or walls. Conversely those who hold down the right trigger will be able to target their enemies with a clear shot.
These two mechanics are not the deepest around – there’s no serious metagame here – but they are responsive and work quite well when things get heated. Put simply, a death on the battlefield is nobody’s fault but your own.
There are certainly a number of different ways players can utilize these controls in Battle Shapes. Combat is divided into three different modes: Payload has players capturing a ball to net points, Elimination is your typical deathmatch scenario, and Heist is a makeshift Capture the Flag-style mode with a ball that can be captured. There’s not a lot of variety when it comes to each play field, but these three modes change things up enough to encourage repeat plays.
The same goes with its ship variety. Players start with a lowly triangular ship, but your hangar can quickly fill up with a number of different purchases. There are dozens of ships to choose from, each varying in speed, handling, rate of fire, bullet size, and respawn ability. You won’t find any crazy designs, but players will no doubt have fun experimenting with each type. Just be warned that there is a grind to unlock everything, and it takes even longer to unlock additional gear – the in-game currency will be your best friend before too long.
Battle Shapes has your typical suite of options. Players can quickly jump in with up to three other players with its Free Combat mode, while those looking for something a bit more structured can play through six stages in its Arcade Cabinet. There are also 40 different challenges players can undertake in its Champions mode. Note that there is no online play in this title, but bots and couch co-op are both present.
Rounding things out is a very sleek presentation that cribs notes from titles like Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series. It’s menus and UI had a lot of work put into it, and little touches like the witty narrator known as the Welton King bring everything together.
Though Battle Shapes lacks online multiplayer, the high amount of polish, unlockables, and variety more than make up for it. Those looking for a more competitive take on Asteroids could do far worse than this title.