Lethal League Review
A unique take on the fighting game genre, Team Reptile’s Lethal League has players whacking around a ball at Mach-1 speeds. Is this competitive platforming title the biggest thing since Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series?
Lethal League Review
Lethal League is essentially a high speed game of tennis with a touch of the old ultraviolence. Players have to hit a ball that bounces around an arena, and must hit their opponent with said ball. Though it is seemingly simple at first, there is some finesse to the gameplay. The ability to spike the ball, adjust its trajectory, or even bunt it to slow it down and volley it add some depth, and the tight mechanics give you complete control. What’s more, the ball steadily speeds up the more you hit it, with some rounds reaching Dragonball Z-levels of insanity. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it leaves you begging for one more round.
There is some variety with each of the six playable characters (and a seventh hidden one). Taking cues from street culture (a la Jet Set Radio), they all have a different “special” move that they can utilize by building a meter. For instance, the wacky Candyman can fire through walls, while the alligator Latch can eat the ball and move it around. Nobody has a distinct advantage (except for said hidden character), and though more choices would be nice, players are bound to find a favorite that suits their style.
Lethal League has got your usual set of options. Most players will spend their time in the Versus Mode, which offers support for up to four players. There are a number of settings you can play with, including the ball’s speed, the number of stocks, or even the ability to use a slow-flying beach ball. Team play is available, as is the option to aim for targets in the game’s Strikers Mode. There is something for everybody here, and the amount of variables keeps things fresh. The Online Mode, though fairly empty as of this writing, works as it should.
Those flying solo can play through the arcade-like Challenge Mode, which sets players against 10 rounds of increasingly difficult opponents. This mode will definitely put your skills to the test, and can get downright brutal. The order of characters and modes doesn’t change each time (except with one mirror match), but it is still a worthwhile addition. The fact that players only get two continues too means that players will have to “git gud” to get to the end. We appreciate that the game pulls no punches, but the ability to tweak the difficulty would have been welcome. An XP system that unlocks new “flavors” (or color variations) is a nice touch too.
Packing a unique hook, a high skill ceiling, and oodles of style, Lethal League is a worthy addition to the competitive gaming scene. It may not have tons of characters or stages, but what is here will keep players smashing away for years to come.