Developer: Mind’s Eye Games

Publisher: Mind’s Eye Games

 

Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo is a sequel to a previously unreleased game that was resurrected using Kickstarter. This game is a faster, deadlier take on the 4-way mashup fighting genre. That does away with traditional life bars in favor single-hit kills.  

This title’s simplistic look obscures the complexities that lay underneath. At first blush, the bright color schemes give the impression that Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo is a happy-go-lucky party game. The first few seconds of gameplay tells different tale.

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The first kill sends an opponent’s body airborne with severed limbs detaching from the point of impact. The arena is left permanently crimson from the spray of viscera. Blast Brawl 2 is your typical button-masher: press buttons, kill your friends.

You start off with a small array of characters to select, but can work your way up to more. Both fighters favour different playstyles. The Brawler is quick jabs with a shotgun that gives added reach. The Warrior comes equipped with a slow, wide-arcing broadsword that fires lightning bolts.

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In general, completing matches rewards gold that can be used to unlock more fighters: Sniper, Viking, Ninja, Pirate and Vanguard. Just like the Warrior and Brawler, these characters each have their strengths and weaknesses to suit a variety of diverse play styles. The more playmates you drag into the chaos, the more gold is rewarded at the end of match.

With each stage being a large arena, mobility adds a new wrinkle to the minute-to-minute skirmishes. An invisible ninja attacking from its ceiling perch or a pirate, suspended aloft and dropping bottles of rum with the aid of his parrot changes how each session plays out. Seasoned players can deflect and dodge projectiles to keep the spamming to a minimum.These bring an element of chance that can sometimes mean the difference between victory and defeat.

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The hazards of the arena are just as dangerous as enemy players. Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo has 16 arenas altogether. There are four themed areas with four arenas in each. The Cavern arena is concealed in darkness; the Plains are constantly under a barrage of mortar fire. I refuse to spoil the surprise that lays in the deviousness of the Factory stages. The Neon City arenas pose the least threat but even the elevators can squish a player.

Modes in Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo consist of Versus and Survival. Versus supports 3 variants: Juggernaut, where first one to kill receives a shield and everyone else steals the shield by killing the shielded player; Last Man Standing, where the last person alive wins the match; and Deathmatch, where the first to earn 10 kills wins.

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Survival is a 4-player co-op wave-based mode. In each arena, you fight a unique enemy. For example, in the Plains you’ll take on waves of marauders, or in the Caverns you’ll battle giant insects. Periodically an AI-controlled main character will enter the arena for you to dispatch. It can get chaotic in some fun ways.

Overall, Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo runs at a speedy clip with no noticeable slow down. I only ran into one glitch with the Viking getting wedged into game geometry. Sometimes player characters can get lost in the fray when arena is zoomed out. Small issues, nothing game breaking.

For a work still in progress, Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo shows a lot of promise. A combination of conflicting ideas work together to produce an unforgettable party game. It’s one of those games that’s an easy game to pick up but takes time to master. This is not a title for all the single players out there. The majority of the fun to be found here is in playing with friends on the couch. With so much going for it already, I’m curious what will be added in the future.

Written by Kendra Alexander

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