Gaming At Rob's 29 Round-Up

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This week's Round-Up includes more shouting than usual, thanks to new release Lethal League. We also check out space shooter STARDUST VANGUARDS and Adult Swim Games' Mega Coin Squad.

Lethal League

Team Reptile started with a prototype which became popular at several fighting game conventions over the last couple of years, including EVO and SGC - and now, Lethal League has finally hit Steam, and we've been playing an unhealthy amount of it. You win by hitting the baseball into your opponents, and avoiding getting hit by it once they've struck back. With each return, the ball travels faster, down-strikes from above significantly increasing its speed. There's an incredible adrenaline rush as play hits top speed, the background changing to match the chaos, the crowd cheering with each return.

Take a look at our Gameplay video and you'll get an idea of how fun it is.

The game ticks every box for me personally. My all-time favourite game is Jet Set Radio Future, and from the awesome characters and level design to the fantastic music and boombox in-game UI, it is very evocative of SEGA's cult classic series. The action is tight, and in 1 versus 1, 2 versus 2 or even in free-for-all, it's hugely entertaining. The main draw is of course the local multiplayer, but there is an online multiplayer component as well as a simple single player challenge mode. Each completed match in any of the modes earns you EXP which contributes to your level, bagging you extra character skins with each level up.

Lethal League is a breath of fresh air - it looks like a fighting game and plays a little like Windjammers, but the concept here is pulled off so incredibly well that it stands out as a very unique and very exciting new game that everyone should go and play. There are 2-Packs and 4-Packs up so you can save a little per copy, or just be cool and share with your friends! [Steam][Humble]

STARDUST VANGUARDS

Zanrai's upcoming release is bringing some sweet new ideas into the single-screen multiplayer space. It's an arena shoot-'em-up set in space, each of the 4 players piloting an anime-style mecha. As you gain points from successful attacks, you're able to call in reinforcements, friendly AI ships spawning to help you out. Save up your Reinforcement Points until you have a fat stack, and your allies will come in with bigger and better ships. As the fight rages on, the scale of battle continues to increase as each player brings in more and more hired help.

The other twist to the gameplay is that at random intervals, the arena will be invaded by neutral space pirates that will attack anyone and anything that gets in their way. At this stage, you might decide to drop your squabble with your current competitor and go in for some pirate-killin', or maybe it's the perfect distraction and you decide to go and stab someone in the back.

The action is fun to watch, and the different pieces of equipment at your disposal are fun to use in combination. Pulling behind the scenery to avoid incoming rockets, then moving out and using the 5-second shield to avoid getting pummeled, before launching a salvo of your own then moving in for an energy sword-assisted kill is exhilarating and easy to pull off. STARDUST VANGUARDS is a work in progress looking for a release towards the end of the year; If you like the sound of an 80's anime space opera that plays as well as your favourite single-screen multiplayer games, then we suggest you follow closely. [Website]

Mega Coin Squad

Collecting coins is probably one of the biggest primal urges that the average player is likely to have. Big Pixel Studios has made a multiplayer party game with a variety of game modes that for the most part are all to do with collecting and then banking more coins than your opponents. Your first look is unlikely to inspire much confidence that there's anything original going on here, with a heavily influenced style that screams Super Mario World, from the backgrounds to the block smashing - character 'Mouth' even moves like Cat Mario from 3D World. However, it's all put to good use as the control is tight and it's easy to dash across the level, wall jump to high ground and then come hurtling down just as quickly.

A multiplayer session will throw the different game modes at you randomly. The standard mode tasks you with banking the most coins - picking them up simply isn't enough, you also need to return to the bank, and you best believe that your friends will be out to smash you up and steal them before you get the chance. Other modes vary in quality but are all enjoyable, and in addition to the attacks you can perform you'll be picking up weapons and abilities from around the map to better perforate your foes.

Mega Coin Squad kind of feels like a hectic mash-up of some of the better ideas to find success in the local multiplayer space, and it does find its own voice once you've settled in and tasted each of the gameplay varieties. With your Mouth. [Steam]

We also took a look at new PS release CounterSpy, retro-styled platformer Shovel Knight, and the powerfully devious P.T. Look out for GoPlayThat Gameplay videos in the near future. I'll leave you with some additional Vines, and say goodbye for now!