[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Ronimo Games” publishers=”dtp entertainment” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”May 2, 2012″]
Did you ever dream of becoming a wild west style sheriff but in space? Or how about a mad scientist with a jetpack and laser that also happens to be the former Soviet space program monkey? Awesomenauts, developed by Ronimo Games (The first 2 letters of each word in Robot Ninja Monkey), puts you in control of an agglomeration of absurdities leading the battle for their team in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA game. Mixing 80’s style cartoons with a 2D version of gameplay inspired by an old Warcraft III mod, does Romino bring some gaming goodness to XBLA or are we stuck with another game that will be dead online inside of a month?
MOBA games, descendants of the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, typically have towers/turrets, teams, player controlled heroes, npc fighters, and some kind of goal or base to destroy. Awesomenauts takes this concept and throws it into a 2D side scrolling camera view. One team’s base is on one side and the other team’s is on the other. As you get closer to a base, the more resistance is faced on multiple paths in the form of robots, heroes, and turrets. Levels consist of multiple paths branching vertically allowing you to drop or jump to a path that is lighter on defense. The object is to destroy the other team’s space drill. The droids, turrets, and heroes you kill drop Solar, Awesomenauts equivalent to cash money and is used to buy upgrades for your hero. The game is as simple as that but can get oh so more complex in strategy.
You have a choice between many characters that all have their own set of unique abilities and strategies. In matches involving more than 2 people, communication and teamwork is usually rewarded with wins. Awesomenauts can be hard to get into because without knowing all the nitty-gritty it can take a while to finish a match almost to the point that you feel that you are ineffective. Understanding the best upgrade route to take and how to effectively use your skills will make you feel much more effective but this curve from ineffective to effective may leave players dropping the game early because of the tediousness.
Mastering playstyles of the characters is essential to even play this game online. And online is where you will be playing this game usually. Awesomenauts has no single-player mode sans a practice mode to fight against AI. Romino decided to go the route of multiplayer only gameplay which may be a downside for those that don’t have friends willing to throw down cash for a non retail game. Luckily local multiplayer is available so you can just invite them to sit on your couch if they are cheap.
The graphics are reminiscent of 16 bit gaming goodness. The sprites are clean and look good in high-definition showcasing that 2D sprite based graphics are a viable route. The intro movie and music are full of the campiness that offbeat and some of the mainstream Saturday morning favorites were full of during the late eighties and early nineties.
Awesomenauts tries hard to play on the nostalgia factor that the target demographic has for their childhood cartoons and games. Unfortunately once the gameplay starts, anyone not familiar with the MOBA genre might just quit over the feeling of sucking that you get from the tedious ineffective gameplay before you actually learn how to play.