Lethal League Blaze Nintendo Switch Review

Lethal League Blaze is designed especially for those who love pure competitiveness, whether in online games or on the couch at home with friends.

By itsamurray, Posted 06 Aug 2019

After Lethal League layed the foundations, the series now takes the next step with Lethal League Blaze. This time the game also lands on all current-generation consoles and is ready to destroy decennial friendships, thanks to its movement towards party games. Is Lethal League Blaze as crazy and fun as it looks?

Lethal League Blaze is set in Shine City, a metropolis where boredom reigns supreme. To escape from the dullness, its inhabitants began to get passionate about a sport played with an anti-gravity ball. The participants had to hit each other until there was only one person left, that contender being declared winner. The death of a player resulted in the sport being banned, with serious consequences for anyone who tried to practice it.


Lethal League Blaze Review, Nintendo Switch, Team Reptile


But the efforts of the state authorities failed to stop the passion of the sportsmen. Currently, this sport is still practiced in the urban underground, in the so-called Lethal League, named thusly in honor of the first group that, years before, brought to light what seemed to be in effect a dead sport. Unlike the previous chapter, Lethal League Blaze features a story mode. It follows a linear narrative and doesn’t allow the use of one single character for the whole adventure, instead giving you specific characters to choose from during each individual battle.

Each of these character plays a little differently. For example, Candyman, the madman with an oddly-shaped head, can get the ball through the walls while Switch, the skateboarding robot, can move on walls thanks to his board. Although each character has something to set them apart from each other, the roster is not very varied, featuring only 11 playable characters.

Some of them have the option to modify their looks, either before the game begins or while playing. You’ll find that these modifications are not just different colours or alternate costumes. They are small changes to the appearance of the character itself, for example, when Switch is turning his hat backwards, this is a reference to the first Lethal League. A few of these changes are just throwbacks to the original Lethal League, and others are purely small improvements.
 

Lethal League Blaze Review, Nintendo Switch, Team Reptile


The story mode as a whole is very short and not really interesting. It can keep you busy for a few hours, but that’s about it. You won’t find the urge to have a go at a replay. It is clear that it’s meant as more of a practice or tutorial mode before jumping into multiplayer games, whether online or local. Lethal League Blaze’s gameplay is heavily skill-based. The aim of the game, as you’d expect from the earlier description of the sport, is to hit the opponent with the anti-gravity ball.

You’re able to hit the ball by pressing the Y key, giving it a predominantly diagonal trajectory, or you can lock in and hurl it with force at your opponent by using X. There’s also the possibility of dribbling with A, thus succeeding in giving more force and better direction to the throw. Parries are back from the original game. As usual, when you hit the ball first, but one of the other players also tries to hit it, then you can use the parry to kill them. This will immediately give you a free kill. Defeating your enemies will be easy once you have mastered the parry.


Lethal League Blaze Review, Nintendo Switch, Team Reptile


Lethal League Blaze’s gameplay sounds fairly simple, and the feeling that it transmits with Joy-Con in hand is very pleasant. Mastering the game mechanics will be crucial, since most of the time it involves chaotic situations where there’s little time to think, especially in matches with 4 participants. The gameplay of Lethal League Blaze is functional and intuitive, and goes very well with what the game wants to offer.

Another variable added to matches is the appearance of a target which, when hit, grants access to a character’s special ability. These abilities vary a lot, from a ball that manages to track the opponent to a fatality which makes one press of a button enough to finish the round. In the game, there are different ways of playing, including versus with your friends or online multiplayer games. Between 1v1, Team Mode, Lethal Volley and All Against All, Lethal League Blaze takes on the character of a purely competitive party game.

A leveling system has been added for online matches which rewards you additional currency every time that you level up. You can also unlock new objects from leveling-up, for example, there are different looking balls each with different abilities to throw at your opponents. There are also ranked matches and leaderboards.


Lethal League Blaze Review, Nintendo Switch, Team Reptile


The cartoonish graphical style of Lethal League Blaze is all in all pleasant as it provides a fun environment to play in. The Switch version comes with a fairly stable framerate. When there are too many elements on the screen, it results in a few, but still significant, slowdowns. More arenas would have been welcome, but those already in the game are quite varied and pleasant, going from an abandoned pool to a metro on the move while visiting a robot factory, among others.

Unfortunately, the level design remains the same throughout the entire game. Personally, I would have liked the introduction of some novelties that would have given a touch of variety to the matches, such as the addition of traps, or more improved levels that could have added new tones to the clashes.

As important as gameplay is, developer Team Reptile didn’t overlook the soundtrack in Lethal League Blaze, either. Battles see their fun increased thanks to the techno / funk / hip-hop music quality provided by different artists and very inspired by Jet Set Radio. As for voices and sound effects, they are perfectly in tune with the eccentric and futuristic atmosphere of the game.


Lethal League Blaze Review, Nintendo Switch, Team Reptile


The changes made in comparison to the original Lethal League are definitely noticeable. Lethal League Blaze is more beautiful and deeper, with a well-performing online gaming experience. The graphics are pleasant and the game's personality is undeniable. On the other hand, I was disappointed by the halftone result of the story mode, which at times feels almost like an amateur production. But, even so, Lethal League Blaze still offers a fun experience.


Andrew Murray, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Team Reptile
Developer(s): Team Reptile
Genres: Action, Fighting, Sports
Themes: Arcade
Release Date: 2018-10-24

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