Summary: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) titles have seen an enormous surge in popularity in recent years, and for good reason, but to date they've been restricted to the PC. These highly skill-based, competitive games offer the joy of killing players and computer-controlled enemies, with that one-more-round addictive quality when it either goes well, or when you demand satisfaction after a loss.
Excerpt: Videogames have no shortage of subgenres, and the multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA ) that has spun off from real-time strategy games are big business right now. Thanks to white-hot games like League of Legends and Super Monday Night Combat and the upcoming Dota 2 (which people can play in beta), there’s no shortage of games – if not a flood – to choose from at this point.
Pros: Great personality, Simplicity, Balanced combat
Excerpt: At Gamescom 2011, Valve hosted a DOTA 2 tournament that boasted one million dollars in prize money. Couple this with the eSports success of League of Legends and it's clear the blossoming multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre has become a driving force in competitive gaming. Awesomenauts, from Ronimo Games, is the first successful attempt to bring this emerging genre to consoles.
Conclusion: League of Legends has gained a fair amount of notoriety in the PC gaming community over the past couple of years. It and Awesomenauts fall under the multiplayer online battle arena genre, or “MOBA” for short. MOBAs are relatively new to the gaming industry. Much like an RPG, the player controls a specific character that levels up. However, the significant difference that separates it from typical RPG fanfare is the team concept.
Summary: Even though its cartoonish visuals create a fun atmosphere to enter the genre under, its most basic sense of play does little to endear itself to newcomers. It is, however, the underlying strategies that spring from the games straight-forward set-up that elevate Awesomenauts into a MOBA worth investing time in. New players must spend a token amount of time being massacred by more cohesive teams before themselves learning the delicate balance required for victory.
Pros: Balanced cast of outlandish characters, Smooth, cartoon-inspired visuals
Cons: Combat lacks depth, Demands teamwork, unkind towards solo play
Excerpt: Having your publisher go bust the week your game is supposed to come out is not a great start. Has Ronimo managed to get over this and deliver a great online gaming experience with " Awesomenauts "?
Excerpt: Utter the words 'MOBA' in many gaming circles and a small shudder is likely to ripple across the (chat) room. Often cited for their high difficulty and uncompromising and sometimes aggressive players, multiplayer online battle arena games, like League of Legends , are regularly avoided by those who do not feel like gluttons for punishment.
Summary: This is a very solid arcade title. If you are looking for a break from your normal genre, this is a great game for you. It doesn’t take much at all to get into and is more fun than most will have with retail titles that will come out this year. The game controls are simple enough for anyone to get into and the strategy aspects make this an ideal game for those who love strategy games.
Conclusion: This also brings about the main concern of any XBLA game focused so heavily on online multiplayer. How long will the community last? It's an enjoyable and very different experience from anything else on Xbox Live, but console gamers are known to be fickle. Call of Dutys and Halos aside and players frequently cast aside great ideas after the novelty factor has ended. Awesomenauts certainly doesn't deserve this but there is that risk.
Conclusion: I genuinely enjoyed Awesomenauts. It is slick, well balanced, highly polished, and horribly addictive. Playing with the load outs, testing the characters, or just sitting back and enjoying the view. It is a tremendous game that, astoundingly, lives up to its name.