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Ultra Space Battle Brawl

Review: Ultra Space Battle Brawl is the Bastard Child of Pong and Street Fighter

Take Pong, one of the oldest competitive games, and combine it with Street Fighter 2, one of the most popular, and you should be onto a winner, right?

Pretty much.

Developed by Mojiken Studio, Ultra Space Battle Brawl is the perfect game to settle a score with. It’s basically Pong, but it adds in some fighting game sensibilities and other complications to make the the action deeper, more challenging, and ultimately, more fun. At least when played in multiplayer, anyway.

Each and every one of Ultra Space Battle Brawl‘s 10 characters has their own stats, determining how fast they move, how hard they hit, etc. They also each have their own super special mode that requires a meter to be filled before it can be activated. These include making the ball invisible to sending out a swarm of bees.

Once the competing characters have been decided, the next variable to be determined is the arena in which you are to do battle. There’s a small range on offer, but what should be noted is that each one greatly affects the gameplay. You see, each arena houses multiple crystals, and only by hitting your opponent’s crystal can you take a chunk off their life bar. In the way of that, however, are chickens.

With a timer counting down then, it’s up to you to try to hit the ball at your opponent’s chickens, taking them out of the equation so you can pummel the crystal that lies behind them. In the simplest arena it’s not that hard a task, but as bumpers and more unorthodox crystal placements are introduced, it becomes quite a challenge. Suffice to say, many battles end with the timer running out. The player with the most health left is proclaimed the victor.

With only two modes and no difficulty options, Ultra Space Battle Brawl‘s main problem is that its single player story mode just isn’t that much fun to play. It’s challenging from the outset, but competing against the CPU quickly moves from being slightly entertaining to entirely unfair when it eventually decides to match you up with two opponents at once. At that point, you’re likely to just fall into despair and quit.

Thankfully, Ultra Space Battle Brawl shines in multiplayer. There are no online options, but up to four players can compete on a single Switch. Sat on a couch playing Ultra Space Battle Brawl, there are bound to be memories made, as well as grudges. You’ll laugh and swear at each other, but you’ll relish every victory and defeat.

On the whole, Ultra Space Battle Brawl is very much worth a purchase if you play games with friends on a regular basis. Its fusion of Pong with an 80’s arcade game aesthetic really gives it character, and when your opponent is a real human being it’s an absolute riot. It’s quite light on features though, and its single player offering really lets the package down.

Ultra Space Battle Brawl is available on Switch.

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