The Tribunal: Awesomenauts

By RQP

Awesomenauts is a Saturday Morning Cartoonesque brawler where players go head to head in 3 on 3 matches to destroy the other teams defenses and Solar drill.

The Good

When you start a match you are given three characters to choose from which are fairly basic and easy to learn. A basic tutorial is there to introduce you to the controls along with a practice mode so you can learn to play the game and unlock more playable characters and maps without needing to dive in to online PvP. Character load outs are saved from match to match so when you’re ready for PvP there is no last minute tweaking needed. All the characters, maps and skills unlock just by gaining XP for matches. The only paid content outside of that is purely cosmetic skins available in the form of DLC.

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The overall atmosphere of the game is fun and nostalgic of childhood cartoons. Running and jumping around shooting everything in sight is a blast. The soundtrack is fucking awesome and when you are kicking ass and taking names, your character’s theme music starts playing, amping you up for further pixilated domination..

Money is fairly easy to come by, it’s fucking everywhere even when you die. You start back in your rocket and fly down to the game and there just happens to be money floating in the sky which you can snag on your re-entry into the match.

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Awsomenauts is perfect for the MOBA fan without a ton of time to spend on matches, they are quick and casual-friendly so there isn’t too much of an investment in developing character builds and you can spend more time blowing shit up.
There’s a pretty good community behind the game plenty of tips and build guides available right from the Steam overlay.

The combat is pretty easy and with only a few attacks you can play primarily with your mouse and avoid having to stare at an entire bar full of cooldowns.

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Once you reach level twelve you unlock Roflnauts, an 8-bit Super Smash Brothers like game which is a lot of fun and a nice added feature of Awesomenauts.

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The Bad

Depending on what role you like to play in these types of games, the starting character selection sucks. For instance there are no support characters available at the start, so you are stuck dicking around with other characters until you unlock the ones that you actually want to play.  As nice as it is to have a tutorial, it doesn’t do too much as far as teaching you how to play the characters.

Before a match you have two minutes to customize your build, which is the only way to see  your skills at all. It would be nice to be able to browse the characters you have and their abilities before the character selection screen. 

Having some type of player profile page would have been awesome. Not only can you not look at the characters you’ve unlocked to compare skills but there isn’t even a way to view your progress. The only way to see how much XP you have and how close you are to the next unlock is a screen at the end of a match. That’s all well and good at that moment but does fuck all to show me how close I am to unlocking that next character 3 levels away when I haven’t played in a few days. – Chris

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The option to practice and play matches against the AI is nice, but they always select the same four characters which does not really prepare you for a game against other players, so prepare to get your ass handed to you until you figure out how the other characters play.

The Rage

All the usual MOBA rage inducers apply here. The up shot is the matches are short, no 45 minute long sessions of dealing with jack asses or that one guy who suddenly drops half way through cause “guys lets hurry this up! i g2g in 5!!”.

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I had no interest in Awesomenauts and it was given to me as a gift, so I gave it a shot. That being said:

Fuck this game. Fuck is so hard in its stupid fucking face. I played the tutorial and didn’t think it was so bad but then I tried a match with other players and well, fuck that. It’s worth mentioning that as of right now, I was the only one to try a match with other players; the other two pussies only played matches with the AI. I don’t think it’s a bad game necessarily, but I do not do any type of PvP gaming. Mostly because I am awful at it, I admit this, and due to my utter lack of skill, I get pissed and rage quit. I spent most of my WoW days on a PvP server running away from the horde.  The closest I’ve come to multiplayer with people I don’t know is Mario Kart, and some fuckface always has to go and select Rainbow Road. You know that guy, well fuck that guy. – Melissa

Closing Arguments

There are few spots Awesomenauts falls a little flat, there are quite a few more were it absolutely makes up for those shortcomings. Characters each have their own style but some just don’t have enough variety. The fact each is so simple does mean you can feel comfortable trying a new toon and still have it play different enough to keep the game fresh.

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The side scroller  maps are great for the quick casual game. Not a ton of opportunity for deep strategy though. In a genre usually based around playing the same arena over and over, having multiple maps that do actually require you to change up your plan on each is a big win.

 I do wish you were able to unlock things in the order you want though. Sucks a bit needing to grind out a few levels and being rewarded with new characters you don’t give a fuck about just to get to the one you do. Unlocking everything is crazy easy though so it’s not a deal breaker. – Chris

The Verdict

Joe – Packs the characters, music and the fast paced combat of a 90’s action cartoon in a fun, quick and slightly addicting game.

Chris – If you’re a MOBA fan Awesomenauts is pretty fucking rad. You’ll appreciate being able to jump in for a 5 to 10 minute slugfest.

Melissa – I of course was just angry the whole time. You can only be humiliated (yes, the game says that) so many times before you ragequit.

 

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