I missed #underratedmonday, so here I am on #playthisgameorelsetuesday to shed some light on this underrated masterpiece.
Lethal League Blaze is a game that could only be accurately described in the words of that version of Sonic that appeared on The Simpsons in 1995 - but since I’m not on nearly that much crack, I’ll just have to do my best.
If you like Jet Set Radio, you are going to love this game. Annointed with attitude and swathed in style, we see everything that made JSR great, with a unique spin on it. The same cell-shaded, low-poly art-style that made the Dreamcast title scream style, paired with a soundtrack worthy of comparison. Klaus Veen, D Fast, and bignic are among the spectacular lineup of house and lo-fi artists to grace this project - even featuring a track from Hideki Naganuma himself!
As much as I find myself comparing the two - Lethal League is nothing like Jet Set Radio in terms of gameplay. It’s more like if you put Street Fighter, Dodgeball, and PONG into that trash compactor from Monsters Inc. - only instead of possibly maiming a young child, you get a super unique party fighter.
It works like this: there are between two and four players, and a ball. The objective is to knock each other out by batting the ball into them. Players can catch the ball mid-flight and hit it back the way it came - each time a player hits the ball, it gets faster; and as it gets faster it also does more damage to whomever it comes into contact. As you can imagine, that ball quickly becomes a bullet in a bank vault.
Playing this game with friends is a great time, every game leads to all four of us in hysterics - screaming for our lives, as the next person to miss their swing will most certainly die! The higher the speed, the higher the stakes!
Team Reptile has pumped some of the best character designs I have ever seen into this franchise. Every one of the twelve characters is absolutely dripping with attitude, for example: Dust & Ashes is a dead guy who uses his own ghost as a bat! I mean, what else can you really ask for in a world where this man is a playable character? There's also a skateboarding robot, a crocodile who climbs walls, and a boombox wearing a body warmer! How brave of him. To tell the truth, I can see each of these characters being someone's favourite - each of them have their own special moves and playstyles to learn and master. This franchise has so much potential, and I hope Team Reptile makes a return to it in the future.
The story mode follows a little from each member of the cast on their way to the Lethal League - The central theme that all of them share, however, is the sport they all love is being banned by law enforcement due to recent fatalities. That's right, it ain't called LETHAL League for nothing kids! Sprinkled throughout the dialogue, we hear of the late players who got smacked a little too hard (it does look pretty painful...) In response, the local government has banned the sport they all love.
So if, like me, you're bored of 2-4 friends beating the shit out of eachother in real life, now 2-4 friends can beat the shit out of eachother with sentient bats, crazy characters, and the very real threat of death!
If you and/or your friends are tired of playing the same live service multiplayer slogs, you should come together and try something a little off the wall (unless you play the crocodile, he is usually found ON the wall). It's even free on gamepass! Think of literally one reason not to give it a try right now. See! You can't do it!
I would be dissapointed in you, but don't worry - there is no reason. The game was rigged from the start.