Speed Brawl Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Double Stallion Games

Published By: Kongergate

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to Double Stallion Games for providing a review code

Are you looking for a fast paced, action packed tournament to test your skills? Well Speed Brawling is the activity for you. Get ready to take part in the sport event of a lifetime and see if this is the game for you.

Story

Speed Brawl starts with the story of two friends Ebba & Bia. Everything takes place in a pre-1900’s world where a war was fought between humans and a mutant species of insects that invaded the world. These mutant insects were known as Seleneites and they were eventually defeated and enslaved by the humans. Now these creatures here are pitted against fierce competitors in a sport known as Speed Brawl. Bia & Ebba have been training and they’re ready to join the Speed Brawl in the hopes of gaining fame and riches.

I found the story to be quite interesting and I really enjoyed the level of backstory that came along with it. The characters while they’re all quite colorful, lack a solid amount of character which, unfortunately makes them a bit uninteresting. Still, it’s an interesting story that’s definitely worth paying attention to.

Gameplay

Fast paced and frantic action are the two best ways to describe what Speed Brawl has to offer. Speed Brawl plays like a 2D Brawl Em Up where you compete in timed competitions for one of 4 ranks, stone, bronze, silver, gold.

Every level/event starts with you choosing 2 of your characters. While you start with just Ebba & Bia, as you get further on new speed brawlers will join your team. You can sub between the two brawlers you chose for the level and even do some cool team combos with them.

Striking, dashing, and parrying Speed Brawl sees you taking part in a constant all out battle. Every character has an attack button that they can use for a basic combo, along with a special attack. The special attack charges as damage is done to enemies and once your special bar fills it becomes usable. You also have a dash mechanic that you can charge up to perform a dash attack on your opponents.

There’s a meter that is placed on the left hand side of your character’s picture during combat. If you fill this meter up you can unleash that characters ultimate attack which causes massive damage and are quite cool to look at it. Each character’s is relatively unique and very useful to clear a screen of enemies.

While it sounds a bit simplistic I can assure the combat evolves more as you play. There are more advanced techniques like parrying, which you essentially stun an enemy if you time your dodge roll as they’re about to attack. Aerial combat also plays a role here and you’ll do well to create some combos in the air for massive damage.

Speed Brawl also lets you use the environment as well in combat. Poles can be found in some sections that you can grapple onto and launch yourself at an opponent. You can also charge your dash while on a wall and perform a high speed wall attack on an opponent. I really liked the inclusion of being able to use what was around you to your benefits.

Speed Brawl’s main campaign sees you going through 4 different locations all set on a map. From this map you can choose which competition to take part in. Some are optional while some are necessary to continue with the story.

The campaign boasts a few different types of challenges. The main ones are the regular Speed Brawls. These levels are broken up into 3 sections. Each section contains multiple battles that take place in a designated area. Once you make it to the finish line that section is complete.

After every section you’re given a sort of score on how you did based on a hand side. Clapping hands are the best, followed by a thumps up, a flat hand, and the disappointing thumbs down. It’s a good system to mark how well you did in each one, so you can improve

Another game mode that’s offered is the Pole Race. The Pole Race sees you having to race through one level and grapple onto each of the poles. Once you grab onto one it will be marked and you can continue on. Some Pole Races may have an extra objective as well, like having to hit targets as well as grab poles. These modes are a nice little addition, since they’re completely focused on speed, not action.

The next game mode is one that focuses more on combat and it is the Big Bad Brawl. The Big Bad Brawl gives you a certain allotted time time to deal as much damage as you can, to one or more very strong enemies. The more damage you can do during the the time, the better your ranking. There’s also a Rage Gauge Brawl, which sees you having to avoid damage and deal damage to enemies to fill your rage gauge to complete the event.

I was very satisfied with the selection of match types that Speed Brawl had to offer. It was very satisfying and I felt like each race took advantage of the game’s mechanics well. There’s other small changes that are added on to the Speed Brawl formula as well, so really no one race is exactly the same.

If you’re looking for a bit more customization, you’re in luck, as there’s a bit of RPG elements scattered throughout Speed Brawl’s gameplay. As you complete events you’ll gain fame which essentially acts as your entire teams level. Once a new level of fame has been reached, each member of your team receives a skill point. These skill points can be used in each characters skill tree to make them stronger, through passive bonuses.

If you want to suit up your characters, there’s also a basic equipment system you can use to boost each character’s core stats. Equipment can be received by buying it with cash you earn from the campaign and after you complete an event. Depending on how well you rank in an event determines the rarity of the equipment your equipment. You can receive 3 types of equipment, a glove for your attack stat, boots for defense, and an accessory that comes with a passive bonus.

Each piece of a equipment can also come along with a status effect or elemental bonus. There are many types of status effects that can affect your team or enemies in combat. Status effects, like burning, toxic, zapped, sharp, and blunt are all effects that can change how your character is affected from passively taking damage to causing your characters to receive debuffs.

Speed Brawl is a truly engaging single player experience, but it’s immensely enjoyable as a co-op experience as well. Both local co-op and online are offered here to play through. Locally you can tackle the main campaign together or online and locally you can do a versus against someone. Speed Brawl definitely feels like it was meant for co-op play although, if you don’t have a friend to play with then don’t have your hopes too high for the online. Speed Brawl has been out for sometime and I haven’t had any luck setting up a match online with someone.

What you get with Speed Brawl is, highly chaotic action with a diverse choices of events and characters, along with a decent amount of customization. It’s an all around very solid action packed title that fans of this genre should definitely take a look at.

Extras

For extras, Speed Brawl does have unlockable color palettes and outfits for each of its characters, that can be gained through completing events or buying them from the store. It does take quite a while to gain the game’s currency however so it may take you a while to unlock them all.

There’s also a Codex that the game has available which keeps track of the new gameplay mechanics and other details about the game. It’s used so you can go back and read about stuff should you forget anything.

Presentation

Visually, Speed Brawl has a colorful blend of cartoon visual designs. it looks like everything here came right out of a cartoon from the 2000’s and it’s quite charming design. The characters, while they do lack a bit of personality, make up for it in their creative designs along with enemy designs that are also very well done. Environments and level designs look very good with the cartoon style and the soundtrack is invigorating.

Technical Issues.

I did notice a few significant frame drops during my playthrough. but there weren’t enough to say that they truly affected my experience. Speed Brawl ran very well except for these scattered occurrences of frame rate drops.

Summary

After spending time with Speed Brawl, I’m left disappointed that this title flew under the radar. I feel as if Speed Brawl didn’t get the credit it deserved when it first released. What we have here is truly an action packed experience that’s worth trying. It may have a few small issues that hold it back from being perfect, but if you want a solid experience to play alone or locally with a friend, you can’t go wrong with Speed Brawl.

8/10

Pros

  • Frantic & Fast Paced Gameplay That’s Entertaining
  • Great Diversity Among Different Events
  • Well Implemented Customization & RPG Elements
  • Awesome Cartoon Visual Design
  • Invigorating Soundtrack
  • Fantastic Title For Local Co-op

Cons

  • Online is Seemingly Dead
  • Characters Personalities Are a Bit Flat
  • Takes a Little Too Long to Gain Cash

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