Lethal League is the new competitive projectile fighting game from the Dutch game studio Reptile Games. We were joined by Tim and Dion to discuss the nitty gritty mechanics as well as taking the game to EVO and the future plans for the game.
Last year Tim and Dion hosted a prototype of Lethal League up on their website. It’s still up today. The game was a side project for them that turned into something that got more attention than they were anticipating. It was picked up and celebrated by fighting game fans and signaled to the guys that perhaps they should sit down and develop it further.
The main goal for them for the first year and its release was to get the game at EVO. So the contacted fighting game luminaire Seth Killian who was heading up the Indie Showcase at EVO 2014 to submit the game. To their surprise Seth had already played and liked the game so it was an easy in. So a year later instead of just the baseball swinging character Raptor, there are 5 characters all with unique angles and supers that have joined the fray, with more planned to come.
Fighting games are in this wonderful resurgence and not just of the top-tier franchises we are all familiar with. Dive Kick, or as I like to call it ‘The Toast of PAX EAST 2013,’ has made waves in presenting competitive fighting games that contain fewer barriers to entry. Towerfall and Samurai Gunn have also made large strides and secularizing the genre, but none have done it as well or as stylish as Lethal League has. On first entry the game is simple and pong-like, but as you begin digging into how it is all connected the real depth is exposed and an extremely compelling game is presented.
Lethal League starts as a twitch reaction game where you bat the ball back and forth. Look closer and try to remember what you learned in your geometry classes and angles becomes the next big thing you need to look for. Each character can spike and swing and they have their own unique angle attached to those strikes. As you get better the game is less about the twitch reaction, as that players get through that phase with ease after understanding the mechanics. It then switches to a mental game of chicken between you and your opponent; will they go immediately for a spike? Or will they follow up with a bunt to switch direction? This is why I think the game excels. Lethal League has a very simple barrier to entry, which then becomes quickly dispelled exposing your opponents mind as the true mechanic in play.
If solid gameplay wasn’t enough the art direction and music sell the game harder than this mere collection of words. That first moment you get the speed high enough that a storm erupts, and then you go further and the colors invert taking you to a new dimension of speed make those moments as epic visually as they feel emotionally in the game. All the while the fattest of beats thump in the background. This may be the most incredible indie game soundtrack since Hotline Miami.
So regardless if you are a fan or aficionado of competitive fighting games, Lethal League is simply a blast to play. You can pick up a copy now and let me know what your favorite character is, I can’t get enough of Switch and that Kick-Flip super is too good. Also keep an eye out as they plan on introducing more playable characters and game support for the foreseeable future. That means MORE ANGLES TO MEMEORIZE.