HyperBrawl Tournament Review
Do you like Rocket League? Maybe beat ’em up games? Well, don’t we have a treat for you. Milky Tea Studios have been preparing this title for 4 years now and have been teasing it repeatedly in the recent past. Today we are talking about HyperBrawl Tournament.
You can find this review in video format as well.
So, strap in, because we are in for one heck of a ride. HyperBrawl Tournament is no ordinary indie title. This game could be described as a competitive sports game or even a beat ’em up of some sorts. It kind of creates a genre of its own, just like other games have done in the past when they released. A perfect example of this would be Rocket League, which is a game that created a “thing” by itself. That “thing” has evolved into a video game phenomenon and is now played in huge venues around the world. Will HyperBrawl Tournament manage to do the same? Well, only time will tell.
To start things off, I have to get the basics out of the way. Visuals and audio in the game are just excellent. It is very polished when it comes to the way everything looks and the animations of the character while playing this fast-paced madness of a game are made in such a way that once you spend a good few hours with it, you will actually learn to work with all the visual cues provided for each move. The audio is top notch too, with the devs having partnered with Steve Levine from Sony/ATV Music Publishing to make sure everything is done perfectly. There’s even a short interview with the developers and the audio producer himself talking about it all.
There is so much more I could say about the visuals, but I’d rather spend time talking about the gameplay, which is the main part of the game and the one that will attract players. It is my opinion though that in order to talk about the gameplay of a title like this, you really need a competitive background, since this is the kind of game that focuses on building a competitive player base. Thankfully, I’ve put more than a thousand hours into Rocket League and a couple thousand more in other competitive games.
The reason why I make that disclaimer before talking about the gameplay is because the game’s meta is constantly shifting. It is a game that just like any unique competitive game that has characters with varying stats and weapons with different abilities, it will change and it will form its own competitive meta as players play it more and more. During the time I personally played the game, I even managed to reach the top 3 of the leaderboards for online wins and goals but the lessons I learned throughout my matches are by far the most important thing here.
Despite the fact that what I tried out was a limited demo of the game, there were already quite a few people that made it seem like they had already mastered the secrets of HyperBrawl. I went through games where I got crushed and I also went through games where I completely annihilated my opponent. The characters and the weapons people used really varied and that was actually a really good thing to see for such a new game.
Before I talk more about the meta though, I have to tell you how the game works. It is literally handball with fist-fighting (and a bit of kicking) allowed. Sounds very simple, but there are two things that make it far more interesting than how it initially sounds. You can curve the ball mid-air when you throw it and you can use special weapons that cause mayhem in the arena. The character’s stats are all about how much health they have, how hard they hit and how fast they run, whereas the guns range from grapple-guns all the way to rocket thrusters and hammers.
Unfortunately, when I tried the game, the only possible way of playing online was solo, therefore being forced to have a bot on my team that I would have to change to whenever I needed to. However, playing the game with 3 other friends proved to be extremely fun and way more interesting than any of the online brawls I had. After two matches of figuring things out, we already had strategies and tricks prepared to use against our opponents in the HyperBrawl arena. Intense grappling, tons of passes and lots of ball curving led to an evening full of competitive fun.
The online meta though, was very different from what I experienced in the private lobbies with my friends. I found a lot of people spamming certain moves in order to get ahead fast and other tactics that made the game very difficult to play 1v1. I found it sort of tiring and for that reason I preferred the all-bot games instead. The online meta shifted from using the wall ability in front of your goal to just using the rocket thruster ability to insta-kill both of your opponents and score easy goals. Despite the cooldown that each item has in the game, it felt very frustrating to already be losing with such a big difference from the first few seconds in the game.
The game has a lot for a competitive player to learn, both skill level which would include things like, passing, shooting and curving the ball, as well as meta related things, such as what weapons are the most used at the moment in competitive lobbies.
The game has plenty of content as well for all the cosmetics enthusiasts. Just like most other games, you get loot boxes every now and then that you can open for a chance to get skins, ball trails and goal explosions (yes, kind of like it is in Rocket League). The skins are all quite well done, even though most of them are recolors, and I personally cannot wait to get my hands on some really cool ones for my favorite character, Go-zen.
Despite the 1v1 issues that I encountered in the game, I believe that this game can easily build a huge following and start having big tournaments in the near future. The developers behind the game have showed their love for their community ever since they announced the game by running all sorts of competitions and providing various updates on the development of the title. So, this is basically the perfect formula; a fun and competitive game with a studio behind it that cares and listens to the community every step of the way.
You can find HyperBrawl Tournament on Steam.
You can watch the game’s trailer here.
You can follow Milky Tea Studios on their official Discord server for more updates. The developers have been running a player-driven choose-your-own-adventure event as well, so you should definitely jump on if you are interested in the game.
~Constantine “Kelfecil” Christakis
We would like to thank the developers/publishers for providing us with a copy of this game for coverage purposes. As a non-commercial press team, it is our honor and our delight to be able to provide our opinion on it.