If you’ve been itching for some boxing fun on Android, the OUYA just might have your covered with Goodhustle Studios’ upcoming title, Beast Boxing Turbo. A first-person arcade boxer, Beast Boxing Turbo will have you traveling to distant world called “Beasthalla,” a land where beasts box for cash and winnings.
Players take control of a human girl named Char who has big dreams of fighting for fame in the legendary Beast Boxing Leagues. There’s only one problem: humans are strictly forbidden from entering. Dawning a homemade monster disguise, you’ll have to battle up the ranks against 12 of the most grotesque, most fearsome monsters from around Beasthalla. It’s kinda like Monsters Inc meets Rocky. We gave Beast Boxing Turbo a spin on our very own OUYA developer console, going head-t0-head against everything from a giant pig men, to undead skeletons, and just about everything in between. Take a look.
Gameplay and Controls
We were pleasantly surprised to find BBT plays very much like Punch-Out! on the Wii, only a lot more unforgiving. On the OUYA gamepad, L2 controls the left punch, while R2 the right. There’s a surprising amount of depth in attacking. Players can perform combos by jabbing quickly and/or holding the analog in a specific direction — up for uppercuts, or left/right for hooks — to deal extra damage. Punch too long and you’ll quickly become winded, leaving your attacks much less effective. You’ll have to learn to strike at just the right time, taking advantage of openings. There are also 2 defensive maneuvers that can be executed by pressing either down on the analog stick to block, or bobbing and weaving by simply moving the analog stick left or right. Blocking was much less effective than simply evading because Char will still take slight damage while blocking, losing stamina in the process. Plus, it’s just simply much easier to attack after evading when your opponent is left wide open after an attack or special move.
To describe Beast Boxing as difficult would be a huge understatement. The game was often so unforgiving that it was borderline throw-your-controller-against-the-wall cheesy. Enemies will constantly perform unblockable special moves that KO in a single hit. Yes, 1-hit kills. While the developer was generous enough to supply an “easy” setting, it doesn’t help much (2 special moves and you’re KO’d). This is one area I think developer definitely needs to work on. I don’t think your opponent should be able to execute special move, after special move, seemingly without getting winded and no penalty.
Thankfully, there is another gameplay element that involves taking your winnings from the prize fights to upgrade your character RPG-style. You can spend money to upgrade character stats like attack strength, HP, or defense, but keep in mind the higher your level in a particular stat, the more costly the next level becomes. You can also compound Char’s stat benefits by investing in upgraded boxing gear (defense, offense, and flare) with over 35 pieces in all. If you’re really masochistic, there’s even a NewGame Plus mode that increases the difficulty further (opponents are bigger, faster, stronger), but you get to keep all your upgrades and gear.
At first glance, Beast Boxing Turbo appears to be a 2D fighter. What I found was a cleverly 3D designed, cell shaded comic book style that harkens back to the days of the Ninja Turtles Saturday morning cartoon show. While the polygon count wasn’t anything to write home about (enemies have a very blocky look to them), there’s enough detail in the texture maps to keep visuals looking crisp and HD while maintaining a very acceptable frame rate. I think what really got me was the character designs. Beast Boxing Turbo features a wide variety of enemies, each with their own personalities and dialog. Backdrops are also wonderfully animated, brimming with other-worldly creatures. It’s all the beautiful hand-drawn art that gives Beast Boxing Turbo its own personality and feel, making it unlike any other arcade boxer to date.
Beast Boxing Turbo will be one of the OUYA’s first launch titles, coming to the Android mini-console this Thursday, March 28th. No word on pricing just yet but for now, you can watch the full trailer down below.