Battle High: San Bruno was originally released early this year and is part of a small niche of fighting games available on the Xbox Live Indie Games service. Dave Voyles here at Armless Octopus gave the first release a respectable four-out-of-five star rating, stating that “San Bruno is a well polished fighter that further demonstrates the diversity that the XNA toolkit is capable of in the hands of a talented developer. I would recommend this to any fan of fighting games, as well as those who find the learning curve of the current generation of fighters to be overwhelming, due to this title’s simple pick-up and play accessibility.” With the latest Summer Uprising update, Battle High now sports balance tweaks, bug fixes, widescreen support, updated art assets, updated music, and three new single-player minigames. With that being said, Battle High is new to me, so to do it justice, this review will cover all aspects of the game, not just the new update.
You’ve played Street Fighter II, or at least one of the dozen iterations, right? Of course you have, considering it’s perhaps the greatest fighter of all time, and you’ve had nearly 20 years to play it. Well in that case, then you’ve quite possibly had a similar experience to that which you’ll find in Battle High: San Bruno ( or Battle High: Elemental Revolt depending on which screen you choose to believe). Players take control of teenage characters fighting for supremacy in a high school filled with students who have been imbued with mutant powers, which had thoughts of X-Men racing through my mind right off the bat.
The environments are various locals scattered throughout the high school, including the hallway, parking lot, and classroom. Each is hand drawn with comic book style art, which fits the decor of the game well. What I am a bit perplexed by is the fact that the fighting screen is locked at a 4×3 ratio, while the menus and rest of the game are in the 16×9 widescreen ratio. It’s a bit disappointing to see the wasted real estate. Despite this, the title appears smooth while in motion, and you’ll quickly ignore the screen size in favor of the enjoyable action on screen.
The sounds of yelling, stomping, frustration, joy, and laughing still ring fresh in my ears. Although I grew up with two younger brothers who consistently held Super Smash Bros. parties, I don’t have much experience with the game other than laying eggs with Yoshi. I can still picture his little feet chugging away as a last stand to keep from falling over the edge. The reason I say this is because SSB’s influence clearly seen in Chu’s Dynasty. If other indies are creating “clones” of AAA titles as well polished as this, then sign me up!
Quite clearly, Chu’s’ visual spectacle will jump right off the screen at you – literally. Beautifully hand drawn characters will catapault, soar, and jump across one side of the map to the other. The vivid backdrops are seen not only the background, but the foreground as well, filling in the space between your character and the screen. There are three levels in total, and players have their choice between four characters as well, each uniquely different from one another, whether visually or with their move set.
Have you ever wanted to high-kick Kayne, bitch-slap Paris, or karate-chop the Governator? Well, now you can fight your favorite celebrity Avatars in Avatar Karate. You’ll unlock new opponents and locations as you work your way through each stage. There are 20 celebrity opponents in all; some appear as characters they’ve played and others appear as themselves. While the developer never outright names each celebrity by name, they’re fairly easy to identify by the lines they quote or through other pop-culture references.
The moves are simple: a variety of kicks, punches, jumps, and blocks. While the opponents get more difficult in single player mode, your Avatar doesn’t seem to level up or acquire any additional skills making the last few fights challenging. There 4 locations in the game, but all are fairly limiting and you are only allowed to fight in a portion of the screen. Read more