Darkstar’s Battle High: San Bruno Review
Battle High: San Bruno (intended to be called Battle High: Elemental Revolt) from Mattrified Games is an XBLIG 2D fighting game. The game keeps its screen size that of the classics even if you can support wide-screen. You might see this as a downside but for me it gave it more of the feel of the classic 2D fighters.
With 8 characters to choose from and multiple stages to fight on the game uses the a standard control system. You have light punch, hard punch, light kick, heavy kick and a throw button. Your special attacks all follow the move controls we are all familiar with from the Street Fighter and other fighting game series.
Each characters moves are different with different pluses and minuses to each, but I can at least say I didn’t at any point feel any one character was any better than another. So playability wise this fighter seems pretty balanced. This bunch of angst filled high school students all possess abilities focusing on the elements. Many of the characters have a Japanese-esque look to them.
Battle High has an Arcade mode, Versus mode, Challenge Mode, and Training Mode as well as a journal that shows the things you’ve unlocked in the game with your accomplishments. In Arcade mode you select your character and go on to fight the other 7 characters Half way through you will fight someone who you have an actual reason to fight and then again for the final fight you will fight your main enemy. These two brief moments of conversation before the fight is all you will get for in game story for that character and then once you’ve beaten your main enemy you will get a closing story to tie it all together. Every character has a different story so their main enemy may be someone different. You can also change the difficulty in the options menu.
In Versus mode you can choose your character and the computers character you will fight. This is also where you can duke it out with a local friend. It no differently than arcade mode. In challenge mode you are told the moves you need to do for the character you choose, you can learn what buttons and combos work well with each character. It is worth trying this mode out just to learn a few good combos. Training mode is just you versus a standing dummy character that doesn’t move or do anything but take the beating you dish out in practicing the combos you learned in challenge mode.
Battle High’s biggest issues in my book is that to pull off the better moves it requires more precision than most fighters. I found myself having a little difficulty just pulling off the down to forward attack powers. I think the default setting for the game should have been higher (although this can easily enough be changed). I think the last thing is what may bother some people and that is the entirely short and fairly shallow stories of each character. Now for me it’s a fighting game I don’t really care if this guy is trying to rule the world or just save his sister. I just thought it worth mentioning.
I give it a 4 out of 5. It plays smoothly and gives fans of classic fighters a little of that old feel back, with something fresh for new players of the genre. For 80 MSP it’s a steal.
Final Score: 4/5