Review: League of Evil (PS4/Vita)

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League of Evil PS4_VitaGood evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m here to inform you that Woblyware and Rataliaka Games’ excellent, tough as heck  League of Evil ($4.99, Cross-Buy) is not messing around at all. This high action speedrun focused action/platform/puzzle hybrid has one goal: to crush the weak players and reward the flawless and strong. Okay, well… it’s not that serious, but if you love a challenge, you’ll certainly get more game out of that measly five bucks this costs right from the start.

Here’s the deal: you’re a bionic super agent who needs to simply reach the evil scientist at the end of each level and dispatch him with a single punch from your big metal fist. Simple, no? Nope, it’s not. One shot kills from armed guards protecting him, one hit kills from spikes, lasers, swinging axes and other hazards will stop your progress countless times, forcing you to replay many of the sort, deadly stages. At least the retro visuals, excellent music and general sense of “don’t even try to take this seriously” all keep the game fun.

And yes, once again, I had to call in my ringer.

 

The 140 maps spread over four chapters range from “Oh, that was easy!” simple to “Which window I can toss this console out of”? frustrating, both comments from my friend’s kid who gracefully helped me through Where Are My Friends? not too long ago. I also got a “I’m glad the game I normally play are this hard!”, but at least the unlimited lives got a huge thumbs up. The thing is, even the most pinpoint focused expert player will likely suffer a crushing series of demises while trying to merely make it to one-punch that scientist off the map. Add in the challenge of nabbing that optional briefcase (usually placed in the most dangerous and/or seemingly impossible to reach spot). At least those Trophies drop pretty quickly, so if that’s your motivation, this game will get your fingers pretty peppy.

Panic is not your friend here. You need to be perfect with the wall jumping as you speedily navigate the levels while trying to avoid doom from every side. You’ll fail miserably quite frequently, but then hit a zen-like state where maybe four or five maps will zip by with few to no deaths. Of course, that gets busted on the head when you hit that wall were progress is smashed until you step away from your PS4 or Vita and chill for a bit. I ended up divvying up the game into segments with me playing until I got stuck, then the kid doing his thing until he tapped out. We cleared 128 of the 140 stages before he threw in the towel and demanded a raise. I told him to ask his mom and dad and got the expected laser-eyed glare in response. Amusingly enough, he “kind of liked the game” despite noting he’d probably have gray hair if he had to play it again. That kid can be a hoot when he wants to.

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Actually, I found out less than ten minutes later from his dad that he got the kid a Vita for his upcoming birthday (Shhhhh! Not a peep, people), so I’m betting this might be a surprise game that will turn up in his library (I got an extra code, so someone is going to get quite the surprise. And gray hair at age 12, to boot!). In any event, the retro visuals are great, that soundtrack is excellent and as noted, the game will break the weak and slow into a bazillion pieces.  That said, it’s the good kind of crazy game where you’ll appreciate the design even as it shoots and chops you to bits in that classic rinse and repeat manner.

Score: B+ (85%)

-GW

(Review code provided by the publisher)

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