Feel guilty about buying this.
Guilt Battle Arena has been called a small-budget Smash Bros, but sadly the experiences offered by the two games just don’t compare.
Using your gun to shoot, picking off enemies coming into shot from both the left and right sides of the screen, and also jumping up to pick off the airborne ones is the sort of gameplay that we’ve all seen before, but the crucial element here that ramps the difficulty up a notch is that you only get one bullet, and when it careers through an enemy it’ll drop to the ground and you’ll have to go and fetch it – while dodging the other incoming enemies who you’re now defenceless against – before you can shoot again.
Multiplayer is clearly the main component of the game, with one of the game’s two main modes only accessible if you have a friend in tow. Up to four players can get involved in the action using just the one Switch console. Then you can take part in a battle to the death across a range of different battlefields, jumping and dodging your friends’ attacks and desperately trying to by the last player left. Variations to the formula include external interferences in the action, including cannons locking onto you from the sides of the battlefield and requiring you to pay even more attention to defence over attack.
What is an annoyance though, is that when one of the players in co-op has died, you can’t then continue on your own – the game is over for all of you. Oh, and I didn’t mention – your character never stands still, even if you aren’t touching the controller. Your input will amend the direction of travel, of course, but don’t expect to dodge attacks just by taking your thumb off the controller, as the game designers have decided to encourage your impending doom by having the character trot straight towards the danger of its own accord.
There are loads of characters to choose from. Setting impressive scores in the single-player mode or co-op modes, where enemy waves bear down on you with increasing speed, is the go-to way to unlock them all. But they’re all purely aesthetic – they could affect jump heights, or bullets, but nope – all they do is affect the way that your character looks.
Sadly, the action is just too samey and repetitive. Even with all the modified factors going into the battle itself, you’re still simply running and jumping from left to right and right to left, while pulling the trigger whenever you get the chance. Enemies do have a differing style of attacks, which you’ll need to watch out for – some hold out swords which will carve you up if you get too close, while others will fire guns at you at timed intervals which it’s often difficult to keep track of when you’re paying attention to numerous other enemies on the move around you.
This isn’t a game which is going to keep your attention for too long, and it really doesn’t inspire you to push on and set better and better high scores, particularly when there’s no use of any leaderboards or online play. If you’re buying it, you’re buying a game which sadly you will probably only get a very limited number of uses out of.