Battle High: San Bruno Review: Fighting Game 101 Is Back In Session

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)
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Pros:
Plays like a combination of Street Fighter and Fatal Fury
The $1.00 price tag is hard to beat

Cons:
Storylines are boring
It’s more an update to a previous release than a new game

The majority of fighting games on Xbox Live Indie Games absolutely suck. They seem to run very slow and their movements are very clunky and unresponsive. While this is a big disappointment, the release of Battle High: San Bruno changed everything with fast paced gameplay reminiscent of classic fighting games including Street Fighter II and Fatal Fury. After playing the game for a few days, I found Battle High enjoyable and fun. Then I quickly ran back to the Street Fighter games.

Battle High: San Bruno takes the classic fighting formula and makes an entertaining game that old school fighting game fans will enjoy. I will say that this game is not the greatest (it’s actually an update to a previous release), but for the price of only 80 Microsoft Points ($1.00) it’s one hell of a buy that’s worth picking up. With that in mind I suggest you brush up on your quarter circle and other charge up moves.

If your looking for a deep intricate storyline to understand what the hell is goping one and why these teens are fighting one another then Battle High will not impress you. The storyline makes about as much sense as Dragonball Z…seriously! As I was playing the game, I did notice that each of the game’s eight characters have their own intersecting text based story which is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Remember, this is a fighting game so storylines take a huge back seat to all the on screen action.

As for the fighters themselves, Battle High features a cast of eight characters each with their own unique movesets that are a balance between the Street Fighter and Fatal Fury games. While some of the characters are a little “emo” in nature, there were a couple that really stood out. One was the superhero wannabe Arvid, the young Balrog type named H.W. and the Jason Vorhees look-a-like names Bryan who has a special that uses a fire axe and chainsaws. No Camp Crystal Lake this summer for these teens.

If your familiar with the typical controls of the Street Fighter games then you should have no problem with Battle High. Each of the moves are pretty simple to execute and super combos work with little to no effort. You don’t need to be a fighting expert to play this game. Better yet, there’s no need for button mashing either. The game does include a training mode to practice moves and also includes a full moves list in the pause menu in case you have a brainfart.

I mentioned earlier that Battle High: San Bruno is an update to the previous game. New to the update is a change to full widescreen support. This is a nice move, but the action doesn’t really utilize the entire screen. The characters feel so small compared to the large backgrounds. Also added are minigames in between the fights. Those familiar to Street Fighter II will recognize the car smashing and barrel busting games (uses balls here). There’s also a tetherball game for two players that’s pretty unique and fun.

Battle High: San Bruno doesn’t really stand out like all the other fighting games that have crowded the marketplace, but for a game that costs only a dollar it’s hard to pass up. It’a fast and furious action with plenty of cool moves that are simple to pull off. It’s definitely worth a pickup for you and some friends to play for a quick change of pace in between all the bigger and better fighters.

A big thank you goes out to Matthew DeLucas for providing me with a review code for the game. Thanks Matt! BH

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