After making its debut at Tokyo Game Show 2019, Kaiju-inspired arena brawler, GigaBash, made a big splash at Level Up KL 2019, Malaysia’s biggest games festival, taking home more SEA Games Awards than any other game, including the coveted Grand Jury Award.
We managed to get in a few rounds with the game and, even in its early alpha state, we were impressed by what we saw.
In our hands-on session, four brawlers were available to play out of the ten that the game will launch with:
- Thundatross — the sword-wielding mecha
- Gorogong — the horned kaiju
- Pipijuras — the clawed alien
- Woolley — the giant marshmallow fluff
The controls are easy to pick-up — there are two attacks, jump, pick-up and throw, guard, and dodge.
Special moves are engaged by holding down the guard or dodge buttons and pressing any attack button. An ultimate — S-Class mode — is also available when enough Giga Points are collected and players activate this form.
Upon selecting their respective fighters, players are taken to a ready-room to wait for the stage to load-up. While standing-by, they can test out move-sets and familiarize themselves with the controls.
Once we got into the arena, it was a four-sided no-holds-barred brawl. The entire arena can be destroyed or used to do harm to opponents. Some other elements, like trees, can also be used to hide and perform stealth attacks.
As it’s a free-for-all battle, things got messy pretty quickly. Fortunately, each of the monsters’ designs let them pop out of the stage, ensuring they’re not lost in the mess of colours and explosions that regularly occur.
Players build up Giga Points by landing attacks and combos. Once the monsters’ energy gauge maxes out, they can activate S-Class. This mode will beef up the monster in size and unlocks different attack combinations, holds, throws, and environmental attacks.
S-Class is incredibly powerful so players need to make sure they utilize it well. To make things more exciting, late in the game a Giga Ball will appear, which players can destroy to obtain the wide-area Giga Ultimate attack.
To win the fight, fighters must knock all opponents out or have the least “deaths” and damage when the timer runs out. Each player has two “lives” for the entire match.
The winner of the brawl is not the only one celebrated. At the end of the round, each player is given a title based on their performance. Some of these awards recognize a player’s fighting style, like calling out those who jump a lot, those that don’t block, and those that spam special attacks. It’s an immersive way to keep things visually novel and fun for all.
Despite still being in early alpha, the visuals, sound effects, gameplay, and experience of GigaBash were considerably polished. We had loads of fun playing the game, and all it really needs is some character balancing and for the rest of the characters to be finished.
GigaBash will be launching in Q4 2020 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.