reverendhunt's Schwarzerblitz (Steam) (PC) review

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And the man in the hat said everyone attack and it turned into a Schwarzerblitz

What can I say about this marvelous masterpiece? Schwarzerblitz is the ultimate throwback to the era of 3D fighting games that we saw with the PS1, Saturn, and Nintendo 64. Its simple polygonal graphics belies a charming, intriguing, and ultimately fun piece of software.

Now I play a lot of fighting games. And I mean a LOT. There are few I haven't at least tried, ranging from mainstream favorites to the most obscure, unheard of random shovelware from corners of the earth that nobody'd expect a game from. But I can honestly say that Schwarzerblitz rests comfortably in my top 10... maybe even close, at least to top 5, even after only a few days of playing.

The gameplay is simple and yet holds quite a bit of depth. You get a kick, a punch, a guard, and a Tech (specials/throwing) button. On top of this, you get a Trigger, which at the cost of a bullet lets you perform certain actions, like a guardbreaker attack that will also slow down movement Matrix-style for you to string together combos you couldn't before, or a super guard that lets you defend against stuff you ordinarily wouldn't be able to. Of course, it also factors in some of the genre's other expected functions such as ducking, jumping, side-stepping, etc.

One thing I thought was cool that actually took me a while to notice, is that the "rounds won" counter blinks for whoever is in the lead health-wise. It's a neat indicator to tell you who's winning when the life meters are too close to size up on a glance.

Then there's the characters. Oh man. And the lore. It's so fleshed out! Every character oozes with personality shown through Arcade Mode, Versus matches, Story Mode... and there is so much world-building that it takes so much to get your head around it. The Story Mode is about four hours long! And you can dive into character profiles to take in even more information! And I gotta say, as funny as the story can be, and the game definitely does not take itself seriously, there are a few characters' histories and outcomes that got me a bit choked up. And I never expected to actually low-key finding myself shipping characters! I almost never do that!

So I gotta say, it's pretty great. The only thing I really found frustrating is sometimes even on Beginner the AI doesn't seem to play fair at all, especially the boss(es). There were more than a few times where even after watching the dev's hint videos the CPU just ran rampant all over me like I wasn't even trying. And again, I'm not great, at these games, but I've played enough in the past 30+ years to know what I'm doing.

Oh! And it has the easiest mod support I've ever seen in a game. I'm working on some stuff right now I've never thought I'd be able to do with my absolute lack of skill in the area, and I'm seeing some other really neat stuff in the works from others. Maybe the dev will make his favorite ones legit? ;)

So yeah, if you like fighting games at all, play Schwarzerblitz. It's free. There's not really much of an excuse.

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