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The Crashing and Burning of an Awesomenaut - Destructoid

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The following blog is set for One Fall! Introducing first, he is the Hylian Champion! Winner of the Seven-Year Slam, making the Hylian Ring safer, one Powerbomb of Courage at a time!

AboveUp!





Started gaming on an Atari 2600, grew into the gamer I am now with Nintendo, playing on an NES and SNES. Became more aware of the wider scope of gaming through the Playstation and Xbox. Now I'm loving the PC gaming life.

My favorite games include A Link to the Past, Terranigma, Guilty Gear X2, Viewtiful Joe, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and DotA 2.

Huge comic book reader, and currently keeping up with Saga and Hawkeye.

My favorites are The Sandman Vol 4, Batman - Court of Owls, and V for Vendetta.

Lover of wrestling, although not so much of the infamous Attitude Era. Much of more a CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler kinda guy.

Life-long reader of books of the fictional and non-fictional variety. Love Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Wendig and Haruki Murakami.

My biggest dream is that one day Quintet returns and makes a current generation Terranigma.

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While the Steam sales were going on, I decided to pick up Awesomenauts. No real reason, I just figured I could do with a new multiplayer game felt like Awesomenauts might be the thing I was looking for. I still miss the days of my better computer, and my current laptop cannot run two of my major online gaming titles: DotA 2 and Smite. To an extent, I managed to replace DotA 2 with League of Legends, although I can't say the switch is all that satisfying. So I was hoping Awesomenauts could take the place of Smite and maybe give me some more of the frantic fast-paced action I was looking for.

Before I get into anything else, I love the music and artstyle for this game. I'm a firm believer of the rule that a game's soundtrack is the best indication of whether or not a game knows its own identity. Awesomenauts absolutely owns its own identity, and in a time where music and memorable theme songs seem to be fading out, that's certainly a good thing. The special theme songs all the characters have add a lot to the game, and are easily my favorite thing about the entire experience.

This is where I'm going to stop being positive though, because this is pretty much where my good experience with Awesomenauts ends. Most of my problems with the game aren't really with the game itself, but with the way it is played online. But at the same time, these are things that are happening because of design choices from the developers, so I don't think it's unfair to hold it against the game itself.

Most people who can't get into games like League of Legends and DotA 2 often have a problem with how time consuming a single game is. Once a game starts, you're locked in and can't leave. Sure, you can disconnect, but do it enough and you'll be punished for this behavior as you're creating a bad experience for your other team members. Awesomenauts on the other hand, lets you enter and leave games while they're ongoing.

I understand why they're doing this. They want a faster paced action style, something more in line with team-based shooters like Team Fortress 2, rather than the serious DotA 2 style where you really need to stick together. Except it doesn't work out quite like Team Fortress 2, because Team Fortress 2 doesn't offer you rewards for playing well and sticking to a game like Awesomenauts does. Stick to a single game and do well enough, and you'll outlevel your opponents, have more abilities, more stuns, more health, you name it.

So once the balance starts to tip in the favor of one team, everyone on the other team is free to disconnect and look for a more balanced experience. Ragequits all around. New players come in, and while the game does try to accomodate their lateness with extra money and experience, they're still behind on the curve. The ability to join and leave games in progress pretty much just causes the game to stack in one team's favor. Worse yet, because of the matchmaking system, you can't control if you're going to join a new game, or one that's been going on for a while already when you start. The only control you have is the to not disconnect after winning or losing one game so that you'll be there from the start next round. In the time I've been playing, I've lost every first game to an incredibly stacked enemy team, before wrecking them on a level playing ground the next game.

There's got to be a better system for joining games in a more arcade, fast-paced setting for what Awesomenauts is trying to do, because unless you're starting a game with a full friends group to force the game to give you a fresh lobby, you're going to be joining lost games every time. And losing in Awesomenauts is not fun, since in a lot situations and team combinations, there's less you can do about it than a more serious title. Even ARAM in League of Legends has this aspect more together.



In terms of strategy, Awesomenauts is pretty basic. Because I rarely see players who want to play a tank or supportive character, I tend to play Skoldir. Get the Earthquake and snare upgrade for it first. Then get the stun for the my third punch. I'll live on supporting others for their kills until I get my throw, then it's time to combo people to death without them being able to do anything about it. Especially in a game like Awesomenauts where mobility is everything, taking away control is a gamebreaker. My current record for Ragequits after doing a full combo is six people in one game.

Awesomenauts is a weird experience. I really want to like it, but it's so hard to actually enjoy it since most of the design choices made to make the game more accessible and easy to get into get in the way of my enjoyment. Maybe I need to play with more people. Maybe someone from Destructoid should show me the way of Awesomenauts. If so, feel free to add me on Steam and invite me to a game. I'd love to have a more positive experience with the game for a change.



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