Second in line for the Indie Game Summer Uprising, is the tremendous old-school, 1v1 fighter, Battle High: San Bruno. Bringing together a group of eight high-school fighters, in a quest for friends, girls, and credibility, the fights that ensue are nothing short of epic.
Offering a fairly standard selection of gamemodes, ranging from everyone’s favourite classic, Arcade Mode, to a series of mini-games, giving you a break from the battle. For an indie title, you get a lot of content for your money, but not all are necessarily a good addition. The three mini-games can become tiresome very quickly, only giving you a basic challenge of kicking back a five second long stream of balls. So there’s not much replay value in these.
However, of course these minor modes aren’t the core experience, and what San Bruno sets out to do, it does damn well.
At it’s heart, San Bruno is just your standard fighting game, with the expected special moves, super combos etc. but for some reason, it just seems to feel, and play better than many of the titles out on the market today. Your usually quarter circle motions will conjure up your special move, whether it be a projectile, or fire punch, and doing an often complex motion would activate your characters unique super move, which always ties in with their elemental design. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a short list of moves for each character, with only two variations for each move, something you wouldn’t like to see in a modern title. But what could you expect from an indie gamThe each character more than satisfies, and even with the small amount of options, learning that 8-hit combo sure takes some time.
The combat system is especially fluid, with small exceptions for some broken moves. Everything chains together perfectly, and the beautifully crisp sprites flow in their animations. Chaining together a combo simply requires the correct button presses, not a move will fail to hit, or decide not to work at certain points. Simple flaws that are still found in current fighters, but not San Bruno.
Multiplayer, aside from local, is not featured in the game. Although, there’s only a handful of indie games that actually incorporate multiplayer in some way. So, even though it would be a welcome addition, it’s failure to be included is not something I’d hold against the game. Local multiplayer is great fun when you have your friends around, and being a new release, it’s fun playing a fighter that no one fully understands yet, pulling off things you don’t even know how.
With a little polishing, and some minor fixes, I think that San Bruno could be a full XBLA release. I’d even go as far to say that it’d be on par with older Street Fighter games. San Bruno is the best indie game I have ever played. Period. And for it’s insanely modest price of 80MSP, I won’t even advise you to buy it; I’ll tell you.
Go buy it.