Top Critic Average
A staggeringly inept attempt to clone Super Smash Bros. and populate it with indie characters, whose only achievement is to make you appreciate the real thing even more.
Bounty Battle is one of the coolest ideas for a game I've seen in some time, which is partly why I feel like part of my soul has been crushed. This game is an absolute mess. It's presentation is terrible, the character models are laughable, the systems are confusing, and it made me wonder half the time if my PC was broken. Given the rich roster of wonderful indie characters, this should have been a contender. Instead, this fighter's career is over before the bell even rang.
Sadly, Bounty Battle plays about as well as it looks. The goal is to empty the health bar of your enemies, but character animations are so basic and stunted that it's near impossible to tell what's going on — especially during three or four player fights. The controls are responsive enough, but the release is riddled with stuttering issues on PS4 — combat just never feels smooth, and that's a nail in the coffin of any fighting game.
Bounty Battle is one of the very worst video games we've ever played. It's got an amazing premise, for sure, and Dark Screen Games' has somehow managed to procure the use of all of these fantastic indie characters, but that's as far as the positivity goes. Everything else about this appalling mess is absolutely broken. Janky menus, awful combat, a shocking framerate, crude animations and poorly explained mechanics leave this one in a hole that's surely impossible to climb out of; a hole that should be boarded up and forgotten about. If you're considering picking this one up on the strength of that enticing indie Smash Bros. premise, trust us, run away.
To be perfectly honest, I could probably write another 1,000 words explaining just how hollow this experience is. When you figure you have a bland indie fighter, set in largely linear stages, that has, at best, three modes to play, it's not an attractive experience. Toss in stiff animations, extremely frustrating stages, underwhelming characters and it's hard to find something redeeming in Bounty Battle. Heck, I unlocked every costume and can only seemingly use them in one mode, which brings into question why even bother. The really unfortunate thing is, a lot of the problems can be fixed and likely was the goal when it got delayed sometime back but in its current state I struggle to find something positive to say and that is really unfortunate.
Bounty Battle is a game that I was very excited which is why I’m that much more saddened to give it the bad score that I am. A game that brought together so many fantastic indie game characters to fight it out has no business being as rough as this is. The characters all feel the same, the stages are too basic, and the technical issues ruin the rest. If this game gets patched to run better it would still only be an average brawler but for now you should avoid this battle.
Bounty Battle is a disappointment from start to finish. It completely squanders a sincerely impressive character roster with a mixture of convoluted gameplay and poor technical performance. If you're looking for indie Smash Bros., you're better off grabbing the Undertale and Cuphead costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and making the Shovel Knight Assist Trophy the only item.
Bounty Battle is a disappointment through and through. On paper, its concept is fantastic; many players will be tricked into picking up the game so they can see their favourite indie characters in action. But in reality, it’s a mess that will only serve to disappoint.
Bounty Battle's character roster is the only thing it has going for it as everything else comes across like a school project gone wrong.
This game is a hot mess of cheap and nasty gameplay that never pays off or shows any resemblance to something fun. If the year 2020 was a fighting game, it would be called Bounty Battle