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Review

Smashing the Battle (Switch eShop) Review

by April 25, 2019

Smashing the Battle is shameless, and yet I feel ashamed. The Switch eShop does not leave one wanting of cheap beat em’ ups so, upon some soul searching, I’ve realised I must have been seeking titillation. The game offers that in spades, but there’s design choices that take that and tip it towards depravity.

That sounds dramatic, but even navigating the game’s menu had me inadvertently zooming in and out on the player characters’ chests (up is not always up, you see). Every aspect, from character art, to endlessly bouncing busts, to the barely-animated narrative sequences is designed to push you from ‘bored and horny’ to ‘anime body pillow life partner’.

It’s a shame that it’s so easy to dismiss Smashing the Battle at face value when there’s some solid game mechanics hiding underneath the skimpy veneer. An isometric brawler that’s a shallow mix of Diablo and Bayonetta allows each of the game’s two characters to dispatch hordes of enemies with standard attacks, mines, lures, long range attacks, and even an AI buddy that can be remotely detonated. I say shallow because you can rely on a small mix of attacks and survive most situations handily.

Some abilities are more useful than others, and some are designed almost purely to reduce your character to a one piece swimsuit (or less, when it comes to the alternate costumes). The dodge ability, for instance, allows you to recharge your SP, which in turn allows you to use skills more often. Activating “OVERDRIVE MODE”, on the other hand, sheds your armour to allow you to output more damage. You can fumble your thumbs to activate any number of these skills and push through with little in the way of resistance.

There certainly is a lot going on here

There are 60 levels that comprise the story, which involves completing one of two objectives: kill all the enemies and kill all the enemies in a time limit. Provided you upgrade your standard attack and armour values, there are very few levels that will demand more than a couple of attempts. There’s a lot of recycling in terms of level and enemy design across the two campaigns. There’s also a whole heap of challenge levels to play if you’re still not worn down by the tedium (and shame, don’t forget the shame) of the barely discernible narrative.

tfw u receive bonus scrap

Scolding myself for buying a game like Smashing the Battle will do nothing to smash the patriarchy and, to be honest, I actually enjoyed it in part. I mean, I played through 62 levels, read some poorly-formatted text, and forgot about the world for a few short hours. It may have produced more remorse than stimulation, and there’s a strong sense of repetition across the entire package, but Smashing the Battle certainly is a video game about robots, armour and the absence of both.


FScolding myself for buying a game like Smashing the Battle will do nothing to smash the patriarchy and, to be honest, I actually enjoyed it in part. I mean, I played through 62 levels, read some poorly-formatted text, and forgot about the world for a few short hours. It may have produced more remorse than stimulation and there’s a strong sense of repetition across the entire package, but Smashing the Battle certainly is a video game about robots, armour and the absence of both.

Rating: 2/5

The Good

- Solid brawling
- Plenty of levels

The Bad

- Shallow and repetitive combat and level design
- Sexually exploitative visual style
- My body pillow got jealous

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Scolding myself for buying a game like Smashing the Battle will do nothing to smash the patriarchy and, to be honest, I actually enjoyed it in part. I mean, I played through 62 levels, read some poorly-formatted text, and forgot about the world for a few short hours. It may have produced more remorse than stimulation and there’s a strong sense of repetition across the entire package, but Smashing the Battle certainly is a video game about robots, armour and the absence of both.

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Tristan Damen

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