MultiVersus is great — but a few minor tweaks could make it fantastic

After a $100k tournament at Evo that reached 20 million players and the release of Rick-less Morty, it’s impossible to say that MultiVersus has lost momentum since its release. Smash Bros makes it look easy, but it really isn’t. Unlike other platformers, especially ones that contain so many IPs (looking at you, Nickelodeon), MultiVersus has taken steps to ensure that he does not lose the bag now or far in the future. While this game is a far cry from the L it was Street Fighter 5launch, that doesn’t mean all shit is sweet. MultiVersus it has some themes that anyone who has played fighting games for years can immediately see. In fact, the game’s strongest points are everywhere except the gameplay.

The keys to success

MultiVersus is a free competitive fighting game. Like other games under this umbrella, this means that the title is under a lot of pressure to stay with its audience so that it can earn money for future support and updates. This might seem like a simple task for a game with so many crossover characters MultiVersus (and more on the way), but it’s not simply inevitable.

What MultiVersus Game director Tony Huynh has teamed up with the development team at Player First Games to make lemonade a much tastier pink lemonade. The developers took an idea that worked, especially in a media age obsessed with multiverses and crossovers, and built on it to make it even better. The game is free to play, with innovative and fair monetary practices for the genre. It sports tons of fan service and familiar faces. it’s constantly updated (with even bigger updates to come), and — unlike many fighting game developers — the developer stays on top of communication with its player base. I would go so far as to say MultiVersus has had one of the strongest fighting games and online presence in a long time, thanks to the benefit of Warner Bros. money and a team that cares.

Batman and Shaggy in a photo from the MultiVersus cinematic trailer

Image: Player First Games/Warner Bros. Games

Mechanical pains

While everything around the game is almost perfect, the problems with MultiVersus they come from the gameplay inside the pack. The formula is simple — built for all audiences to jump right in and play, just like its Smash ancestor. However, playing for a long time will show that some of MultiVersusThe balance decisions may not be the most mechanically sound for this game or the platform fighter genre in general.

One problem is the lack of offensive moves. Characters in MultiVersus they have access to fewer attacks than fighters in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and even Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. While this may not seem like much of a problem, it is stacked on top of an attack decay mechanic. This means that a move weakens after a certain number of consecutive uses. For example, if you constantly attack under the air, this move will become less effective.

Attack decay is also present in titles such as Smash Bros. Ultimatebut the relatively small movement MultiVersus makes it an issue. Less selection of efficient movements equals more movement stagnation. Not only does Smash Bros have more moves, but the attack decay disc is bigger. In case that MultiVersusthe disc seems to be around a tail of 4 or 5 attacks, vs Breaking‘s 9. This is able to discourage players from ignoring character moves and focusing on using their strongest attacks, but it’s unacceptable with so few attacks to choose from.

Batman, Harley Quinn, Jake the Dog and Arya Stark battle in MultiVersus snapshot

Image: Player First Games/Warner Bros. Games

Another issue that arises in the battle system is dodge. This mechanic serves as a mobility tool, giving characters a way to escape from pressure, as well as access to techniques like wave landing and air throwing. But unlike a game like Smash Bros., players enter MultiVersus he can act almost immediately after taking advantage of the dodge and invincibility frames it provides. These invincibility frames also last long after the dodge, so it’s a tall order for the player on the other end to read and punish this great escape option, especially on top of how fast and visually heavy this game already is. The power and lack of effective cooldown in this mechanic becomes especially apparent in 1v1 matches where both players dodge literally everything. Because, yes, you can literally dodge everything including standard jab compound chords.

Two Batman characters square off in the MultiVersus Lab training mode

Image: Player First Games/Warner Bros. Games via Polygon

Speaking of cooldowns, let’s bring the final big issue to the front. While cooldowns on the moves themselves are acceptable in his world MultiVersus, their visual implementation could do with some work. Looking at the previous reviews, you’ll see a list of things to look out for in an average game MultiVersus: Which movements are stationary? Did my opponent dodge? Is my Dodge on cooldown? Is my opponent’s dodge on cooldown? Not to mention you’ll need to watch your partner, your opponent’s characters, your character, and all the looney objects on the screen. It’s not easy to manage keeping track of multiple cooling meters on top of all that. It doesn’t help that the little cooldown meters in the UI aren’t the easiest to see either.

Since its release MultiVersus, other players have noticed similar issues. Common recommendations include getting rid of cooldowns and bringing a stamina bar tied to specials and dodge, giving players just a meter to watch their attack decay. All I am sure of is this MultiVersus it’s a few mechanical errors away from being an unparalleled fighting game experience across all sides of the multiverse.

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