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Beast Boxing Turbo on Ouya Freshens the Boxing Genre
Of the 150+ games available on Ouya at launch, Beast Boxing Turbo has captured my attention more than any other as a gem of solid game design. Previously released on PC and Mac, Goodhustle Studios‘ Ouya port of Beast Boxing Turbo makes a strong showing in the launch lineup, securing a spot on the trending list throughout the first week.
Surprisingly Realistic Boxing Mechanics
Beast Boxing Turbo masterfully blends arcade-style pattern-recognition gameplay with a real-world attention to detail. While it may be easy to describe the game as a Punch Out!! clone, Beast Boxing Turbo is also an extremely challenging title with zero tolerance for button-mashing.
Players’ actions are restrained by a power bar that operates much like stamina — when the power bar is low, the player finds himself throwing slow punches, failing to block and doing very little damage. This forces players to box the way they would in real life — using quick and intelligent combinations of real boxing techniques in balance with blocking and dodging. The pacing of a Beast Boxing Turbo match feels just like a real boxing match. It takes time, patience, cunning and determination to take down an opponent, not simply a spastic button-mashing rampage or a clever response to programmed opponent patterns. All of the real-world techniques are there (jab, cross, hook, uppercut), and I find that using real-world combinations is the ticket to success (jab-jab-cross, jab-hook-jab-jab, dodge-hook, etc.).
The artificial intelligence that Goodhustle Studios developed for opponents is quite impressive for an indie title. Opponents learn your techniques as they fight you. After each lost round, opponents analyze your technique and patterns, and come into the next round more prepared for what you’ve already shown them. This forces players to think like real boxers, being patient and using an intelligent meta-strategy to gain a victory. For example, if a player wins Round 1 with jab-cross combinations, he may have to focus more on single hooks or uppercut opportunities in the next round, or he may choose to change the way his predictable job combos end to sneak in an unexpected hit.
Beast Boxing Turbo combines its realistic mechanics with arcade-style pattern-recognition in the style of Punch Out!!. In addition to managing stamina and balancing blocking, dodging and intelligent combos, players are presented with predictable tells and amusing wind-ups to take advantage of each opponent. However, these patterns can happen in a millisecond on the normal difficulty, which the game warns is nearly impossible to conquer. Don’t let the humorous characters, settings and story fool you — this game is not a cake-walk. It takes attention to detail and savvy offensive strategies to truly master this game.
The gameplay design really has me hooked on Beast Boxing Turbo, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it’s unique visual experience. The graphics feature an anime-style cell shading that combines colorful art with fluid and responsive animation. Lovers of character art will be delighted by the game, as each character is hand-drawn to create the kind of detailed portraits that I just want to stare at for a bit before moving on. The game features a well-designed visual style that ties it together for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Ouya Free Trial
Beast Boxing Turbo on Ouya allows players to experience the first three career matches in the “Bush League” before being prompted to make a $5 purchase. I found this trial to be the perfect length to show me what the full game had to offer and give me all the info I needed to click “Buy.” You can experience everything I’ve described for yourself on Ouya before making a buy decision.