Battle High 2

In this edition of Second Chance with the Chick, I take a look at a game I played way back in August of 2011.  A game that was a participant in the 2011 Summer Indie Uprising.  A game that..

Huh?  What do you mean this is a different game?  No.

Really?

(checks notes)

Well I’ll be damned.  It really is a sequel.

Awkward.

Even more awkward is the original Battle High that I played I sort of took a big dump on.  Perhaps an undeserved dump.  I was only on my second month as Indie Gamer Chick at that point, and the game was prominently featured in the Uprising event despite being completely unoriginal.  I think my expectations for the types of games in the Uprising (and XBLIGs in general) were misguided.  I thought I would be playing dozens of weird, exotic, experimental games.  Why?  Because I was (some would say “still am“) fucking stupid.

The beautiful truth about Xbox Live Indie Games is that the best titles typically are directly inspired by classic games and formulas.  So was I overly harsh on Mattrified Games?  Yes.  I’ll eat some humble pie and admit that I was wrong, and that Battle High was better than I said.  Their primary goal was to pay respectable tribute to a beloved genre, and I can’t deny they succeeded with Battle High.  I didn’t like it all that much, because I didn’t grow up with an endless stream of 2D fighters that were practically indistinguishable from one another.  I imagine if I had, I might have been more receptive towards it.  Sort like how my father keeps trying to sell me on the new Dallas.  I gave it a shot and thought that it was total crap.  My father watched the original and eats the shit up with a spoon.  The point being whether it’s crap or not is irrelevant to the target audience.

Not that I think Battle High 2 is crap.  It’s not.  If you’re into fighters, I seriously doubt you’ll find a better one on Xbox Live Indie Games.  It controls well.  I guess.  I mean, I would bet it controls much better on an arcade stick.  I had difficulty imputing even the simplest of moves.  Neither the standard Xbox 360 controller or the transforming d-pad one I have are suited for fighters.  But I already learned that lesson years ago when attempting to play Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on XBLA.  I can hardly blame the developer for that.

Calling it a sequel is a bit of a stretch though.  It has basically the same graphics, same characters, same bonus games, same setting, and same controls as the original.  Maybe a new move here, or more emphasis on plot there, or a small handful of new characters.  But, it just doesn’t feel like an evolution.  Maybe more like a special edition, sort of how there were five fucking versions of Street Fighter II before they brought out Street Fighter III.  Put it this way.  If you looked at the two screenshots below, could you tell me which is the original and which is the sequel?  Is it this one?

1 or 2 2

Or this one?

1 or 2 1

The top shot is the new one.  The bottom one is the original.  See what I mean?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Capcom made millions re-relasing the same game with minor tweaks.  If it’s good for them, it’s good for XBLIGs.

I guess there is one major difference I could point out: I had fun this time around.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing about XBLIGs for nearly two years, so I have a better understanding of the platform.  Originality is not the goal of every developer.  I imagine if you were a kid who played fighters and dreamed of making your own fighting game, your first goal on a platform like XBLIG would be to do just that.  That’s what Mattrified Games did with Battle High, and they did a damn good job.  Maybe Battle High is a glorified patch disguised as a sequel, but I enjoyed it, and I have little love in my heart for 2D fighters of the 90s.  I was weaned on Soul Caliber, Marvel vs Capcom 2, and God-awful 3D Mortal Kombat games.  I chalk my dislike of SNK-style fighters to a generational thing.  To me, they’re boring.  Just like how you guys hate the contributions of my generation, like um.. uhhhhhhh.. we had that thing where that guy did that thing that one time and um.. this review is over.

xboxboxartBattle High 2 was developed by Mattrified Games

Seal of Approval Large80 Microsoft Points thought this game was about Matthew Riddle.  That dude always battled high in the making of this review.

Battle High 2 is Chick Approved and ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  No, I’m not retroactively putting Battle High 1 on there, unless you count Battle High 2 as Battle High 1.5, which I do.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

7 Responses to Battle High 2

  1. I’m glad that you had a better experience this go-round. I spent a lot of time testing BH2 and I really think it’s a great fighter. It’s neat being involved in early testing, as I got to find all kinds of broken combos that made me feel like a god of fighting games. 😛

    • One of my first fighters was Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the N64. I think Noob Saibot had a 100% combo. That game was fucking crippled.

      • 100% combos aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Makoto vs Akuma in 3rd Strike, Makoto has a 100% off of a command grab. 100% combos that you can start off of anything and are brain dead to execute, however, are. The example above requires her to be closer to the wall than her opponent, have one meter, have picked the required super (you choose between 3 in that game), and the opponent allow Akuma to be command grabbed (not amazingly easy since his game is very fast-paced and his close standing Fierce Punch is throw-invulnerable). I think most people consider the match-up to be 6-4 in Makoto’s favor (so, in other words, still close), and that’s with the 100% combo.

        Truth be told, most pre-SF4 fighters have 100% combos. In Super SF2 Turbo, I think half the cast has a touch-of-death combo of some sorts. Even Cammy, and she’s one of the worst characters in the game if not THE worst character in the game at this point.

        I never studied MKTrilogy, but I’ve never heard that game talked about nicely. 😛

  2. S says:

    The plot is not the same, though. The first game was mostly about dismantling a gang that stalked the halls of the school, with a few subthreads. This one’s about an evil principal that is stealing everyone’s powers.

  3. Pingback: REVIEW: Battle High 2 | the / . / XBLIG

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