Challenging 2D platformers that play like Super Meat Boy are nothing new. So, does League of Evil hold up in the genre? Get your mighty fist ready to decapitate some scientists and let's find out.
Wait, haven't I already played this? That's right, when I bought an Ouya a few years back, League of Evil was one of the few games that I played on it. I remember thinking it was a fun little game. Now that I've played it on Switch, it's all coming back to me. You basically play as a cyborg who's on a mission to kill an evil organisation's scientists. You do so by traversing brief stages then punching the scientist who's just standing there at the end. Couldn't they at least run away in fear? They're pretty dumb for scientists. Anyway, the gameplay is simple as all you do is run around, jump off walls, double-jump, and attack. However, there are plenty of hazards just waiting to end your existence. Whether it's retractable spikes, rotating hammers, or an assortment of enemy guards; you're going to have to tread carefully so you don't end up biting the dust.
League of Evil's graphics and sound aren't anything special. The retro pixel-filled world is far from imaginative and it all just comes across as generic stuff. That being said, at least there are six visual styles that are introduced throughout its campaign. The audio is equally unmemorable with plenty of stereotypical chiptunes and a lack of satisfying sound effects. However, there is something strangely satisfying about punching the scientist after working your way through a super-tough stage just to watch his head fly off complete with a splash of blood. It's ridiculous but it also makes me wish the story was more humorous as the dialogue sequences fall flat.
League of Evil features a level editor which is pretty cool for a game as small as this. You can both create missions and download them so sharing with the online community can be rather fun. However, the editor itself is a bit cumbersome. Luckily, you can utilise the touch screen to draw platforms and such but the menus could definitely use some fine-tuning. Also, the fact that you have to download an online mission then back out of the menus and navigate to it through another series of menus in order to play it is far too unintuitive. Considering they take a split-second to download, why couldn't you just play them directly from the level browsing menu? You could download packs of levels to be more efficient but that way, you never know what kind of levels you'll end up with.
The most disappointing aspect of League of Evil is that the gameplay gets old fast. There sure aren't many different stage hazards or enemies so once you've seen them all, the whole experience starts to feel monotonous and repetitive. I wish there were more gameplay mechanics like grappling hooks, gravity-changing, or anything besides just jumping around. Even the stages themselves are tedious due to the lack of hazard and enemy variety. On top of all this, there are no additional modes to play around in. All you get is the single player campaign and the online levels. There are no mini-games or multiplayer component to be found; just a lame list of achievements. Basically, if League of Evil looks interesting then do yourself a favour by spending a few extra bucks to download Slime-san instead.
League of Evil is a simplistic 2D platformer that's clearly inspired by Super Meat Boy. The thing is, without any unique gameplay hooks, it ends up being a mostly unappealing experience that pales in comparison to its genre counterparts.
- + Simple yet challenging 2D platforming
- + Murdering scientists is strangely fun
- + Level creator adds some replay value
- - Both gameplay and stage designs are uninspired and get monotonous fast
- - Graphics and sound are nothing special
- - Lack of variety and modes