It’s not Playstation All Stars.

It’s called Rivals of Aether, and it’s available now on Steam (unfortunately under the Early Access banner). Here’s the official overview:

RIVALS OF AETHER is an upcoming indie fighting game set in a world where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Choose a Rival to bring into the battlefield and manipulate the powers of the classical elements and animal movement. Untangle the mysterious conflicts of the planet Aether in Story Mode or take your combat skills online and challenge your friends across the world.

Sounds promising! Rivals of Aether shamelessly borrows most of Smash Bros’ core fighting mechanics, and that is 100% fine with me. I’m honestly surprised it took this long for another fighting game to spring up that utilizes the damage percentage and off stage kills that the Smash series first popularized. Smash has a huge competitive community, and there’s no reason it should hold some kind of gaming patent on that type of play style.

You can play as Hand Banana from Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

The graphics are all 2D pixel art sprites and I’m not a huge fan of that because of limitations on animation, but it’s no deal breaker. However, there are a couple of red flags that I’m none too sure about just yet. For one, there are no shields, but you can parry attacks. There are no grabs. That’s not so cool – grabs are fun in Smash. Ledge grabbing is also absent, though there are some cases you can employ a kind of wall jump to recover. Finally, L-canceling is not a thing here.

From the looks of it, this is a fun little indie fighting game that borrows a lot of what makes Smash great while seeking to be a uniquely competitive game in itself. It’s got a story mode for each character and that admittedly sounds interesting. The game looks fast and heavy on combo strings so surely that will appeal to Melee die-hards.

Rivals has online versus play (currently only 1vs1) and even the ability to use Gamecube controllers for those of us wiz kids with some technical know-how. It’s a very young game, but the potential here is obvious.

About The Author

John

John is a full-time web developer who writes and streams for multitoad.com. He started Multitoad with Luke "Yogzula" VanTrieste. John loves multiplayer gaming, his wife (known around the site as Queenie), his dog (Marble), horror movies, and sitting down with a nice craft beer. If you want to contact the author of this post, feel free to do so on the community forums.

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