Vtuber combating recreation Idol Showdown caught me off-guard. With the Road Fighter 6 launch date nonetheless a bit manner off, I’ve been hankering to ship a beatdown, however I’ve already sampled a lot of the greatest combating video games on PC. So to stumble throughout Idol Showdown within the new releases, realise it’s free, after which truly be impressed by simply how good this Marvel vs Capcom and Responsible Gear fashion 2D fighter is has been an actual deal with at this time.
Idol Showdown is an unofficial fan-made undertaking based mostly on among the largest vtubers (that’s digital youtubers, or individuals who stream themselves utilizing an animated avatar) from Hololive, one of the crucial distinguished vtuber companies. Developer Besto Sport Crew says that the undertaking has been within the works for 2 years, and it’s out now as a free Steam recreation.
Leaping in, I’m already impressed by the sport’s catchy pixel artwork fashion and soundtrack. I hop into the sport’s tutorial mode and am instantly struck by its complete directions, responsive really feel, and general mechanical depth. Whereas Idol Showdown will really feel acquainted to Road Fighter followers with its quarter-circle motions and tremendous meters (known as the “superchat” meter after the identify for donations despatched by followers throughout streams), it bears nearer resemblance to the likes of Marvel vs Capcom and Responsible Gear.
You get a lightweight, medium, and heavy assault, together with a particular button. Regular strikes could be comboed into same-strength or more and more sturdy assaults, or into specials. Those that favor to maintain mechanical execution to a minimal can use directional inputs with the specials to tug off the sport’s coolest strikes, or you should utilize double-tap and quarter-circle motions together with various assault strengths to manually dial within the assault you need.
The roster can be instantly recognisable to Hololive followers: whereas extra names are on the way in which, the preliminary playable characters are Korone, Ayame, Botan, Fubuki, Suisei, Sora, Akirose, and fan-favourite retired dragon Kiryu Coco. Every has a choice of alternate color schemes based mostly on members they’re usually related to; so one in all Coco’s palettes resembles Kanata, whereas Korone can costume up as her companion in crime Okayu.
The fight itself feels sharp and responsive, with animations and soundbites that may instantly put a smile on the face of followers. From Korone firing out ‘Yubis’ at her opponents or thwacking them with a baseball bat, to Suisei’s iconic “Hello, honey” when you choose her on the character display screen, it’s clear what a top-to-bottom labour of affection Idol Showdown is.
Different favourites make their manner in with the companion system; you select a “collab companion” who could be known as in mid-fight for assaults, very similar to the assists in MvC. These embrace Marine, Mio, Kanata, Iroha, Risu, Roboco, Miko, and English expertise Takanashi Kiara and Amelia Watson – Ame, for instance, can are available for a floor pound assault, or spend extra metre for her stronger time gradual capacity. Different names could be discovered elsewhere: Mumei runs an in-game store, whereas fan-turned-star Ollie reveals up often within the post-game “reside chat” that seems on the finish of rounds.
Just about every little thing you’d anticipate from an anime fighter is in right here – on prime of the fundamental really feel of the fight, there are dashes and runs, grabs, overheads, restoration air techs and bursts, parry-style simply guards to reward completely timed blocks, and much more past. That is no easy knock-off; the time and care that’s gone into Idol Showdown is straight away obvious.
You’ll be able to play the sport in offline 1v1 in opposition to a human or AI participant, tackle a collection of Arcade mode-style fights, or strive the Digital Frontier, a mode the place you journey via areas combating and accumulating gadgets. There’s a coaching room and the beforehand talked about tutorial, and there’s additionally the choice to create and be part of on-line lobbies, which is in beta however makes use of the favored rollback netcode for a easy expertise.
So, whether or not you’re a Hololive fan, a combating recreation aficionado, or (even higher) each of these issues, I actually can’t suggest Idol Showdown sufficient. Idol Showdown is out now on Steam without spending a dime, so head over there and take a look at it out – at that worth, what have you ever received to lose?
When you’re in search of extra nice freebies, we’ve received the most effective free PC video games for many extra picks. In any other case, you should definitely brush up on the Road Fighter 6 roster and browse what we made from the Road Fighter 6 World Tour mode in our hands-on gameplay preview.