Okay, first thing's first: I hate MOBAs.
I really hate them. The fantasy/myth/RPG styled theme, all the nonsense you need to cram into your brain faster than forgetting to study for a test and doing it last minute (I personally can tolerate that kind of stuff, but not with MOBAs) and the hostile communities make me hate them. Hate's a strong word, too.
However, Awesomenauts is a significant turn for the better. Although the online multiplayer has its share of issues, Awesomenauts stands out from the rest and is what MOBAs should be like.
The graphics are cartoon-like, with a cheerful (yet dark at the same time) atmosphere. No fantasy stuff here, Awesomenauts is a sci-fi theme and that's something worth seeing after the same old MOBA. I love the visuals for the game, and I see nothing wrong with them.
The gameplay is simpler at first for the rookie MOBA player. Shoot stuff, (attacking without abilities has a bit of a meaning now, hooray!) use your abilities to get an edge over the other 'Nauts, and much more. But then, when you get into it, you'll start analyzing your playstyle to suit your needs with that 'Naut, how to take on the opponent in a one-on-one, and more. Although I did experience significant amounts of lag that costed me quite a few deaths and also really bad matchmaking, the gameplay is still solid to me.
The story is simple and straightforward. You play as an Awesomenaut (or Lonestar in the tutorial) and you need to destroy the enemy's Solar drill. Solar is crucial to your employer for an unknown reason, and you need to destroy the drill so you hinder the enemy's Solar supply. MOBAs are known for their lore, and although this game lacks lore compared to other MOBAs, Awesomenauts doesn't fit in the category of a fantasy/RPG world like this.
The audio is probably the key point to the game. The music (especially the theme song, just play the trailer if you haven't done so already) is outstanding, and the themes really get into your head. My personal favorite themes are Froggy G, Yuri, and the new character Scoop. The voice actors did an OUTSTANDING job with playing the characters and don't seem all bold or shrouded like most MOBAs do. Each one has their own personality that makes them unique from the others, and if I'm not mistaken, popular Youtuber TotalBiscuit even voiced one of the characters (Vinnie and Spike I believe) which I found pretty interesting. The audio overall to this game is near perfection, and I feel empty inside without those "awesome
The replayability is pretty massive. I don't want to touch up here much because it's a MOBA. Its easy to get hundreds of hours logged onto a MOBA.
For one thing though, Awesomenauts has some major pros that don't fit into any of the five main categories. The developers are dedicated, for one. They constantly release updates and even do some charity work. Check out Lonestar's Private Mels (?) skin. A kid came in from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and made his own skin for his favorite Awesomenaut. The updates keep on rolling in, and the most recent (as of this review anyway, 2.7 in case you're wondering) introduces Scoop, buffed every character in the game, gained a new main menu, and so much more it's better I keep my mouth shut. One more thing though that sets Awesomenauts apart from the rest is that the community is much, much, MUCH nicer compared to the other MOBAs.
You don't get yelled at for screwing up, you actually GET help when you need it, and so Awesomenauts makes me feel comfortable when I get on.
In the end, Awesomenauts may be in my least favorite game genre, but who cares? Awesomenauts still got a thumbs-up from me. Aside from a few online flaws, Awesomenauts is a game that fails to disappoint me, and is one amazing adventure not worth missing.
+Outstanding voice acting
+Unique style, executed well
+Catchy theme song
+Easy to learn but hard to master gameplay done right
+Awesome cast of characters
+Unique character themes
-Ranking is meaningless