Typically I'm not a fan of clone games, far too often do you get games that are just reskins of more popular existing games. However, while Brawhalla may look like Smash brothers and has some of the same mechanics, it's just different enough to not be a clone in my book;for better or for worse.
Brawlhalla is a 4 player online/local multi-player indie game that is basically smash brothers boiled down to it's most basic components(beta is beta). Do damage to others to get them in the yellow or red, then kock them off the stage for a point. One with the most points at the end wins.
From a graphical and design standpoint, the game is very good looking. The fighters in game gush personality everywhere, they are all very colorful and well animated. There's something for everybody, anything from a one eyed alien to a cyberpunk gunner. If I have one issue with the graphics is that the stages are a little sparse on the activity. Maybe a few birds here and there, a unicorn in the backround, Thor backhanding Loki; soemthing to add a little more flavor to the stages.
Next up is sound; it's pretty good and sets the mood for every battle fairly well. Sound effect could use a little bit more fine tuning as punches and kicks sound like I'm hitting a bag of rice sometimes or full plate wearing characters do not make an audible clang when I slam them into the ground, little things like that.
Next up, controls and options (and netcode, I'll get to that in a moment). The options menu, needs work. A couple of sound sliders and a fullscreen on/off is not a good menu to work with. The game defualts to your desktop resolution, but switching it to windowed soemtiems makes the entire game vanish to a small window in the bottom corner (Mostly on widescreen setups). Controls are fine for the most part, though I have two minor issues with them; no gamepad rebindable buttons or an attack cancel; the latter of which can cripple a heavy character.
As for the gameplay; I feel there are a few issues that need ironed out. Firstly the game seems to have 3 weight classes; though only 2 seemed to be implemented correctly. An example is in order. All the fast characters in game have low defense and all the high defense characters are really slow moving. Those 2 modles are almostr balanced correctly; the slower oens are harder to knock off the stage and the faster ones are harder to hit (though I say the slower oens need to be harder to knock off by a small bit).
Then you have the middle stat range characters like the viking or armoed knight. Bother seem to fall into soem kinda medium catagory but both function as if they are heavy. On the flip side you have couple other 'mediums' that act more like light characters. It's as if they passes some kind of arbitary stat line that turns them from one class to another. This is kind of a minor issue , but could be irone dout a bit.
I also found a few minor balance issues, mainly the rocket/steam powered giant lance. Not only can you use it as a 4th jump, but the hit arc on the front side is massive and the recovery time after such an attack is a bit too small. It's not too much a bane for the lighter fighters, but is absolutely lethal for the heavier combatants.
I would also liek to see a bit more variation in each character, maybe a bit more personality behind some special atatcks they have at a later date. Although this is a personal preference as mechanically the combat is(mostly) sound and such a thing could ruin that balance.
Lastly I find the jumping to be a little on the predictable side; meaning edge camping could be a potential issues in the future.
However, even with the minor issues the game has (Such as folks having connection issues in places like North Dakota...sucks to be you guy) It's stil a blast to play. With so few good brawling games on pc, let alone one with local AND online multiplayer I can't not recommend this game. Most of what is does is mechanically sound and it's still in beta, meaning it can only get better.
One more thing, the game is friggin free. Yeah, you heard me FREE. You can sign up for beta on the games forum for a steam key and most likely get one. If you like the game, theres cosmetic stuff you can buy or just buy a founders pack for 10$ or so and get a bunch of stuff at discount.
I whole heartedly recommend youze mugs at least try the game. Worst case the only thing you wasted was time.
Video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04EFR1GzJhQ