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‘EngineOwning’ cheats detected by Warzone as users get banned

Another massive cheat creation site called “EngineOwning” is now become unusable in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Infinity Ward, alongside Raven & Blizzard, appear to have found a way to detect users who are using cheats from the ‘EngineOwning’ website late last week.

Since then, users who have been using cheats from EngineOwning have been banned and forced to stop using their cheats in Call of Duty: Warzone.

EngineOwning updated their website to state that Warzone’s cheats are now been ‘detected’ by the developers, meaning they can ban all who are using this cheat in game.

Following this update, users on the site’s forum have started to whine and cry about being banned for using a cheat advertised as “undetectable.” Here’s some of the cheaters, whining on the site (via @ProRebornYT).

One user said he wants a “refund” on the cheats and game:

Another user complained that the site should stop advertising as “undetectable” as now their accounts are banned.

This ban wave appears to have gone out with even a new patch update, as these messages were posted over the past weekend.

Activision has also been pursuing other cheat creator websites with legal cease and desist orders and lawsuits, forcing them to remove all Activision related cheats from their website.

The post ‘EngineOwning’ cheats detected by Warzone as users get banned appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


New streak ‘Foresight’ added to Warzone

Infinity Ward devs have added in a new killstreak as part of the Season 6 update, which was not announced prior to the launch.

The new streak, which fans and streamers have been finding in bunkers, is called Foresight.

This new streak, per the players who have used it, lets players see the upcoming circles for the rest of the current Warzone match they are in.

It’s not clear how easy it is to find this new ‘Foresight’ streak.

Foresight reveals all upcoming circles, including all the very final circle’s location on your map when it’s activated.

Per the streamer’s screen grab (Its_Iron), it here’s how it shows the upcoming circles:

This is one of the newest additions to Call of Duty: Warzone sure to be met with some controversy, as it appears to give teams that find it an incredible advantage while playing the match.

The post New streak ‘Foresight’ added to Warzone appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Call of Duty: Warzone’s new season gets spooky with a Halloween event and a pet vampire bat

The rollout road map for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone’s Season Six will include a Halloween-themed event toward the end of October, plus five new multiplayer game types, after Sept. 29’s huge update goes live.

Infinity Ward offered a preview of what’s to come in the rest of the month on Monday. The stuff available beginning Sept. 29 at 2 a.m. ET includes two new operators and four new multiplayer maps for Warzone, plus a subway system to help fighters traverse Verdansk. That was previewed at the end of last week.

Of the new maps, two — Mialstor Tank Factory and Broadcast — are core mode multiplayer spaces. Station and Verdansk Riverside will host Gunfight and Ground War matches, respectively. Killstreak Confirmed, a variant on the Kill Confirmed game type, also joins Warzone with the Tuesday update. In it, players’ killstreaks won’t reset on death, “so you’ll want to rush for tags as fast as possible to earn your Killstreaks.” But staying alive will allow players to “wrap” killstreaks, by earning the same streak reward multiple times.

Image: Infinity Ward/Activision

A new season brings with it a new Battle Pass, serving both Modern Warfare and Warzone. Today’s post has a lot more on what’s available. Buying in at 1,000 COD Points ($9.99 gets you 1,100) gives players instant access to Farah, who returns as a playable operator. Getting a battle pass bundle for 2,400 COD Points ($19.99) includes skips for up to 20 tiers out of the 100 in the pass. At tier 100, players unlock Nikolai as an operator. They also get a blueprint for a legendary VSS Assault Rifle, plus a Halloween skin for the Cargo Truck.

Battle pass owners can also unlock Edward, a pet vampire bat that can be used to slay opponents as a finishing move.

A vampire bat attacks a player in a screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare/Warzone Image: Infinity Ward/Activision

As for how big all the patch is, that’s always a hot topic. Console players will find it more modestly sized than past updates, with the PlayStation 4 update coming in at 19.3 GB and the Xbox One at 22.66 GB. PC players with Modern Warfare must download 57 GB, or 25.5 GB if they have Warzone only.

However, full-version owners on console will have to download the Compatibility (8 GB) and Survival (5.9 GB) packs to access Multiplayer, Special Ops, and Survival modes. Survival is available to PS4 players immediately, and Xbox One and PC players on Thursday, Oct. 1.


NBA 2K21’s latest patch shores up shooting, other controls

NBA 2K21’s latest patch is mainly a collection of fixes and optimizations, but many relate to the game’s new controls — and player feedback about them — making version 1.03 an important update. It’s available as of now on all platforms.

For starters, the size of the shot meter is increased, “based on feedback from the community,” says the patch notes. This should be helpful to those who have found perfect release timing to be a lot more difficult in NBA 2K21, and perhaps for those who are trying to adapt to the new Shot Stick Aiming option.

Shooting at the three lower difficulty levels was addressed in a hotfix for NBA 2K21 two days after its Sept. 4, 2020 launch, though players in the game’s forums, subreddit, and elsewhere have still griped about it.

Shot Stick Aiming, which director Mike Wang last month called a refinement of a control introduced in NBA 2K17, introduces left/right accuracy to the timing game. We didn’t find it to be helpful in our review, but more experienced players may disagree. Timing and aiming may both be toggled on or off in the controls (with both off meaning shots depend entirely on the shooting player’s ratings).

With that in mind, pull-up jump shots have been nerfed. Evidently this is one area where shooting was easier, but that also draws community feedback. Players also won’t have as quick a step “out of certain dribble moves,” but they will find that more of their removes “yield ankle breakers and defensive reactions.” Wang, answering fans on social media, said ankle-breakers were worked on in version 1.02, and should be completely fixed with this patch.

Shooting out of post moves will also be more responsive. Speaking from experience, I had quickly abandoned what little post game my small forward had, finding a shot on my right thumbstick nigh impossible with low to average ratings.

Finally, Park Dribble Moves (specific to games in that multiplayer venue) have not been taken out of the game — an option Wang considered (on Twitter) two weeks ago. But they’re now activated with a left stick click/toggle “for more consistent dribbling controls.” Previously, they had been activated with a right stick click-and-hold, which led to input mistakes or the inability to get them to activate.

Though Patch No. 2 doesn’t implement all new features or content, it is a hefty enough one to merit NBA 2K21 players’ full attention. All of the changes, fixes, balancing and re-balancing is recapped in Visual Concepts’ latest Courtside Report blog.


You have to play the most confident game of 2020

I’ve been playing video games since I was a kid, and while there are always incredible games released year after year, it’s rare for me to play something that feels fresh, bold, and completely in its own lane. Paradise Killer doesn’t just hit those highs, it skates past them with the sort of confidence that turns heads.

The high-level pitch: Paradise Killer is an open-world detective game where you play as Lady Love Dies — yes, everyone has a very Metal Gear Solid name here — as she explores a reality-bending island, finds clues, and questions suspects in whatever order you’d like. Your goal is to solve an elaborate murder involving gods and demons.

Mind you, this isn’t a normal island. Hell, you’re not even completely human. Basically, in this world, there are powerful gods who will bestow special powers onto their followers. You and a group of other pious servants are devoted enough that said gods saw fit to put you in a pocket dimension that you rule over completely. And, to show your gratitude, your god syndicate starts kidnapping a small army of humans whose only purpose is to pray, or, should they be so unlucky, eventually get sacrificed. These gods demand blood, and lots of it.

Paradise Killer throws all of that at you and then cuts you loose to do whatever you see fit. Mystery games don’t typically give you the freedom to go anywhere and talk to anyone at any time. And to be sure, the design of the game is strong enough that, whenever I pieced together a hidden agenda or broke someone’s alibi, I felt like a genius. I was especially delighted when my thorough exploration of the peculiar island was rewarded with clues that would be otherwise easy to miss.

Paradise Killer doesn’t hold your hand at all. There’s a button that can tell you where a character is, and a menu that compiles all the evidence and timelines you’re discovering as you go, along with potential leads, but the game never tells you if you’re on the right track, or what the next step is.

Even as you build an entire narrative in your head, the game never fully tells you if your answer is the correct one. As I write this, a week after beating the game, I am left with questions and doubts about the verdict I came up with, and whether I missed some key piece of information. This is by design. The game wants you to understand that “justice” is a delicate thread that we try and weave into coherent narratives, but our prejudices and blind spots might make it impossible to see the whole picture.

Did I mention that you can pursue romances with the suspects? And that, incidentally, both of the people I slept with during the course of the game somehow didn’t end up tied to the larger conspiracy? Yeah. Listen: I know made a good case. There was a lot of evidence against the people I pointed my finger at. But I just don’t know, and it’s eating me up in such a way that I can almost imagine the developers reading these words and smiling to themselves. The game knows what it does, and the mystery has enough pull to now live rent free in my head. I hate it and love it for that.

A character in Paradise Killer. Image: Fellow Traveller/Kaizen Game Works

And yet to boil Paradise Killer down to its mechanical strengths would be a complete disservice to the world it builds. You play as a member of the ruling class, essentially, and the nonchalant way these people talk about the humans below them is horrifying. It’s especially unsettling to explore the society the syndicate has built for humanity, and see firsthand all the altars and monuments where people died over deities that they may not even believe in.

Paradise Killer has loads of lore. Honestly, everything the game dumps on you is overwhelming at first, but once I started remembering names and concepts, I was hooked. I needed to know more about how this messed-up world worked and how it got to the point where I jumped in. I especially wanted to find out more about the figures overseeing the whole thing.

And boy, are they characters. Similarly to the Danganronpa games, the playing field itself is 3D, but the people who inhabit it are drawn lush 2D illustrations. The art director seems to have been given instructions to make everyone as hot as possible, because nearly everyone in this game ripped or has an otherworldly fashion sense. Part of it, I’m sure, is to make your lust work against you during investigations. But also, since these are people who have literally been blessed by gods, they can look like anything. One of the characters is an assassin dude who died and turned into a sentient red skeleton. The skeleton owns a bar where you can buy and learn about drinks, by the way. Another character was chosen to be an idol for the masses, so the gods turned her head into a goat. And the more humanoid of these cast members still manage stand tall next to such weird concepts!

This shouldn’t work. A game can’t come out here and try to introduce me to a character called “Witness To The End” with a straight face and expect me to take it seriously. The whole thing screams try-hard, which is antithetical to coolness. Coolness does not try. It simply is. That’s what makes it cool.

The opening area in Paradise Killer. Image: Fellow Traveller/Kaizen Game Works

And in lesser hands, maybe it wouldn’t have worked. The fact that Paradise Killer manages to pull any of it off is a testament to its incredible vaporwave aesthetics and impeccable design sense. I have not played a game that looked this good or sounded this good since Persona 5. Everything here, from the UI elements to the character designs, pops. This is a game that treats you to a banging city pop track when you fast travel via an interdimensional sports car. It is a game where neon-colored limbs stretch out from water fountains, and Babel-like pyramids rest easy next to Japanese apartments. It is a game where you will climb a mountain to shoot the shit with a naked blue alien who is perpetually flipping you off.

There are just so many things going on in this game that it is a wonder that all these wild ideas fit neatly alongside each other, as if they were always meant to be together. Nearly everything else I’ve played in 2020 feels safe and contained next to strangeness of Paradise Killer. The game isn’t afraid to fire on all cylinders, no matter how overwhelming the lore might be seem, or how outrageous the characters might sound on paper. It won’t even tell you if you “won” by the end of it all, if such a thing is possible. What you get, in turn, is a game that takes chances and trusts that you will go along for the ride full of demons, aliens, and human sacrifices.

And as I think back on my choices and the version of justice I doled out in the game, I’m not sure I’ve fully disembarked the ride yet. Paradise Killer is one of the best video games of the year.


Modern Warfare & Warzone Season 6 PlayStation exclusive content

PlayStation Blog has announced the latest batch of exclusive content for PlayStation users in Modern Warfare and Warzone.

Activision has confirmed that Modern Warfare’s Survival mode officially arrives on Xbox One and PC on October 1, 2020, but PlayStation gets a bonus Combat Pack exclusively for Season 6.

Survival mode gets an update with a new map: Hovec Sawmill. This map is only on PS4 until October 1, 2020.

In addition, there’s a Warzone Season Six Combat Pack available only on PS4. The Warzone Season 6 Combat Pack is a timed PlayStation exclusive until December 1, 2020.

Survive the Gulag in Warzone or fight to secure the victory in Multiplayer bundle that is free for all Playstation Plus subscribers. Download the Pack by going to the Franchise section of the Store and scroll down to the Miscellaneous section. The bundle includes the following:

  • Epic Rodion ‘Red Death’ skin (This skin unlocks the Operator, if not already owned)
  • Epic ‘Shivvie’ Melee Weapon
  • Epic ‘Slipshod’ Handgun Weapon Blueprint
  • Epic ‘Ball and Chain’ Charm
  • Epic ‘Don’t Back Down’ Calling Card
  • Epic ‘Gulag’ Emblem
  • Epic ‘Inside Job’ Sticker
  • 60 Minute Double XP Token

There is also a timed exclusive Weapon Blueprint, which is available only on PS4 until October 1, 2020, per the PS Blog.

Turn the Tides and Earn the *Exclusive Tide Pool Blueprint

A sniper designed for players who lock down lanes in Multiplayer and can eliminate squads escaping the circle collapse in Warzone. The blueprint is earned in a five-step mission set, found in Missions, that requires use of multiple weapon classes and in-match skills. The weapon has a shorter barrel that other sniper rifles but can still go the distance thanks to a quality scope. Build a complete loadout with an agile and strong-secondary like the GS or Renetti and perks that help you withstand damage like Battle Hardened and EOD until the job is done.

Stay tuned for the latest news on Modern Warfare and Warzone.


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Modern Warfare Survival mode available October 1 on all platforms

Activision has officially announced that Modern Warfare’s Survival mode, which launched on PlayStation only, is now coming to all platforms.

Survival mode will officially be available starting October 1, 2020 on Xbox One and PC.

Activision announced the news part of the Season 6 Blog Post, which states that Xbox One players will need to download an additional compatibility pack to play Survival upon it’s release on October 1.

Here’s the additional compatibility pack needed for Survival access on PS4 and Xbox. PC players will not need a pack, as it is part of the overall update.

  • PlayStation 4 Survival Pack: 5.8 GB
  • Xbox One Survival Pack: 5.9 GB

Note that on October 1, Xbox and PC players can access the Survival mode. 

Survival mode launched back with Modern Warfare on October 25, 2019 exclusively on PlayStation 4. The mode was a “timed exclusive” mode for 1 year, with exclusivity ending on October 1, 2020.

Stay tuned for more information.

The post Modern Warfare Survival mode available October 1 on all platforms appeared first on Charlie INTEL.


Modern Warfare & Warzone Season 6 Battle Pass Overview

With the launch of Season 6 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone comes a brand new Battle Pass for players to pick up and level through.

The new Battle Pass includes two new free weapons: the SP-R208 marksman rifle (Tier 15) and the AS-VAL assault rifle (Tier 31).

Alongside the new weapons, players who purchase the Battle Pass will get a brand new Operator for the Season immediately, alongside a new Operator Nikolai at Tier 100.

Similar to Season pass seasons, there are two tracks: the free and Premium track. Free track will include 20 tiers of content, including the two new weapons. The Premium track introduces new War Tracks, Operator Skins, Blueprints, and more for fans to unlock.

Here’s a full breakdown of the new Battle Pass Content:

Two Functional Weapons, Licensed War Tracks Highlight Unprecedented Free Battle Pass Content

The Season Six Battle Pass system is one of the most unique collections of content yet, and it all starts with 20 Tiers of free content available for all players within Modern Warfare and Warzone.

War Track Expansion Adds Classic Sounds, Modern Hits through Free Tiers

Across numerous free Tiers, players can unlock multiple new songs to be used as War Tracks, songs that play while driving vehicles in Warzone and Modern Warfare.

With these new tracks, you can blow out your speakers or even throw on music from previous Call of Duty games (Modern Warfare and Black Ops series) for a heavy dose of nostalgia that could complement an intense Battle Royale match. 

Here’s some of the songs outside of the Call of Duty universe that can be unlocked and played in game:

“War Track Pack: Hip Hop Edition”:

  •      Jack Harlow’s “WHATS POPPIN’”
  •     DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” 
  •     Clipse’s “Grindin’” 

Players can also unlock the War Track Pack: EDM Edition which includes three headbanging hits perfect for cruising around Warzone. 

Like a Horn or Vehicle Skin, War Tracks can be equipped to specific vehicles within the Vehicle Customization menu. Once in-game, hop into that specific vehicle as its driver and you, as well as all passengers onboard, can listen as the squad cruises to potential victory.

Weapons Inspection: Details of Season Six Battle Pass’ System Free Weapons

Of course, there are also two new functional weapons to earn through free Tiers as well: the SP-R208 marksman rifle (Tier 15) and the AS-VAL assault rifle (Tier 31).

SP-R 208 Marksman Rifle (Free Battle Pass System Weapon)

This bolt-action marksman rifle comes as one of the most accurate weapons in its class and with a breadth of customization options. From alternate ammo choices to bolt assembly changes and more, no matter how this weapon is configured, it’s a powerful yet mobile tool for a marksman on the go.

AS-VAL Assault Rifle (Free Battle Pass System Weapon)

This assault rifle, the 13th member of this weapon category, is a rare Soviet powerhouse chambered in subsonic 9x39mm ammunition and is pre-equipped with an integral suppressor. Combined with the weapon’s high rate of fire, the AS-VAL is built for stealth, accuracy, and high penetration, all on a highly configurable platform.

Purchase the Battle Pass for Even More Content

Upon purchase of the Season Six Battle Pass, the system opens all 100 tiers where an exceptional, unprecedented variety of content can be unlocked.

On top of the 1,300 COD Points throughout all 100 tiers, in the Battle Pass players can unlock Operators in Farah and Nikolai, Double XP and Weapon XP Tokens, weapon charms, watches, stickers, emblems, and calling cards. There are also plenty of skins for Operators and vehicles, over a dozen additional weapon blueprints, and a new Finishing Move.

Battle Pass Instant Unlocks

  • New Operator – Farah: An exceptional solider who has known a lifetime of war, the founder and commander of the Urzikstan Liberation Force arrives to Modern Warfare and Warzone as a playable Operator outside of the Campaign. Immediately unlock her “Halmasti” skin upon purchase of the Battle Pass, and complete her included Operator Mission to get her “Jinn” and “Unbroken Will” skins.
  • Minotaur Operator Skin and Mission: Minotaur’s “Poloski” skin acts as a memento to Farah’s story in Modern Warfare’s Campaign, with two skin variants and other rewards unlockable via the included Operator Mission.
  • “Gilded Arm” Epic Assault Rifle Blueprint: This blueprint for Assault Rifle Hotel replaces the standard chambered in 7.62 Soviet ammunition with a 5.25x39mm 30-Round Magazine. In addition it has a sleek red and white design, and comes equipped with multiple pre-configured attachments, including a Skeleton Stock, for a CQB-like playstyle 
  • XP Boost (Tier 0): Get more XP for your efforts with this 10% XP boost that lasts the duration of the Season.

Skins, Blueprints, and More Highlights Throughout the Battle Pass 

  • Operator Skins and Finishing Move: Expect over two dozen skins, including those available through additional Battle Pass Missions, that cover a wide range of Operators across both factions, including “On the Rocks” Gaz, “Off Grid” Domino and, at Tier 90, the “Yenisey” Bale skin. Also, prepare to sic “Edward,” a pet bat, on your enemies with a Finishing Move that bears his name. 
  • Screwdriver Combat Knife Blueprint: In tandem with the Tier 0 Minotaur skin, the “Innocence Lost” Combat Knife blueprint provides a further reference to a pivotal moment in the game’s Campaign, modelling this variant after a Screwdriver Farah used to save her and her brother’s lives.
  • Blueprints: Bolster your arsenal with new blueprint weapons in addition to the “Innocence Lost” melee weapon and the four free blueprints on offer. Blueprints available after Battle Pass purchase include three handguns, three SMGs, three assault rifles, two shotguns, three LMGs, three marksman rifles, and one sniper rifle.
  • Vehicle Skins: Get a fresh, Halloween-inspired exterior for four different Warzone vehicles – the “Mutated” ATV, “Flight of Torment” Helicopter, “From the Deep” SUV and “Stained” Tac Rover skins – as part of the Season Six Battle Pass.

Tier 100 – The Ultimate Battle Pass Reward

  • New Operator – Nikolai: The leader of the Chimera PMC and now playable, Nikolai is a Russian patriot at heart with a deep love for his country only matched by his love for weaponry. A known fixer who can acquire most anything, anywhere, it’s apt that his skin included at this tier is called “Arms Dealer,” with his “For the Motherland” and “Carcajou” skins available via his included Operator Mission.
  • “VSS” Legendary Assault Rifle Blueprint: Complete with dark tracer rounds, this Legendary blueprint of Assault Rifle Mike kits it for highly accurate semi-auto fire thanks to an included high-magnification Optic and SPP 10-Round Mags, which convert the weapon to fire armor-piercing rounds with superb penetration power and damage.
  • “Grizzly End” Cargo Truck Skin: Strike terror and fear into your enemies with this Halloween inspired skin, exclusive to those who reach Tier 100 in the Battle Pass.
  • Season Six Emblem: Show off the achievement of competing the Season Six Battle Pass with this animated Emblem.

Choose your Battle Pass Path by purchasing one of the two variants:

Battle Pass: Purchase the Battle Pass for 1,000 CP, and you’re granted access to unlock the new Operator Farah, up to 100 Tiers of content, and earn up to 1,300 CP (enough for next Season’s Battle Pass and some) back by playing the game. Head to the Battle Pass tab at the start of Season Six to get a look at all the goods available to be unlocked this Season in the Battle Pass system. 

Battle Pass Bundle: Purchase the Battle Pass Bundle for 2,400 CP, which grants access to unlock all 100 tiers and gives you 20 immediately activated tier skips; a saving of 40% versus buying Battle Pass and 20 Tier Skips individually.

SOURCE: Activision

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Hades guides

Hades is an incredible game. Hades is also a lot to take in, with a ton of decisions to make, multiple weapons and currencies, and a story set in the Greek underworld that takes multiple playthroughs to complete. It’s also purposefully vague.

Part of Hades’ charm is figuring out how the game works, but we’re here to guide your journey of discovery like your own personal Charon. Start with our Hades beginner’s guide and tips on how to get started. Once you unlock your arsenal, we have a guide to help you choose a weapon. We’ll also introduce you to the interesting ways that damage stacks up in Hades, including a tip on a quick way to double your damage output.

As you delve a little deeper into Hades’ mechanics, we’ve got explainers for how to heal, what those door symbols mean, how Hades’ God Mode works, how to use Nectar — including why you should give it to the goodest boy Cerberus first — and why weapons glow purple sometimes.


Kirby Fighters 2 review: Curb your enthusiasm

Kirby Fighters 2 has a very simple premise: It’s a fighting game where nearly every playable character is Kirby. It’s a cute concept, but the game struggles to keep its charm once the novelty wears off.

The last time we bore witness to all-Kirby combat was back in 2014, when the original Kirby Fighters was packed in as an additional mode in Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS. This stand-alone sequel makes its way to Nintendo Switch with 17 Kirbys to control, plus a few enemies to fill the roster of fighters.

Having this much access to a cache of Kirbys would be exciting in any other context, but Kirby Fighters 2 proves you can have too much of a good thing.

Kirby Combat

Controlling your puffball pugilists is straightforward in Kirby Fighters 2. Every character has the same options mapped to the same buttons: an attack, jump, grab, block, and dodge maneuver. The deviation between characters comes from which Kirby you choose. All 17 playable Kirby characters use different abilities, similar to how the character adopts attacks from the enemies he swallows. Each playable fighter embodies one of those skills, be it swinging a deadly yo-yo, pile-driving enemies with wrestling skills, or crafting deadly arts and crafts with the Artist ability.

To perform attacks, I press the main attack button and a different direction at the same time. Holding up and attack, for instance, might make Staff Kirby jab his weapon above his head. Unsurprisingly, doing the same with Sword Kirby makes him swing his sword skyward. This style of play extends across all characters, so learning new fighters is easy. Kirby’s trademark floating jumps allow me to float around each stage, dodging attacks or various hazards. I can even swallow enemies, much as you’d expect from Kirby. I can only use this skill to spit my enemies out like a cannonball, however. I can’t use this attack to switch abilities on the fly. It feels weird to swallow an enemy without the chance to copy their abilities, but removing this option allows each Kirby to feel like a unique character.

To win battles, I must whittle my opponent’s health to zero. Once defeated, my enemy is turned into a ghost. They have a limited amount of moves in this form, but they can get revived with a small bit of health if they manage to strike a surviving player with a slow punch.

Matches tend to end so quickly, however, that I’ve yet to see a wild tug-of-war between living and dead Kirbys.

An OK KO for Kirby

Kirby Fighters 2 offers a small handful of modes with an emphasis on playing with others in exchange. Only one mode is meant to be played solo, in fact.

The main event is a story mode that can be played alone or with a partner, with the second player taking on the role of one of the non-Kirby combatants. The story is light, much like most fighting games, but it adds a few twists to move you through its parade of similar battles.

In this adventure mode, I travel up a tower aiming to reach the duo of evildoers at the top. As I move up through each floor, I take part in a battle against one or two opponents in standard fights. Once I win, I get the option to unlock unique power-ups that persist throughout that run, like buffs to my strength or stickers that increase the effectiveness of items that appear on each stage.

The fights aren’t especially challenging, and the ever-increasing upgrades I get from power-ups makes the climb even easier. I face off against a boss from a past Kirby game every few floors.

Kirby fights two big trees
Story mode branches out into boss fights occasionally
Image: Nintendo via Polygon

These encounters play out just like they might in the action games that inspired them. The bosses fill up the stage, dishing out large attacks that I have to frantically dodge. In these moments, Kirby Fighters 2 feels more like a traditional Kirby game, compared to every other moment that feels like a Super Smash Bros. match where everyone decided to choose Kirby as a goof.

It’s a shame because this game is oozing with charm, from its inventive levels that are brimming with character to all the Kirby franchise-specific weapons. The problem is that everything melds together so fast. When every character on screen is Kirby — or a Kirby-shaped enemy — everything turns into a polka-dotted world of chaos.

It’s a different sort of confusion than you’d find in a Super Smash Bros. game. In those titles, the visual overload is broken up by uniquely designed characters whose silhouettes can be distinguished from the visual pizzazz. In Kirby Fighters 2, nearly everything is a round ball of mayhem.

Four Kirbys are fighting in Kirby Fighters 2
I had to name my Kirby after me or else I’d lose him
Image: Nintendo via Polygon

The staleness and repetitiveness wouldn’t be so much of an issue if most of the characters and unique costumes were easier to unlock. To gain access to everything on offer — from each Kirby, non-Kirby combatant, and stage — I have to trudge through numerous battles to increase my “fighters rank.” Getting all the game’s content is slow work, and requires that I level up my fighters rank 100 times.

Story mode is the way to do it, as the boss encounters and power-ups make the process less of a slog, but I barely gained access to a quarter of the game’s unlockables even after several runs through the mode.

Trying to spice things up through online play was a nonstarter. If you’ve tried to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch over a wireless connection, then you have an idea of what connection issues you can expect. It was nearly impossible to get a match to run at a decent frame rate online.

As just a mode in another game, the original Kirby Fighters was an interesting diversion. As a stand-alone title, Kirby Fighters 2 has to work a lot harder to pack a punch, even at $19.99. It’s curious, cute, and lacking much definition, just like its namesake character.

Kirby Fighters 2 is now available on Nintendo Switch. The game was played on Switch using a download code provided by Nintendo. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.