I’ve never watched or played a game of baseball, so I’m just going to assume it’s a lot like the future ball game presented in Lethal League and its upcoming sequel, Lethal League Blaze. So it must be the greatest sport of all time. But also pretty violent. Chill out, baseball players. Blaze is coming out next month, but you can smear your eyes all over this trailer in the meantime.
'Lethal League is the Jet Set Radio of violent ball games' is an unusual thing to have to write, but here we are. I don’t watch a lot of fighting games, but I could watch this, and just as importantly listen to it, all day. Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma created music for the soundtrack, along with Command & Conquer composer Frank Klepacki.
If baseball and Lethal League are both alien concepts, here’s the gist: In the future, anti-gravity ball games are illegal, sending players underground so they can keep battering each other with balls. It’s all about momentum; players whack the ball—Blaze introduces different balls, along with its expanded roster of weird players—in an attempt to hit their opponents, but the other player can then launch it back, potentially speeding it up, making it harder to parry. The back and forth turns the ball into a comet that bounces all over the screen, becoming more and more dangerous.
Since it’s ultimately a fighting game, there are all sorts of counters and parries and moves that let you speed up or slow down the ball. The concept is simple, but there’s a gargantuan gulf between being able to play and playing well. It’s blisteringly fast, but it does lull you into a rhythm. It’s probably more tennis than baseball; there’s that hypnotic rally that almost makes you not want anyone to miss because it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Then you fling four players into one fight and it devolves into chaos.
Lethal League Blaze is due out on October 24.