Having recently entered soft-launch and early access across Europe and Canada, we gave both versions of Line Games new multiplayer action brawler, Smash Legends, a try to see which one plays best. Here's what we found....
The technical sideDuring testing, the difference in playing experience between PC and mobile was pretty much imperceptible.
The graphics were consistent on both platforms with neither looking appreciably better than the other. Even lower end mobile devices are able to handle the game's maximum graphics setting which are very easy on the eye and hold-up on any screen size. Better still, boosting Smash Legends up to its maximum setting doesn't appear to add any significant drain on battery life.
Any discrepancies between the two platforms when it comes to latency, matchmaking time, or general bugs and graphical glitches are barely discernible too. In-fact, it's fair to say that except for the different control schemes, the playing experience was near identical on both PC and mobile - so Smash Legends definitely earns a gold star when it comes to cross-platform design.
A note on the game's play experience: during a few of our play-throughs on mobile, there were some technical issues such as the character becoming unresponsive during a match. Fortunately, the game's AI was quick to pick up on the issue whenever it occurred and would immediately attempt to reconnect us to the battle, which in each case usually took only a few short seconds. Whilst these kinds of issues are to be expected when a game is in early soft launch, it might be worth giving the PC version a test if the issue continues.
ControlsSmash Legends is a game where you can either smash or be smashed! There are no special defencive commands to impede the pace of the game. Blocking, side-stepping, and rolling out of harm's way are all non-existent concepts in the smash arena. Your primary mode of defence in Smash Legends is to simply leap or circle away from your opponent’s attacks.
For both the PC and mobile versions of Smash Legends, there are only four commands to worry about - three attack types (basic, skill, and ultimate) and jumping. On PC, the attacks are covered with the Z, X, and C buttons on your keyboard and the spacebar serves as your jump control. On the mobile version, all four command types are managed by a d-pad on the right side of the screen. In both cases, they're extremely easy to master and require minimal effort to use, which helps serve Smash Legends’ blistering pace.
Navigation on PC is managed via the arrow keys which can be pressed in tandem to cover all directions of movement, whilst the mobile version lets you control your character via a toggle on the left-side of the screen.
There is a slight benefit to the mobile UI with the touchscreen commands overlayed on either side of the screen. First and foremost it's extremely intuitive and in a very short time you'll find yourself dodging and striking your opponents without ever having to take your eyes off of the action. Also, because the attack controls display when your special abilities are fully charged, you'll never have to waste a second in delivering an ultimate or skill attack.
On the PC version, your eye will have to travel a little further to spot when those attacks are available via the heads-up display (three circular icons near the bottom of the screen). You might therefore find yourself spamming the basic attack and neglecting other moves, especially as it's so easy to get lost in the action. Once you get a feel for when and where to look it isn't too much of an issue, but it is something to watch out for when starting out.
GameplayAs mentioned previously in the technical segment, the playing experience between PC and mobile really doesn't differ all that much, which is a credit to Smash Legends' developer for maintaining parity between the two platforms. Any advantage that one platform might inherently hold over the other seems to have been accounted for. For instance, a PC monitor or laptop screen will naturally offer more screen real-estate than a mobile device, but Smash Legends level-design doesn't necessarily make this an advantage. Every arena features a clean design, free from obstacles or awkward platforms that might otherwise impede a player using a smartphone with smaller screen space.
The one advantage that might be felt though is with the mobile version's navigation controls. The directional toggle is incredibly responsive and will benefit even the most inexperienced of players. It especially comes in handy when using Peter or Cindy where their speed and agility can provide an extra edge during battle.
MenusThe menu system is a little more forgiving for PC than mobile, as the bigger screen space makes some of the smaller text (such as your Legend stats and move info) far easier to read. For that reason, if you're really interested in the lore of Smash Legends' Library World, the PC version might offer a more satisfying playing experience. That being said, it certainly doesn't detract from the fun of being able to whip out your phone and start smashing whenever the moment suits you!
Overall, it’s very hard to choose between the two platforms. It really comes down to personal preference. That being said, if you love the game then it’s definitely worth trying both versions to experience the convenience of playing on mobile as well as enjoy the full visual splendor of the game’s slick and simple design on a bigger screen.
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