Avatar Dairansen -アバター大乱戦- ($1.00), which translates roughly to ‘Avatar Battle Royale’, is a 3D Arena Fighter that plays like a third-person shooter. There’s nothing strange about that. It’s a style that’s very similar to the brawling you’d find in certain Naruto / Dragon Ball Z games, albeit on a smaller, not-as-epic scale. You won’t, say, spawn a thousand versions of yourself to beat down your opponent and toss him into a mushroom cloud (but one can dream).
That’s not to say the action doesn’t ramp up in Avatar Dairansen. It does, especially in tighter stage layouts and with a full party. You just won’t find any (occasionally) melodramatic, spiky-haired combatants here, unless your avatar is dressed that way. Given the online play (up to four) and personal customization that your avatar affords, you can unintentionally stage some ridiculous-looking battles.
Which fits the fighting, to an extent, one that emphasizes arcade-like controls and lauds the vertical as well as horizontal, offering you four different ways to thrown down; Kung-Fu, Ninja, Samurai, and… Zombie (?). Though you have the standard melee move / weapon, you’ll mostly be dealing in ranged attacks here. The movesets don’t differ much from each other aside from the visuals (think throwing stars instead of a bomb, etc.), giving you a pair of light and heavy attacks, and corresponding special moves that drain and recharge over time…
…and tend to look cool and hand out a decent amount of damage. Arenas feature the Minecraft gene pretty liberally, but that serves entirely as a way to illustrate the chaos your avatar and others create over the course of the fight. Having the high ground means little here. Hitting opponents with stronger moves will alter and destroy the surrounding terrain, throwing subtlety and strategy to the wind.
As such, most battles will probably boil down to frantic dashing and the spamming of heavier attacks, but like any light-hearted fighter, it’s at its best with friends pummeling each other to oblivion. Some of that charm is naturally lost when the game is minus human opponents, though the AI is an able stand-in. You can build and share your own arenas, as well, with a decent selection of tiles and settings. I can’t see anyone but the most ardent Minecraft / fighting fan really messing with it for long periods at a time, however.
For a quick bout or as a party game, it’s worth the buck (it’s also apparently on sale now, set to go up to $3 at some future point). If you do have the itch for an over-the-top theatrical brawler— in condensed form— then Avatar Dairansen is a good deal at the current price.