If you grew up with shows like Wipeout, MXC Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, or Takeshi’s Castle, then Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will resonant with you. This game will allow you to play the dream of surviving the balls and falls of pain that the stage sets for you. With the popularity set for battle royals from Fortnite and Apex Legends, why not add a game with a Mario Party taste of color without the shooter genre. If you want a chaotic game of both skill, chance, and luck, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is calling your name. Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Game Name: Fall Guts -Ultimate Knockout-
Platform(s): Steam, PS4 (Reviewed)
Developer(s): Mediatonic
Publisher(s): Devolver Digital
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Price: $20, Free for PS+ Subscribers For August 2020

Jumping Beans Everywhere

If there was any way to sum up this game, it would be Mario Party but as a battle royale. In battle royal fashion, you take control of your own jelly bean avatar. Naturally, you can customize your jelly bean to match your style. You start with some designs, colors, and two outfits to start. The way to earn more customization options is by leveling up via play or using currency earned from play, or kudos, to buy from the shop. Another way by winning crowns, W’s (or dubbs for the internet slang savvy) when you are the last one standing of an episode. Cosmetics purchased with crowns re labeled as legendary. Just recently released you can unlock a special outfit in collaboration with indie game Hotline Miami. So if you want the best legendary loot and looks, you need to earn those wins.

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Note that there are microtransactions via the shop for exclusive outfits and Kudos Packs. To reiterate, this game is not a pay-to-win. All outfits are cosmetic and don’t affect game progress or stats. However, do take care and be responsible should you have minors who play this game.

Once you set up, you’re put into a lobby of up to 59 other players to prepare. A quick note in regards to options in the PS4 version. At the current version now, there is only the option of setting audio levels. There is no way to set camera controls. You cannot set sensitivity or invert controls. A little jarring as a person who plays Y-invert. While I believe that it will be added in a later update patch, this is not confirmed.

UPDATE: Camera options has been updated for PS4 users to allow invert controls and sensitivity.

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Once matched, you will play a set of mini-games from a pool of twenty-four mini-games. The beginning rounds usually start with a race, but there it varies from team-based, survival, or logic/luck-based mini-games. With each round, there are set slots of how many can qualify for the next round. With each round lowering the amount of qualifying slots until it reaches to the fifth round or less than 12 players remaining., ending with a last man standing game to decide the victor.

I’ll let you know, Fall Guys can be very fun. Or it can be very infuriating. Though the greatest rush would be snagging that last qualifying spot when you seemed to beat.

Stages Being Set

With twenty-four mini-games, this is a fairly priced package for what you are getting. As said there are three main categories for the mini-games: Races, Survival, and Team-based. The races will be the first qualifying rounds to begin off with. One with spinning dials called Dizzy Heights. Another called Gate Crashers, in which you have to choose a door and see if it is real or fake to proceed on.

The races do have an interesting dynamic. In which some of the races, you do have to keep in mind your fellow opponents. In a race involving see-saws. If there is an influx of players going on one side, it will teeter and become unbalanced. Thus sending players off to the side. Or prevent other players from getting on and proceeding.  There is another track that includes revolving doors. One side must be pushed to proceed, but others can get in the way, and thus no one can proceed through.  The mind game of working together or being selfish. This will play into races and it will be a source of anger and amusement.

I still recall moments when I’m trying to get through a doorway in /door Dash but people were jamming the way and no one can get in. If you ever been in a Black Friday crowd, you will be reminded of that. Or the See-Saws, you need to be leveled on one side, but most players are selfish and look after themselves want to get first. It is that balancing of “Do I want to help my fellow players?” or “Nah, I’m going to be a jerk and capitalize. Yoink!”

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Sadly that can’t be said for the Team-based games. If you are easily frustrated pulling your weight while the rest of your team isn’t, then these games will be a source of rage for you. There are times when I would be doing everything well but someone on my team would inadvertently hit the ball into our own goal. This also applies to the other ball mini-game of Hoarders.

The last game type is Survival. One called Jump Club in which two rotating handles. The large pink one, above, only hits you if you jump. The lower, faster bar goes for your legs. Timing is everything in this game.  Another game is Block Party, which is basically human Tetris or the show Hole in the Wall. You have to jump and move to avoid zones to avoid being pushed over the edge.

There is also one more action players can to do to become real jerks: grabbing.

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There is a strategy in grabbing, especially in the survival games. In races, you can hold people back at the end or push them off, ultimately eliminating them. Though you also risk yourself being eliminated. As karma generally finds a way to come back to you in this game.  You can also hold other players back to stall or force release the team’s egg.  Though another note is that grabbing is not always precise. Dependent on your internet and the servers, sometimes you can be grabbed while being nowhere near another player. Or that you are grabbing a person while being literally on top of them but it doesn’t register. There is no lock-on system in play there,  so your grabs will be inaccurate and can go towards the wrong target at times. This applies to the tail grabbing mini-game of Tail Tag. While I didn’t have too man grabbers, it always stings when someone grabs me and it costs me the game.

Get To the Top!

Once you pass the balls and survived the rounds, it all comes to the final round. There is a final round game that can either be a race, survival, game type. Hex-A-Gone is arguably the most strategic of the bunch. There is multiple layers of Hexagons below you. As you move over them, they disappear. So the planning, mind games with other players, grabbing, and a little bit of luck all play a factor. The most involving of the final round mini-games. There’s a sense of superiority when you are on top of all others and still have hexagons left to be insured upon.

The final round race mini-game is Fall Mountain. A race to the top of the mountain while avoiding obstacles and balls to the face. This one is pretty much dependent if you can perform the perfect run. One setback is enough to cost you the match and crown. So this one is not a near satisfying final game. But even if you are knocked down by the raining balls and hammers, there is always a chance to claim and reach that top.

Last Final Round mini-game is the Royal Fumble. This one is the most frantic and sometimes luck based of the three. There is only one raccoon tail, and you must grab it. The last one who has it as the time runs out gets the crown. As said before, the grab is not always precise. With lag and dependent on the server connection, sometimes you feel that you grabbed it, but it doesn’t register. So in the end, it feels that the last few seconds are what matters in the end. Plus you need to jump and grab the crown. The prior complaints of grabbing apply here as well. Though if you have the wits to cut the player’s escape or lie in wait to ambush them, then it just may provide the opportunity for victory.

If you can overcome the stages and beat the odds, victory is exhilarating and ever so sweet. So you got the crown and won. Now what? You do it all over again.

Nothing really complicated. You earn bragging rights and crowns to shop new outfits and you continue to do it as the season progress. As this is only season one right now, it hard to say what is to be expected of season 2. Will there be new game modes? Holiday or Special theme seasons? That will depend on Mediatonic as the game goes on. One of the harder ones is winning 5 episodes in a row, yet some have already accomplished this task. There is also the level cap of level 40 for the season. So replay value is good enough for the price, though the possibility of the game being tedious or repetitiveness can set in. So when you reach that level cap, all you really can do is grind for wins till the next season.

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Some Pit Falls

Course this game is not without its flaws. Most notably in the Steam PC version. During the beginning of the game’s release, servers were over flooded and it crashed the matchmaking. It has improved but there will be times when matchmaking can fail. Another flaw is sometimes when you exit the group when you are eliminated, you can get stuck in loading and it will boot you back to the main screen. Thankfully the progress you earned is not lost on your profile.

As mentioned before, grabbing is a bit finicky and that the delayed response can be troublesome when it comes to the last game of Fall Mountain or Racoon Tail grab mini-games. It can be heartbreaking when you know you grabbed your opponent, but it doesn’t register. Thus costing you a crown. Team battles can be maddening when you feel you done all you can, but still get eliminated after.

In the PC version, there are players who have hacked the game to give themselves an unfair advantage. Such as zipping speed, jumping over obstacles, or levitating the whole course. Thankfully Mediatonic is aware of speed hackers and is currently working to address them. There are also some glitches in which sometimes in the Hex-A-Gone mini-game, players can phase though the shapes and immediately plunged to elimination. Other glitches include phasing through the floor completely into the abyss and causing you to respawn at the very beginning and costing you the match.

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There is currently one mini-game exploit that makes it unfair for players. In the Block Party/Human Tetris mini-game, there are thin walls on the opposite ends that keep players. If a player can get on top of another player, they can jump onto these walls and avoid going through the obstacle courses entirely. It is to be expected that the developers will patch this in due time.

If you can overlook these flaws and overcome the eventual anger and disappointment that comes with competitive games, then Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a fun game show of time.

Just Bring It!

While Battle Royals are nothing really surprising, it is surprising when one is as colorful and silly as Fall Guys. The popularity of the game was out of nowhere, yet it resonated with so many people. Overall, I enjoyed my time with Fall Guys on PS4. It is basically a  junk food game for me. You can play it in spurts but you may be tired of it in long periods of time. There are some parts and glitches that need to be polished, but I expect the game to be updated regularly. There are some server crashes, but nothing that detracts it too much. For PC users though, beware of cheaters and hackers and some have hacked it to gain an unfair advantage. If you are able to beat the odds and overcome the players and obstacles, you will find glory and crowns for your little jumping bean. Here is hoping that this game thrives with future seasons and new game modes.

And remember: Don’t Get Eliminated!

Fall Down, And Get Back Up Again!

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A colorful battle royal with a game show aesthetic. With twenty-four mini-games to compete for the last jelly bean standing, this is a refreshing take on the genre. These mini-games will test your platforming skills, populous awareness, and a little bit of luck. Some will be fair. Some will be angering, especially the team based games. Some flaws include finicky grabbing, lag input, and occasional server crashes. PC users will have to be careful with cheaters as they hacked the game for an unfair advantage. If you can overcome these flaws, then you will have a fun, frantic game. Aim for the crown and don’t get eliminated!

Pros

  • Robust List of Twenty-Four Mini-Games
  • Earning Victory is Sweet
  • A Great Platform Game
  • Dressing Up Your Jumping Bean
  • Addicting Gameplay/ Great Replay Value

Cons

  • Team Based Mini-games Can Be Maddening
  • Grabbing Is Finicky/ Few Lag Inputs
  • PC version is full of hackers
  • Some Mini-games are Better than Others
Overall
4

About The Author

William

Philsophical, Gaming, Otaku, at your service! Born in Nintendo’s golden age, his blood runs on Mario and Nintendo. With his philosophical degree, he learns to see the big picture, other points of views and tries to make unbiased thinking and judgments. Part time Substance Abuse Case Manager, Full time gamer, otaku and student of life.