Sports hooliganism seems inefficient: if you're going to behave so childishly, why not build that violence into the competition in the first place? Rollerball, The Running Man, Death Race 2000, the Thunderdome... we have countless examples of it going just dandy for everyone involved. Megabyte Punch developers Reptile Games understand this, and are combining baseball with fighting in Lethal League.
It's a delightful little sport whereby up to four competitors attempt to smash a baseball into their opponents' faces. A fighting game where you're aiming for the ball rather than your opponent, bouncing it off the walls and floor and using special moves to cause terrible violence.
Lethal League's due on Steam some time from July to September. As well as local and AI play, it'll have online multiplayer built on the ever-popular GGPO netcode.
Reptile have shown the game off before and even have an early playable prototype online so you can have a bash yourself. But they're pretending they've just announced it so let's go along with that. Shh, we're all in on a secret and they won't think we're cool if we blow it, okay?
I'd tell you about my experiences playing the prototype, but it was mostly a reminder that I'm awful at fighting games. I never put in the hours of jostling over Street Fighter II that many friends did as teenagers (or whichever Turbo Championship EX edition it was), and am sometimes frustrated that a such a fascinating genre is so alien to me. Oh well. At least I nailed strafe-jumping.
Having watched The Raid 2 last week, thinking about the combination of baseball and face-smashing does have me gritting my teeth and muttering curses. Good grief. At least Lethal League is bright and colourful: