Icons: Combat Arena Enters Closed Beta


After its announcement at EVO 2017 and several location tests throughout the latter half of 2017, Icons: Combat Arena will finally enter a closed beta by the start of 2018. Originally slated for Fall of 2017, beta testing for Icons was pushed back to allow for further refinements to the game's mechanics and netcode.

Wavedash Games has announced that the beta will roll out slowly over the coming weeks. By the end of 2017, the first wave of 500 invites will be sent out to players who filled out surveys at location tests throughout the year. More invites will be sent out throughout early 2018 to people who sign up through Icons' website. The closed beta will initially be restricted to North America, though it will later expand to include Europe and other regions.
Blaise "Scribe" Camacho


Let's be real, a lot of work has gone into Icons, this is something the team is passionate about and I admire their effort to produce a new platform fighter. But it doesn't feel new is the problem.

The art design looks very play station 2 era, with rougher 3d models that look like they're going for more realism than cartoon. While at the same time trying to capture a Brawl style. It seems like they don't know what they're going for. In contrast to Lunar Hare Studios new game Earth Romancer which has a very defined aesthetic that is more flashy and anime. The saddest part is that it just looks like Project M with new characters, but that brings me to my next point...

The characters. A lot of moves are almost directly ripped from Melee or Pm with some exceptions. Many move sets seem uninspired in contrast to (and I hate to bring this up again) Earth Romancer which has 2 different move sets for each character that can be switched between mid battle. Similar to Samus in Pm with the ability to change from fire to ice. I just feel like I'm missing that from Icons, where's the creativity in moves that they had before? Besides move sets though, the characters themselves look great. They look way more expressive with facial animations than Smash games and I like them a lot more. Kidd just looks fun just because of his design, they all have distinct personalities and features that give them character, and I can't wait to see who they add in the future.

I don't hate this game, the reason I'm writing all of this is because I want it to succeed. It's from a team who I really love and I want to see some competition in the platform fighter genre. The initial trailer for Icons and release of its name was very weak but it looks like they're making steps in the right direction and listening to the community. I hope to see this game improve over the next few months.
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The initial trailer was pretty poor.

The biggest problems were the fact the sound design was poor, the models were underdeveloped and it was incredibly derivative from Melee characters.

There is a difference between inspiration and just reusing again and most people from the initial trailer thought it was that.

Compare this with rivals of aether, rivals is very very much smash inspired, however they characters still stand out on their own. Zetterburn is very much spacie inspired, more so Wolf, but he still stands on his own and has a move set made to be him and not mimic another characters. A fire lion that has his own history of leading a county and being manipulated with a side story with a brother who is a master of shadows age smoke.

Compared to Kidd from icons character that is a stand in for fox more or less. He literally has the same move set and animations. His name is a reference to mango and he is a space animal.

Kidd isn’t the only design problem, there are a number of characters who are very clearly taking heavy inspiration from Melee. There is a Marth, a Falcon a Ganon, etc.

This is really what needs to be fixed and i’ll Be checking out the closed beta but from the gameplay and direction I don’t have great impressions of it. PM could get away with it because it was a mod going for that, this though?

Earth Romancer is a new up and coming one that looks pretty solid. It has inspiration as well but it still looks like it has a new spin on it with it’s own characters and style changes.

Rivals of Aether is how to be smash inspired but also stand on it’s own, this needs work on design, along with sound and art.

I wish for it to improve but I do think there is valid Critism even if there are devs on the team I like.
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I would like to see this game succeed, however, judging by the similarities to Smash in the character's movesets and how the animation resembles characters like ZSS and Marth, I think that it would be too similar.
Still look forward to checking it out.