In a far future, a worldwide catastrophic event dubbed The Big Pulse, which put an end to all electronic technology on the planet, occured and resulted in Earth being overrun by mutants. Humans have now been enslaved by their new mutant masters. Led by The Boss, the mutants have created a new world ruled by the Law of the Jungle. Thankfully, not all is lost as two humans managed to escape along with a rebel mutant who have teamed up to stop this invasion.
When starting up a new game, players can choose between three characters:
- Gal, an expert in her own kick-boxing-derived martial art who managed to escape her captors, is a quick fighter with a short reach, but her speed makes up for it.
- Ricardo is a minotaur human-rights activist and a powerful wrestler. As a bulky wrestler, he’s not very quick and limited with his techniques, however he has a pretty long reach and inhuman strength to compensate.
- F. Norris is a runaway ninja with a mysterious past. He’s the perfect balance between reach, power and speed despite being a bit more fragile compared to Gal and Ricardo. He can overcome anything with his “the forbidden technique”.
Fight N’ Rage features a simple control scheme: Punch (X), Jump (A) and Special Move (B). Mashing the X button will result in fun and crazy combos which will literally make your enemies explodes if the combo continues beyond the enemy’s HP meter. You can mix up combos by using the punch and special attack button which will cause a decent amount of damage; especially to bosses, however using the special attack too much will chuck away at your life bar. Thankfully, you get a freebie with the SP meter. Once full, you can use your special attack without affecting your health bar; using it a more than once before the meter recharges, your health meter will get drained. It’s a nice addition to get a freebie as classic beat’em ups would result in health loss when your special attack would hit.
The game feature a decent variety of enemies from flies to giant bulls, you’ll enjoy punching your way through these baddies. Amidst the waves of enemies, you might recognize some designs; pig enemies are highly reminiscent of initial opposition from the original Battletoads on NES while later levels feature ninja that suspiciously look like the Foot Soldiers from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To keep players on their toes, all enemy types have their own skillset. For example there’s an Electricat who will shock you à la Blanka if you get too close or boxing Pitbulls will combo their way through your health if you’re not quick enough. My main gripe about is the range of enemies vs range of your characters and the enemies’ random patterns. The former is something that should’ve been addressed; often you’ll assume being close enough to land a hit and fails, while at the same distance, the enemy will get you. For the latter, it’s clearly a throw back to past beat’em ups. Enemy pattern are unpredictable and will either move toward then back out at last minute or simply walk away from you so you have to watch your back constantly to avoid the many cheap shots.
Thankfully, Seba Games implemented a save system where if you quit a game because you have things to tend to (or your hand hurts from mashing too much), once you select the difficulty, the game will advise you of a suspended game and offers you to pick up where you left off. While there’s only 10 levels, this game is so much in your face that a mid-game rest is recommended.
One the game’s strongest point is the quantity of content. Everytime you play the game and get game over, you are rewarded with coins which can in turn be used to unlock a bevvy of new content such as new costumes for the trio of characters, additional difficulty settings, new game modes, additional characters; among other bonuses. There’s a fun little Battle mode where you can play as the enemies and fight against the CPU or your friends 1 on 1. Interestingly enough, to avoid the monotomy of linearity, some levels have branching paths which, once taken, will lead players to a new level.
Fight N’ Rage is loud; visually and audio-wise. The game nails that old school presentation reminiscent of classic 16bit beat’em up. From the short intro/outro of each level to the villain taunting you on a game over screen, old school gamers will definitely notice the nods to the classic age of gaming. Visually, despite being colorful, there’s still a sense of darkness due to the levels’ nighttime settings. The trio of playable characters look fine and they have a similar design found as the one seen in Mighty Final Fight on the NES. The game’s soundtrack is an eclectic mix of metal, rock, jazz and acoustic guitar. While this might sound odd, it works really well and gives each level their own musical flavor complementing the game’s old school visuals. It’s definitely one of the most interesting soundtracks of the year. And it’s available on Youtube!
Fight N’ Rage is a great addition to the beat’em up genre. Fast paced and over the top, it’s sure to appeal to new gamers while reaching old school gamers who grew up on Streets of Rage and Final Fight. However, in order to stay faithful to classic beat’em ups, there’s plenty of cheap hits and there’s a lack of depth combo-wise, especially compared to recent River City Girls; however the amount of content to unlock will keep you hooked and busy for the foreseeable future.
- Reaks of style
- Busting of content
- Simplistic combat…
- … But may be too simplistic for its own good
- Raven boss fight
- Cheap attacks