The Presentation is what hooked me at first. I’ve enjoyed a few Brawlers, but never enough to make me an authority.
What got me interested I think was the overall aesthetic. The characters look much like cartoon characters, animated and expressive, and quite a few would make great action figures. These are characters that could easily capture the fancy and wonder of a child…And yet, the plot is both mature and dark as all Hell, simple and intricate. As I told the creator, this setting would make for a really great graphic novel.
I used to play with toys with my brother, and we’d have them fight and we’d create narratives and plot twists, but we were only children. This game feels like what would happen if a truly talented man created a simple yet dark and even brutal story using those same toys. That juxtaposition astonishes me, and I hope somebody in Hollywood is taking notes.
Within this setting, a global catastrophe has ruined all technology any more complicated than a lightbulb. The same catastrophe heralded an uprising of mutated creatures of all shapes and sizes. The Mutants easily overpowered mankind, and their Leonin leader commanded all humanity to be subjugated or destroyed.
After a time of this, our story begins centering on two humans and a humanity sympathetic mutant. As you progress through the Arcade Mode story, multiple paths become open and you have to choose which to take. This creates a branching tree of paths that apparently lead to more than twenty different endings.
You will also collect Coins by playing Arcade mode, Coins that can be spent in the Extras menu to purchase new Modes and Costumes. The Extras shop is one of my favorite features in this game. It gives a lot of incentives for trying out everything and improving your skills.
Gal is the Poster girl for the game. She’s fast and able to chain combos effortlessly but is the most fragile of our three heroes. Interesting story I can’t tell you about.
Ricardo is a Minotaur and yet sympathizes with humanity. He hits hard, walks slow, and relative to the rest can tank more abuse. I pretend he’s a former chiropractor because I find the concept hilarious. #ricardopractor
F. Norris is an older Ninja. And much like a ninja he often escapes my attention. He is more balanced than the rest, and a good character, as good as Gal and Ricardo, I just have had way too much fun with Ricardo and Gal to really tinker with him, and I didn’t want to put off writing this any longer.
The game places much emphasis on throws, them being very crucial to managing crowds of enemies. For instance, holding Up while finishing a normal combo will automatically convert the Last Hit into a Forward Throw. And similarly holding Down will perform a Backward Throw.
You can Parry, though it is tricky to pull off. It will negate damage and give you a boost to your Special Meter which is used for executing your Special Attack. Using your Special without a full meter is possible, but it takes away some health every time.
Fun side note, the developer warned me about the “Fun” of the Raft level. Sure enough, it was a lot of fun, and I won’t ruin what made it so”Fun” by telling you. Just look at this foreboding image of Gal on a raft bound for a dark tunnel.
Fight’N’Rage’s most violent and visceral feature is actually a homage to the Brutalities of Mortal Kombat. If you deal enough damage to an enemy before they fall to the ground and fade away, they will explode into a shower of bones. And of course, the game grants bonus points for each time you accomplish this. Skilled play is indeed well rewarded in this game.
A Training Mode will teach you the basics and some advanced tricks for the three main characters. It’s pretty convenient to put yourself through the first two levels of training with a character if you’ve not used them in a while. I tend towards Ricardo and had to refresh myself on both Gal and F.Norris’s move sets.
All told, Fight’N’Rage is a huge helping of Brawler goodness. I could not have been more satisfied with its amount of content, content that is consistently thrilling with thumb blistering gameplay.
Fight’N’Rage is charming and chilling, brutal and brilliant. Bright colors depict a dark world, and frantic gameplay leads the player through a carefully crafted kind of chaos.
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Robert Kelly Ball
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