A beat em’ up being released in 2017?
Being a child of the ’80s and ’90s, there was no shortage of beat em‘ up games. Titles such as Streets of Rage, Final Fight, and Double Dragon were all the rage and kept you entertained for hours on end. Sadly, the current gaming landscape is nearly devoid of games such as these. Outside of a few gems that are still years old, beat em’ ups are pretty much dead. Thankfully, Indie developers don’t know this and are still cranking them out. This is where Fight’N Rage comes in!
Game Name: Fight’N Rage
Platform(s): PC, also available on PS4, Xbox One and Switch
Publisher(s): SebaGames Dev
Developer(s): SebaGames Dev
Release Date: September 19, 2017
I only recently heard about Fight’N Rage, and that was only due to me looking at another game – which I won’t mention. Instead, I began to see comments about a little-known game in development. One that had quite the following. My interest piqued, I started to search for the game and found little information. Buried beneath dead websites and Reddit posts, I found the name of the developer and the title – Fight’N Rage. A game that inspired by countless Beat ’em up titles from the past and puts a spin on it. There are references to those games littered everywhere as well.
Heck, just looking at one of the main characters, with an uninspiring name, Gal, and you can see her influences. Gal looks like someone took Chun-Li, Mai Shiranui and even Blaze (Streets of Rage) and mixed them together – just look at her appearance. Her attacks even mimic those character but don’t take that as a complaint. Its fan service and the best type of it – I loved it. In case you weren’t paying attention, Gal is likely a play on Capcom’s character from Final Fight – Guy! Get it? Gal? Guy? The other two available characters are pretty awesome as well. The moment I started playing, a wave of nostalgia rushed over me and somehow I was transported back to the 90s of video games.
On the surface, Fight’N Rage looks like an ordinary brawling game. You pick from one of three characters; Gal, Ricardo or F. Norris (Yes, that is his name) and off you go. However, the moment you start to play the game is when you realize that you couldn’t be more wrong. Beneath the surface is a game that lets you pull off some sweet combos that can be extended via different means. I’m still finding out the extent of how far you can take a combo. Wall bounces, air juggles, connecting with special moves, jumping off another enemies head and more. A lot of work when into this sweet and fulfilling combo system – kudos is deserved for this.
Besides punches and kicks, special moves can be performed with a directional input and the special attack button. Toss in some dash moves, jump attacks and you got yourself countless ways on inflicting damage. That’s not all, as you also jump to different planes by double-tapping either up or down. Doing this will either move you out of harm’s way or put you right where you want to them to pull off a slick 25-plus hit combo. Like weapons? Well, this game has a bunch of them, from knives to pipes, and a few others. When you transition to a new stage, you don’t drop your weapons! I thought that was a nice touch, as with other games in the genre, the second you move to a different area with a weapon in hand, you lose them.
Graphically, the game is actually really stunning. Sure, it may look like a 16-bit game, but there’s so much going on. Every stage has some sort of animated theme going on, from flame effects and raindrops splashing on the ground. You can even make out the faces of the characters when, er, .. they’re embarrassed. I was impressed when I encountered a level where you fight on a raft while navigating a long corridor. The game is fluid, colorful and is amazingly done. If that wasn’t enough, you can also customize the game. You can change the game to either window or full screen, add scanlines, change the color depth and even give the game the appearance that you’re playing on a CRT. There’s zero slow down and the game never skips a beat. The sounds are equally impressive. The soundtrack is a mixture of high-tempo tunes, while the sound effects get the point across with lots of heavy thumps and smacks. Nice touches that allow you feel that you’re doing some meaty damage. There even moments where the CPU will taunt you by calling you “Loser!”.
The controls are tight and responsive. You can even use both the d-pad or analog stick. I never encountered any issues with controlling my character or performing moves during combat. Keyboard warriors will be happy to know that you can play with the keyboard as well, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Lastly, you can remap your buttons if you don’t like the current layout.
Did someone say co-op? Yes, this game does support co-op, up to three players. Sadly, this is restricted to local co-op only. There’s no online multiplayer here. Which is a shame as I feel that some online action would be perfect for streaming or just hanging out with your friends. I hate saying that “it’s 2017” and that every game should be online because that’s not fair to the developers. They decided to not include online for one reason or another. Perhaps it will be something to look forward to if there’s a sequel?
Beating the game takes a few hours, but it doesn’t stop there. You earn currency in the game that lets you buy outfits for your characters, extra characters, extra game modes, and other various locked items. This goes a long way to make sure you’ll come back again and again. There are even different routes to take and the story changes depending on which character you pick and your the decisions you make. Ultimately this is still a button-mashing title and this sort of gameplay isn’t for everything. Some might enjoy it, while others will find it repetitive. I enjoyed the game, very much so. With 9 hours of time already under my belt, I don’t think I’ll be putting this down anytime soon.
The only thing I didn’t like about the gameplay is the fact that enemies can walk off the screen at any given time. Yes, this too is a throwback to games of old, but I hated it just as much back then. If I’m here to kick your butt, you could at least stay there for the kicking. Some of the bosses are also really cheap. I’m all for being punished, but not when it means getting an extended combo that results in me losing half of my life bar – ouch. The game is a bit harder if you go it alone. I also hope that the game gets some sort of active saving for play progress. The game only saves when you quit or if you die and don’t continue. If the game crashes or if your PC gets shut down, all your progress is lost. This includes any money you have made during that session.
The omission of online play may make the $20 price tag a bit too much for some. It will come down to either you’re a fan of the genre and online doesn’t matter, or you’ll wait for a Steam sale. Outside of that, this game is a gem and one that should get plenty of attention. I’ve never heard of SebaGames Dev before, but I’m pleased as punch that they developed Fight’N Rage. My inner child thanks you more than you’ll ever know. The title is only available on the PC, but I’m hoping that this ends up on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Review Disclosure Statement: Fight’N Rage was purchased for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Prepare to 'N Rage
Sebagamesdev has put together a charming beat em up that takes bits and pieces of titles from the past. Tosses them together and out comes a fantastic gem of a brawler. Lots of ways to play, tons of stuff to do and some interesting design choices ensure that gamers will be back, again and again. Can’t forget the fanservice, as there’s a lot of it going on here. Outside of the occasional crash, I highly recommend this game, especially for those who find themselves playing past generation beat em’ ups.
Here’s to hoping we see a sequel, as I feel that Sebagamesdev has only just opened the door. Now it’s time for them to come on in.