Growing up in the 1990s like a lot of people my age I was a big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was younger. As a fan of TMNT I really enjoyed the video games created for the arcades, NES, and SNES. Most of the TMNT games from this era were pretty good. In particular I really enjoyed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time as I can’t even remember how many times I ended up beating that game. I have always been a fan of the beat ’em up genre especially when they have a co-op mode. I really liked playing games cooperatively with my brother when we were kids and I still enjoy them today. When I first saw Fight’N Rage it immediately reminded me of games like the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games and thus I was really interested in checking it out. Fight’N Rage was originally released on PCs back in 2017 and made its console debut on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in September. Today I am looking at the PlayStation 4 version which was released today. Fight’N Rage is a good beat ’em up game that does a good job recreating what makes the genre so enjoyable even if it is on the short side.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Sebastián García and Blitworks for the review copy of Fight’N Rage used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
After the event known as “the big pulse” all of the technology on Earth was destroyed. This lead to a group of mutants taking over the planet under the leadership of “The Boss”. Humankind has been enslaved by the mutants. That is until a group of humans and a mutant that has joined the human’s side decide to fight back. Will you be able to defeat “The Boss” once and for all and free humankind from its mutant oppressors?
Anyone familiar with the beat em’ up genre of video games, especially the 1980s and 1990s, should already have a pretty good idea of what it is like playing Fight’N Rage. The genre title is pretty self-explanatory after all as the game basically breaks down to beating up the enemies on the screen. Basically the goal of the game is to punch/kick all of the enemies on the screen until they are defeated. You then move to the right where you will encounter more enemies that you will have to kill/defeat. You need to defeat all of the enemies in your way to reach the boss at the end of the level which you have to defeat to move onto the next level.
Like most games in the genre the combat in Fight’N Rage is pretty basic. The game basically utilizes four buttons. The analog stick controls your movement up, down, left and right. The game also includes a jump button that allows you to avoid enemy attacks and hit enemies in the air. Another button controls your character’s attacks. In combination with the other buttons you can create various combos. Finally there is a special attack button. This button unleashes a more powerful attack that regularly hits multiple enemies at the same time. This ability will charge up over time allowing you to unleash it and attack enemies. You can either allow it to charge up or you can use the ability whenever you want in exchange for some of your health. In the main story mode there are three different characters that you can choose between. They utilize the same controls but play differently as each has different strengths and weaknesses. Gal is a fast fighter that lacks range while Ricardo has a lot of range but his attacks are slow. F. Norris is kind of a combination of the two where he has speed and range, but he is not as durable as the other fighters.
At the beginning of this review I compared Fight’N Rage to the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat ’em up games. While the trailer made the two games seem similar, after playing the game the comparison is even more valid. While playing Fight’N Rage it kept reminding me of games like TMNT and other old school beat em’ ups. From the enemy designs to the combat and even the levels/scenarios reminded me of many other games from this genre. Playing Fight’N Rage felt like a homage to the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games as well as other old school beat ’em ups. The game does a fantastic job recreating what was so enjoyable about those old games.
The most important thing that Fight’N Rage takes from the classic games from the genre is the combat. The game has a few modern day quality of life improvements, but for the most part it plays a lot like the old games from the 1980s and 1990s. Like those old games the combat is quite simple. There are only a few buttons meaning that on the surface the combat is pretty simple. The combat involves a lot of button mashing as there are only two attack buttons. This is combined with some skill though as you chain together combos and avoid enemy attacks. The combat involves a lot of mashing the attack button while being aware of your settings so you can avoid enemy attacks. The combat is not all mindless button mashing but it may not be that appealing to people that generally prefer more sophisticated combat. People who like the old beat ’em games from the 1980s and 1990s though will probably get a lot of enjoyment out of the combat. It may not have the deepest combat, but there is just something so satisfying about beating up hordes of enemies.
As for the difficulty I would say that the game does a good job offering plenty of options. The game has various difficulty settings which should give players of any skill level a challenge. To begin the game there is a normal difficulty but you can use coins that you acquire throughout the game to purchase additional difficulties. I began with the normal difficulty and I would say that it is moderately difficult. I am far from an expert at the genre but I am no slouch at it either. I died while playing on normal difficulty and had to use a number of continues in order to complete the story mode. Unless you are an expert at the genre you will probably have to use a couple continues, but the game never becomes so difficult that it becomes frustrating. Just to see how difficult it was I also checked out the easy difficulty. The easy difficulty is quite a bit easier which will give players that aren’t quite as good at these type of games an easier journey. I haven’t tried out the harder difficulties but I would expect them to add quite a bit of challenge to the game.
As for the atmosphere Fight’N Rage reminds me a lot of the games from the genre from the 1980s and 1990s. The game utilizes a pixel art style and musical score reminiscent of the SNES era of video games. The game even has various filters that you can use to either make the game look like it is being played on an older television/arcade cabinet or you can make the graphics crisper. For the most part I enjoyed the game’s art and music style. The pixel art is quite good and it brings a lot of character to the game. The music is also quite good at bringing you back to an older age of video games. This is not necessarily a problem but I did want to point out the the game can be somewhat mature at times. The game does use some revealing clothes for the female characters and includes “jiggle physics”. For these reasons the game may not be for younger children as it does have a Teen ESRB rating.
While there was a lot of things that I liked about Fight’N Rage there was one somewhat significant issue with the game that prevents it from being as good as it could have been.
Fight’N Rage does a great job recreating the beat ’em up genre from the 1980s and 1990s. One thing that I was hoping that it would avoid is the length of games from that era. Most games from that era would take a couple hours at max to complete unless you kept failing. Unfortunately this is true for Fight’N Rage as well. The story mode consists of around 8-10 stages. Depending on how good you are at these type of games you should be able to beat the entire story mode within an hour or two. Our first time through the game we were able to beat the normal difficulty in around 1.5-2 hours. In our second playthrough we were able to beat the game in around 45 minutes to an hour on the easy difficulty. If you die a lot these times could be longer but I would guess most players could beat the story mode in around the same amount of time.
With the story mode only taking around an hour or two to complete Fight’N Rage had to find other ways to add some replay value to the game. It does this in a couple different ways. First the story mode has a couple alternative paths that you can take. These don’t drastically change the story mode, but they add a little variety as each path you take will impact some of the stages that you will play. This also leads the game to have a bunch of different endings. Each different combination of characters that you play as along with the alternative paths you take will lead you to a different ending. This adds a decent amount of replay value as you have to play through the game quite a bit to unlock all of the different endings. Each time you play through the game though it is mostly the same experience as you will be fighting the same enemies on the same stages over and over again. This can get a little repetitive after a while.
Otherwise Fight’N Rage has a lot of different things that you can unlock. As you score points in the game you will receive coins. These coins can be used for quite a few different things. The coins can be used to unlock various different game modes. These modes vary from a training mode, to different difficulty levels, to one on one combat and a time trial mode. These modes can add a little variety to the game as they change up the gameplay some. Coins can also be used for various costumes or you can buy other characters to use in some of the other modes. For completionists there is a lot to unlock where you can get quite a bit of replay value out of the game.
Fight’N Rage doesn’t really try to hide what it is. It is obvious from the minute that you start playing the game that the designer was a big fan of beat ’em up games from the 1980s and 1990s and wanted to create a game that paid homage to them. For the most part Fight’N Rage does a great job in achieving that goal. Everyone familiar with the genre should already know what to expect out of Fight’N Rage. Basically you punch and kick enemies while avoiding their attacks until you defeat them and move onto fighting the next enemy. The combat in Fight’N Rage is kind of basic but that doesn’t mean that the game can’t be challenging. The game gives players a lot of options to provide enough challenge for players of any skill level. The combat is fun for fans of the genre even if it might occasionally become a little repetitive. The game’s atmosphere is also pretty good. Fans of old school beat ’em up games should have a lot of fun with Fight’N Rage. The one problem with the game is that it is on the short side as you can beat the entire story mode within an hour or two. The game has a lot to unlock which adds replay value, but the gameplay does get a little repetitive after a while.
If you have never really been a fan of beat ’em up games I don’t see Fight’N Rage being for you. Fans of beat ’em up games should have quite a bit of fun with Fight’N Rage. Whether you should pick up the game right away or wait for a sale depends on whether you mind replaying the same levels over and over again to unlock everything the game has to offer. Whether you buy the game right away or wait for a sale I would recommend picking up Fight’N Rage at some point.