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Fight'N Rage Review

Developers: SebaGamesDev, Blitworks

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Publishers: SebaGamesDev, Blitworks

Genres: Fighting game, Indie game

Initial release date: September 19, 2017

"Review Copy Provided By Blitworks"

To begin this review, I would like to give a special shoutout to Seba Games, the sole developer of this game, for dedicating years of hard work to create my all-time favorite beat em up. This game is truly a masterpiece that deserves all the praise and should not be missed. Its infinite replayability is something that everyone should experience, and with its availability on current and previous generation consoles as well as Steam, there is no reason not to play it.

Moving on to the review, FightNRage builds upon the best elements of Streets of Rage and Final Fight, taking the gameplay to new heights. It offers a dreamlike experience with a strong focus on combos and juggling enemies. At the outset, FightNRage features three playable characters: Gal, Norris, and Ricardo, with each character having distinct playstyles, range, priority, speed, damage outputs, and combo styles. It's highly recommended to explore the training room to learn more about each character's unique qualities. Personally, Ricardo is my favorite character to play as.

The enemies in the game are clever and tend to stay out of reach, so Gal's ability to rush in can help you close the distance and take down a particular enemy. On the other hand, if you prefer dealing with all your enemies at once, and tend to get surrounded often, Ricardo's spinning fists and dragon punch can give you the space you need to breathe. Alternatively, Norris could be a better choice, as he allows you to pull all nearby foes in for a massive combo. The game offers you the freedom to choose how you deal with your enemies, but make sure to eliminate them all. It's impressive how well-crafted each of the game's foes is, considering the game was made by just one person. The enemies are designed to understand how players approach beat 'em ups. For example, moving up and down the screen to force enemies to catch up with you often results in enemies doing a little hop to get out of range of your attack. This attention to detail is remarkable, and the enemies' ability to learn and react to your playstyle is impressive.

In terms of design, the enemies are vibrant and colorful, taking inspiration from various 80s-style action movies. You'll encounter Game of Death Bruce Lee-like fighters, mutant monkeys, Doberman doormen in dapper outfits, and eccentric flies with boxing gloves, all rendered in gorgeous pixel art. Their attacks and movements flow seamlessly, making the game a visual treat.

Most brawlers tend to become tedious over time as players rely on a limited set of attacks to beat down foes repeatedly. However, Fight'N Rage breaks away from that pattern by incorporating bone-crunching and pulse-pounding audio design that makes every punch, kick, throw, and explosion satisfying. The sound effects add a meaty smash to each hit, making it feel great every time you land a blow. Additionally, the game uses just the right amount of screen shake, making each punch satisfying on a small scale. I have to take a moment to gush over the game's OST. It's fantastic! The music, also created by the game's developer (Gonzalo Varela), sets the perfect mood for bashing heads and moving forward. Unlike other games that stick to one type of music throughout, Fight'N Rage changes the soundtrack based on the environment and cutscenes. This variety of melodic moods ensures that the player enjoys the soundtrack throughout the game.

Let's discuss the replay value and unlockable content of FightNRage because, typically, brawlers are one-time playthroughs that quickly become tedious. However, in FightNRage, there's a plethora of content to unlock, characters to play as, endings to achieve (including several hidden routes that affect the stages and endings, which encourages experimentation), and plenty of activities to engage in. As you progress through the game, you earn coins that can be used to unlock new characters, costumes, and play modes, as well as the highly useful Training Mode, which teaches you new moves.

As for the storyline, it's solid and deceptively dark, with scenes that may surprise you with their intensity given the game's art style. If you want to experience the darker aspects of the story, try saving the girl at the beginning of the game and keeping her alive. Alternatively, let her die in the first level to see how the story unfolds.

Performance on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S is just as stellar as previous releases with the exceptions being that the game can now run up to 120fps and includes new game modes and unlockables. If you own this on PS4 or Xbox One then you get a free upgrade to this version so if you’ve played this before on PC or other platforms then you know what to expect here.

Fight’N Rage has become my top pick for brawlers and is deserving of recognition alongside legendary titles such as Streets of Rage, Final Fight, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, BattleToads, and Sengoku 3. It provides incredibly satisfying gameplay with a rich and diverse moveset, a surprisingly dark storyline, and an easy-to-learn yet challenging combat system, all backed by an outstanding soundtrack that rivals that of SoR2. If you're a fan of the brawler/beat-em-up genre, then you simply must add this game to your collection. There's no excuse not to play it, and I wholeheartedly endorse it. Many thanks to Mr. Din and The Brawlers Avenue for introducing me to this game, and to SebaGames and BlitWorks Games for giving me the chance to play this fantastic title again on the latest generation of consoles.

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