Fight’N Rage (PlayStation 5)
Available on PC for several years now, this retro beat em up has finally managed to fight its way to the likes of PS5 in an attempt to bring more fists to the fight. Still a worthwhile endeavour? Lets take a look.
In the far future, Earth is left devastated by mutants who took control after a catastrophic event known as ‘the big pulse’, that fried all electronic technology on the planet. Humanity later became enslaved by the mutants, led by ‘The Boss’, in a world ruled by survival of the fittest. Two humans and a mutant rebel decide enough is enough and begin the fight to stop the madness. Will they be strong enough?
The Arcade/Story mode is all you get to start with, complete with local co-op, but is enough to keep you going for a bit as there’s plenty of decisions to change up each run a little. There’s plenty more modes on offer though, once they start to unlock you wont know where to go from the Arcade as there’s even Vs modes that allows you to play as the enemies. Indeed enemies can be unlocked and played as well in the character roster of almost 50. To be fair the amount of unlockable stuff is insane, so you’ll definitely spend plenty of hours with this one.
The graphics on this one will be perfect for anyone looking for a nostalgia fix. The chunky sprites and flashy effects give the game something of a Sega Saturn look, and you’ll find plenty of both filling the screen. Plenty of enemies can bear down on you as rain pours and fire fills the edges of the screen. Filling the speakers is a thumping soundtrack that deserves mention, alongside the retro sound effects, that quite heavily shreds guitars to make the most of any decent audio setup
To get that retro look even more retro, there’s also numerous filters than can be applied to give the game an old-school CRT look. I used CRT monitor with scanlines, CRT TV was a bit much for me, but you can just play the game with clean pixels or softened for a slightly more modern look. Running on the PS5 it loaded snappy and ran pretty much flawlessly, so not much to say regarding performance.
The game seems to borrow heavily from the likes of Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, so anyone a fan of 16-Bit beat em ups in particular will feel right at home. In another nod to its retro leanings, you can pretty much control the entire games using the D-Pad and 3 buttons, one for attack, one for jump, and one for a special move. It really is as simple as that as more advanced moves come from your positioning or combining these actions to juggle foes. You’ll have no trouble getting to grips with the game quickly, needed really as the skirmishes grow in size after the first stage and the boss fights won’t always be one on one. Luckily there’s also 3 heroes to play as that each have their own way of fighting, gives the game some added variety as you go for one more run.
There isn’t much to distract you from this simple setup, no XP or skill trees to worry about for example as all your characters moves are available from stage one. All you got to focus on is finishing the stages with as high a point total as possible and nab some credits to unlock some extra goodies. The one stickler is likely how in your face the homages can be. Chicks with whips? Red apples and roast chickens restoring health? Punching barrels for items and weapons? There’s times when enemies will try running you down on motorcycles like that one annoying SOR2 stage too. You’ll likely notice others from various franchises as well, Streets of Rage ones were most noticeable for me as a SEGA kid, but its honestly a nice touch and will leave you keeping an eye out for more when playing.
Fight’N Rage may not look like much, but that all changes once the music kicks in and the fists start flying. With plenty of unlocks, pick up & play gameplay, retro graphics & filters, thumping soundtrack and plenty of modes to play with friends, it’s an almost perfect homage to classic beat em ups that feels lifted straight off a Sega Saturn. Sure it can be a little on the nose with its homages, but that’s something fans of retro brawlers will likely overlook given what the package as a whole offers.
Lands almost all its punches to leave you dizzy with nostalgia
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