Fight’N Rage – PS5 Review

Fight’N Rage is a side-scrolling beat ’em up from Uruguayan developer, and fighting game enthusiast, Seba Games Dev and it is very much inspired by the classics of the genre, a genre which arguably had its heyday back in the late ’80s and early ’90s but repeatedly gets dipped back into by indie developers to this day.

The game itself immediately sets out its intention with a fake arcade style BIOS screen that uses the Capcom font and design that you’d have seen when booting up such coin-op hits as Final Fight and Captain Commando.  A little bit of plot is offered up, some silliness about the world being overtaken by mutants (which is explains why so many of the characters in it have animal heads) but really you’ll be wanting to get right into the action.

The opening menu hints at plenty of content, almost all of it locked out on your initial entry into this game and so you’ll likely go straight into the game’s arcade mode.  Here you’ll get an instant impression that the game is using gameplay elements from the arcade games such as Double Dragon and the aforementioned Final Fight but with some of the sophistication you’ll have seen in console based beat ’em ups such as the Streets of Rage series.  You move about on a 2D screen generally moving from left to right but with up and down movement also being possible.

You’re immediately outnumbered but you do have a decent move set comprised of easy to combo attacks as well as sprints, jumps and a very handy ‘SP’ attack that damages multiple foes heavily but will also hurt you if you use it before it has cooled down.  With parries, aerial attacks, juggles and various complex combos, you’ve definitely got all the tools you’ll need to put up a good fight (and there’s a pretty comprehensive training mode to help you master them) but, like any old-school beat ’em up, you’ll easily find yourself on the wrong side of a beat down, if not from the large number of foes that you’ll be dealing with then from the significantly tricky bosses that pepper the game’s levels.

It’s certainly a challenge and trophy fans will have to really put in the work for the platinum as that involves 1CC-ing the whole game which we can tell you is far beyond our limited capabilities.  But the game does also have infinite continues which does make it easier to battle through to the end, although some tricky checkpointing later in the game does mean that progress is far from guaranteed.

All in all, the gameplay feels pretty damn good.  When you’re in the zone and grappling enemies before flinging them into their mates or taking out bosses with precise and tactical strikes, it’s really fun.  But where the game does let itself down a little is in how repetitive it can be and the length of a single playthrough is around eighty minutes which does start to drag in a game like this.  To mix things up, the game cleverly offers up branching paths which at least help vary things up a little but even then, you’ll be doing the same thing for 95% of the game with only the occasional vehicle section breaking things up.  And look, we’ve played so many elevator sections in these games that we’re kind of over it.

One thing we hugely appreciated was the huge amount of unlockables the game offers up.  From extra characters and skins to meaningful options such as gameplay modifications (including a welcome ‘easy’ mode), there’s loads of things to unlock and this certainly gives players plenty of reason to keep putting in those extra playthroughs.  You can tell that Seba was looking to make this a fully-featured package and he’s done a great job there.

In terms of presentation, things are okay but not amazing.  While the gameplay has more of a coin-op feel, the visuals have the bold and garish look of a ’90s console game and even when you turn off the default and horrible monitor curve effect (we keep the curve but just reduced it) the visuals aren’t particularly attractive and, at worst, the amount of characters on screen can really obscure the action.  The sound is kind of a mixed bag too as while there is a surprisingly rocking soundtrack it does kind of take precedence over the in-game sound FX and there was no voice work either.

There’s a lot to like about Fight’N Rage.  It is absolutely a love letter to the genre and does a great job of recreating it authentically while adding a bit of its own character.  We’d have liked to have seen a bit more innovation in terms of the level layouts and enemy types but equally the action is a bit more sophisticated than your old arcade favourites, so if you’re a fan of beat ’em ups, you’ll definitely enjoy this.

Fight'N Rage
8 Overall
+ A very credible example of the genre
+ Sophisticated move set available
+ Lots to unlock
+ Branching paths extend the life of the product
- Visuals can get muddled
- Feels like individual playthroughs could be shorter
- Can get a bit samey
- Difficulty might be off-putting for some
Fight'N Rage is what you want from a retro-inspired game. It does what you'd expect if the game had been released thirty years ago but then adds a load of extra content in order to keep you interested. If you're a fan of scrolling beat 'em ups, this is as good as it gets.

About Richie

Rich is the editor of PlayStation Country. He likes his games lemony and low-budget with a lot of charm. This isn't his photo. That'll be Rik Mayall.

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