The development scene in Latin America shares a common origin, since it was in the 80s and 90s when gaming reached many countries in the region to become a phenomenon. Classic genres like fighting and beat ’em up left a deep mark on those who lived through those times, whether on arcade or console, making it inevitable that those who took the development and programming path would be inspired by these roots.
Sebastián García, Uruguayan and authentic “one man army” appears right on the map with Fight’N Rage, a retro game that he developed only appealing to the purest old school style. This title has been on the market for a few years, but it just came to current generation consoles.
Fight’N Rage: a tribute to a great era of gaming
Fight’N Rage is a 2D action game with Arcade aesthetics that combines 2 genres that used to cause riots in Arcade rooms: fighting and beat’em up. The influence is more than evident, legendary games like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and even Street Fighter to remember that, for a moment, Capcom thought of the IP as a sequel to its beat ’em up from SCP 1.
As you can imagine, Fight’N Rage appeals to those times and is based on the short circuit that this type of proposal can cause in our brain, because, just like riding a bicycle, what is learned is never forgotten, in which case it is only it oxidizes. Hence, if you are an old school gamer, you will immediately find yourself on familiar ground for better and for worse because we know that a beat’em up was never easy and its full mastery depended on many hours of learning and of course money invested in the form of chips.
The beat’em up marked an era in gaming
Returning to those times when the excesses of history were the least of it, Fight’N Rage puts us in a future where humanity and its life in society fell apart, mutants dominated the Earth and now we are in control of a small but powerful resistance. Which means you’ll be in a world devastated and facing creatures that are a mix of animal and human (but 80s gangster-esque, as it should be). The premise puts us in front of our first major gameplay decision: character selection.
The gameplay of yesteryear executed to perfection
Gal, inspired by Mai Shiranui, has a martial art derived from kick boxing. She is very fast, but more susceptible to attacks and damage. Ricardo, our huge mutant who performs as a tank or better as Mike Haggar and F. Norris, our balanced ninja. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and this is where the action begins.
Fight’N Rage takes beat’em up mechanics and adds a fighting game twist. The game does not take long to get you fully into the blows and its first hit is that the tutorial is basic; It only lasts a few seconds to explain that here everything is 3 buttons and the directional stick or crosshead, it is the player’s job to discover all the possible combinations since combos are the order of the day as an otherwise satisfactory experience. The balance is also respected in terms of special movements because you have a button for it that depends, first, on a bar that fills automatically in a matter of seconds but when it is not like that you can use that same attack in exchange for a portion of your life line. No beat’em up is easy and the trick is always in the balance: neither too weak nor too strong, and prioritizing learning.
Gal, fast and lethal
You should know that this is not about going out to the streets to hit everything that moves while you advance; Every fan of the genre knows that coming out victorious is a matter of analysis and a rigorous process of trial and error. Hence Fight’N Rage, with all its frenzy and action, has not given up on this essential element as all enemies have patterns and just like our heroes, strengths and weaknesses, so each level requires the greatest attention to know when and how to attack until you achieve mastery that will allow you to execute an authentic performance by supplying dozens of blows and grabs without anyone laying a hand on you. Here’s a free tip: watch what the common enemies do, if you don’t don’t wonder why the hell the boss is sweeping the floor with you.
“…watch what the common enemies do, if you don’t don’t wonder why the hell the boss sweeps the floor with you”
Fight’N Rage’s combat, an essential piece, is well designed and executed, in addition to the fact that there is a guarantee of response in its control, which makes it a fun experience that does not take long to become addictive, especially when you realize that a A full session doesn’t take more than an hour, but before you start screaming into the sky questioning why you’re going to play a title that doesn’t last 500 hours, open world, RPG elements and blah blah blah, let me tell you. that it is a title rich in post-game content, there is a lot to discover since the scenarios have some alternate routes, there are game modes to unlock including one of fights, different endings, costumes, in short: a good deal to have fun in a short session.
Control and visual performance do their part correctly most of the time in Fight’N Rage, maybe the only details to consider are: some dips I experienced at times when there were a lot of enemies (very few) and ultimately that sometimes the saturation of enemies and details on the stage do not allow you to see your character, the position and the movements that you are executing, which can cost you damage and lose a life.
Sub-boss and boss battles are exciting and challenging
Fight’N Rage: its retro style and its music in the purest style of the 90s
Since we are talking about the visual, it is inevitable to highlight the quasi-artisanal work of Sebastián García, since it faithfully reproduces the art and aesthetics of the genre in the 90s. The CRT-like screen, the scanlines (there are also current-looking filters in case you don’t like the retro style) and the design of protagonists, enemies and settings is noteworthy since the references to the great titles of that current are immediately recognized but also the unique touch that has been put into the project.
The soundtrack deserves a special mention with dozens of songs composed by the Uruguayan Gonzalo Varela, composer, sound designer and audio programmer, who perfectly captured the musical spirit of the time to bring it back with an original proposal. Fight’N Rage’s violence is enriched by themes that are mostly heavy metal and speed metal, although there are sections in which funk and jazz make their appearance.
The art style and music are amazing
Part of the Japanese gaming scene in the 1980s coincided with the rise of metal, and that carried over into their video games. During the 90s, the same thing happened in several Latin American countries and for many of us it became common to visit Arcade rooms while someone was playing music from Metallica, Megadeth, Guns N’ Roses or Testament outside (or even inside). Listening to each song in Fight’N Rage and appreciating the musical work of Gonzalo Varela, it was inevitable to return to those times and remember them with a smile.
Fight’N Rage is a good video game and an incredible tribute to the roots that saw a generation of gamers grow up. Gaming is going through a period of excesses in the mainstream, but in the other layers the commitment to creativity and respect for the environment as a creative platform is maintained. Fight’N Rage is there, remembering that the first thing that matters in video games is the design, the mechanics and that this results in good moments of fun. Without a doubt, it is a good retro proposal and a title that deserves a chance.
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