Wax on, wax off Daniel-San. Remember the greats from the 90’s and early 2000’s? Karate Kid, Double Dragon and, of course, any Chuck Norris or Steven Segal movie. You most likely lived out this game in your own head and fantasised about kicking some bad guy butt as a master of the Ninja way. Enter the world of One Finger Death Punch, the game where even the most unskilled player can be a combat god!
One Finger Death Punch shoots onto your screen in amazing 2D stickman glory, but even as basic as the graphics are, they are overwhelmingly satisfying. The attention to detail in the background on both special effects and terrain destruction is flawless and well-timed. There is a seriously amazing soundtrack playing in the background, which, during level selection, will give you some nostalgic motivation. During battles, it will give you some serious incentive to kick butt and learn the ways of the Ninja master.
Combat does get really repetitive very quickly, let’s face it, it’s only 2 buttons and it’s not really a complicated combat system, but the game is made a little less tedious by having different game modes like Boss Fights, Retro Mode (sepia toned like the old cinemas) and a surprisingly familiar “Lightsword Round”. It’s the gigantic array of melee and ranged weapons which make the game fun while in the fray. Picking up a spear and swinging around on it like Neo against a bunch of Smiths, or slicing and dicing with your favourite sword. The options for more carnage are opened up by a skill customisation menu. You unlock these skills by defeating all the enemies on certain levels throughout the game.
There are a couple of different modes to bolster your need to smash face in the way of the fist, and a few different difficulties to ensure you can hone your skills to reach that 7th dan black belt. You start with student mode, as all great Kung Fu prodigies do, but once you complete your quest and beat the final level you can move to master and on to Grandmaster. However, something a bit more interesting to add to the list is the survival mode that is unlocked after beating the final level, which also has the Master and Grandmaster skill level options. In survival mode, you hone your skills in a pure adrenaline fight to the death. There is no end other than your life bar reaching 0. While this may seem daunting, when you can gloat to friends and enemies about your 7000 kill spree on the evil Ninja monkey clan of the far east, you will somehow appreciate the value of some relaxed fun.
For a low budget Indie game, One Finger Death Punch really hit a home run. It is visually appealing and the game keeps giving you the chance to kick some bad guy butt with a smile on your face. The addition of zoom in slow motion scenes, to show bones breaking or hearts being punched out of chests, is a great and unexpected twist for the game to take. The only thing lacking in this game is something to tide you over. The combat scenes keep you clicking, but there isn’t much to retain your attention and keep you engaged.
One Finger Death Punch really is pleasantly surprising in the game-play and graphics. It’s definitely worth the price listed on Steam, possibly more. If the game had a patch to give you some side quests it would have been a true hit. But even with only a few small things to complain about, you’ll still find yourself clicking your way through waves of foes until the wee hours.
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