Fightback Review

Gaming

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Fightback
Developer: Ninja Theory
Publisher: Chillingo
Platforms: iPhone (Reviewed), iPod Touch, iPad
Release Date: 19th December 2013
Price: Free – Available Here

Overview

Ninja Theory are a game developers studio that have done a great deal of good within the gaming industry in the past. Their most recent project, and by far one of my most favoured games, DMC remade the world of Devil May Cry in a way that gamers around the world really loved despite not taking to the idea of a remake in the first place. Well the team behind DMC have decided to hit mobile devices with a game that has just been released at this point in time and that game is titles Fightback. Fightback is a beat-em-up title that doesn’t take itself too seriously and borrows a lot of its themes and settings from cheesy 80s action flicks, something that I think Ninja Theory can do extremely well. We’ll soon see wont we?

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Story 

Within Fightback you play as a man named Jack; he’s cool cat with a short temper and a “rockin’ bod” that he seems to have developed while serving time as some sort of military man, that much wasn’t really too fleshed out. It seems as though this Sylvester Stallone look-alike has had his sister kidnapped by a gang that apparantly has a great deal of control in the city where the game is set, the gang is lead by a mysterious man named Drago who has a fairly deep connection to Jack that seems to stretch back way into his past. Clearly Drago wants revenge for something that Jack did to him and has targeted his only weakness which just so happens to be his younger sister.

Jack gets suited up with a plain white singlet, worn-in jeans, some tough boots and one mean pair of sunglasses which is all he needs to both save his sister and clean the streets of these maniacal gangs. The story is obviously very tongue-in-cheek and I don’t believe it’s meant to be taken that seriously, fact is, Ninja Theory didn’t lay it out in a way that would force you into taking it seriously, everything that the character of Jake does is so very much over-the-top and extremely reminiscent of those 80s action flicks that I mentioned above. The great thing about the story behind Fightback is that it is very basic, very cliché, fairly silly and it is just enough of a story to justify you playing the game because, at the end of the day, even though it doesn’t seem like you’re really heading anywhere you actually are.

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Gameplay 

Now this is where Fightback really began to shine as in incredible mobile game. It’s your typical beat-em-up/sidescroller but with a major twist so, despite the fact that it is quite basic, it is actually very clever…clever enough for me to call it clever. Basically you’re met with waves of enemies, you tap both the right and left sides of the screen separately in the respective direction you want to attack, so if your enemy is coming from the left…you tap the left side of the screen and vice versa, I probably didn’t need to  go over that but I like to be thorough. Swiping up will have jack jump, swiping down will have him crouch and swiping diagonally both up, down or across will result in different forms of attacks. Very simple. I love that about this game, it’s so easy to just pick up and play then put down once you’re finished and you don’t feel bad for doing so partway through a level because of how easy it is to just pick up from where you left off. There are a great deal of upgrades, equipable items and weapons for you and Jack to use throughout the game, some can be picked up and used while in a fight and others like a bulletproof vest are purchased beforehand and used within.

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What else ruled about this game was the upgrading system, EVERYTHING could be upgraded and if you were actually half decent at the game it wasn’t that hard to grind for money. The game play in and of itself was absolutely fantastic but here comes the kicker…ads and in-game purchases were like a plague on this game. You could not even open the game without having three floating bubbles with adds for other games drifting across your screen, it constantly badgered you to link the title up to your Facebook and continuously asked for real-life money for in-game items. All that stuff was semi-avoidable and I understand that, to most people, this isn’t a big deal…for me it was.

I would honestly be a great deal happier with this being a game I could buy for more than the standard $0.99 and have NO ads or in-game transactions at all than to constantly be bother with this little annoyances that interrupt me from actually becoming immersed in this game. Dying in-game then having to wait five minutes to be healed is quite silly, you can revive yourself with in-game money but if you have no in-game money you can be sure they’ll ask if you want to use real money, so get good at the game and get good quick. It would have been a straight up perfect release if not for that.

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Audio And Visuals

Fightback looks freaking fantastic, the graphics are actually fairly good but what looks the best about this game to me is the way that the characters move while in action. Jack as a fighter is incredibly kick-arse, the way they animated his movements were, pretty much, the coolest part of this game and considering Ninja Theory seemed like they were going for the “cool” factory, THAT’S the biggest compliment I could give. The animation was so fluid yet rough much like Jack’s character, each enemy moved around in a different way and actually looked good. Look the designs for the characters were fairly basic but it fit in with the whole “cheesy 80s” theme so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they were intended to look a little basic.

There wasn’t a great deal of voice acting in this game so I can’t really focus on that, what I heard of it was great so no complaints there but I’d like to focus more on the music and how it tied in with the overall theme of the game: It was basically all dark, synthesizer music much like what you’d hear in the game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, the music was great, not because it was just god music but because it fit in so damn well with this gangland setting and Jake himself. I also did enjoy the in-fight sound effects, they were very well done and extremely satisfying especially when you pummel an enemy who has just finished beating the crap out of you.

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Overall

Fightback is an absolutely fantastic game, there’s no doubt about that at all. The action is good, the visuals are great and, as a whole, it really holds up and stands its ground against other games of its type. With Fightback, as I mentioned, I believe it should have been a paid game instead of a free game that has you consider paying money to do simple things that should be doable regardless but, like I also said, they are ignorable and you can easy bypass them by just not caring, it does take away from the game though, it isn’t entirely without its faults. Either way the game is great for anyone that loves 80s action, cheesy characters and a game that knows what it is and likes to make fun of itself through what it does, just be ready for a few little annoying things to tick you off. I beg that you do give this game a good go because, once you get past those little things, it is actually a very enjoyable game.

8-5-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

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