Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Players: 1-4 (Local Co-op)
Genre: Side-Scrolling Brawler
There is something special about playing a game in a genre that has fallen by the wayside. Fist Puncher gives that special feeling by bringing back the side-scrolling brawler of yesteryear, only with a bit of a twist. Team2Bit's Fist Puncher is an homage to games like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage with some RPG elements.
So, what is Fist Puncher? This game is essentially a parody of an almost dead genre. The Milkman has taken 8 women from the Miss Universe pageant and hidden them in multiple locations, and it is up to 1 of 15 characters to save them. Yes, the story is purposely that shallow, as it is a look into the arcade-style brawlers from the past.
To match the retro-style story, Fist Puncher also boasts a pixelated art style that makes it look like it belongs in an arcade from the early to mid 90's. It's not the most beautiful art style, but it doesn't seem as if it was meant to be.
Fortunately enough, this game is best played with a controller, but if you don't have one, a keyboard will suffice. Controls are as simple as having a kick, punch, jump, block, and special button. The combat is smooth, yet fast-paced, and it never feels unfair.
As stages in Fist Puncher are completed, the player's character will gain experience points that can be put toward multiple stats like defense, strength, special, speed, and a stat that is specific to each character. Each stat feels like it makes difference, and each character feels different from every other character. The differences between characters will cause some players to favor one character over all of the others. In a completely non-shocking turn of events, the character that was used for this review was De Capitan-- a war veteran turned luchador that uses his speed, power, and wrestling moves to take down his foes.
While there are 50+ levels of content, some may find that they are constantly going back to levels that they have already been through to find hidden items, or just to help level their character up.
To help the game feel fresh, Fist Puncher's soundtrack keeps the mood upbeat. Players will notice that the music sounds similar to that of Hotline Miami. It's a tone that makes a player want to smash in faces and just keep moving-- an absolute necessity for a game like this.
Fist Puncher is a game that would easily fit into a collection with Double Dragon or Streets of Rage. It has style, it has smooth gameplay, and most importantly, it is just a great time.
I enjoyed Fist Puncher. It didn't hurt that it is from a genre that doesn't get much attention anymore. I was constantly doing what I could to get to the next character, or search for the hidden key to open a door I couldn't before.