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Game Info:

Fight'N Rage
Developed By: sebagamesdev
Published By: sebagamesdev
Released: September 26, 2019
Available On: PS4, PC, Switch
Genre: Beat'em up
ESRB Rating: Teen (Violence, Blood, Sexual Themes, Language)
Number of Players: Single-player, Co-op
Price: $19.99

First, thanks to sebagamesdev for the review key.

Back in the halcyon days of the 90's arcade scene, the big games one saw there were Street Fighter and other fighters, and beat em' ups like Final Fight. We also had Sega rival to Final Fight, "Streets of Rage", which had its take on side-scroller games where you punch anything that punches back. Fight'N Rage is a loving shoutout to this genre of games where you play alone or co-op to punch a bunch of bad guys.

Fight'N Rage takes place in a world dominated by beast-men who came to be after a post-apocalyptic disaster. They took to oppressing the regular humans, but some of them and some beast-men who oppose this racist attitude towards non-beast people refuse to lie down and accept this and aim to put a stop to the leaders of this effort to suppress humanity.

The gameplay is a simple left to right progressing side-scroller where you kick, punch, and use whatever weapons you can find to take down all the bad people (both beast-men and their human collaborators) until you've completed all stages and beaten the game. Since beat-em-ups and fighting games share some DNA, you can do combos, perform finishing moves, and each character you play as has their attacks.

Fight'N Rage
Highlights:

Strong Points: Good game mode variety; a fun throwback to 90s arcade games
Weak Points: Bit on the hard side
Moral Warnings: Considerable bit of melee-oriented violence; scanty attire for some female characters; mild if rare profanity on occasion in dialogue (d*mn or h*ll on rare occasion); some displays of bones and blood; racism is a prevalent story element

The main campaign is a series of 8 stages, some with alternate routes, each with an end boss. The other game modes are for learning the game moves, an ersatz fighting game mode where you fight for a best out of three rounds with the characters of your choice, and a few other unlockable modes and extras like different costumes, easier game difficulty, and other little extras and secrets, which you can purchase with currency earned with game points or unlock throughout your playthrough.

Graphically, it looks like a 16-bit game from the SNES or Genesis, and it even has a CRT monitor filter with TV scanlines as an option for that authentic retro feel. All the animations have a Western cartoon aesthetic to them, much like many beat'em ups of the '90s. The frames are very smooth, even 60 across the board for all aspects of the various game modes.

Sound is pretty good, classic peppy pseudo-synth tunes like one would expect from an arcade cabinet sound hardware, and the sound effects are crisp. Controls aren't complicated, and while the start button is unintuitive (it's the plus key, which is not easy to reach if using a handheld Switch during heavy play), the game training mode otherwise provides a good way to learn the basic controls.

Stability is amazing. This is a port job to a portable from its other versions like the PC version, and it plays just fine on the Switch. Initial load-up is a bit slow, but after that, it's very fast with no long load times at all. Overall, difficulty tends a bit towards the hard side, even on the easy setting, but this is perfectly in line with the quarter munching arcade games of old.

Fight'N Rage
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 68%
Violence - 2/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

Morally, we got some problems.

Violence is a big part of playing the game, and while bodies disappear after what is presumably beating someone unconscious, doing enough hits past what's needed to deplete a life bar will result in an "explosion" of bones, implying a gruesome death by being beaten fatally. There is a scene where a hostage is killed no matter what you do, but this is not shown in explicit detail. There is also implied cannibalism in one level where you enter a kitchen and fight someone who is heavily hinted to have been using human corpses for food and some mild displays of blood.

Language isn't too terrible, maybe a mild profanity or two at worst in a brief dialogue snippet or two (like d*mn), nothing worse than a daytime movie at any rate. Sexual content has the heroic female character in a skimpy outfit and some of the female enemies follow suit (in a throwback to the tradition of 90's beat'em ups that weren't censored for American release). No occult or supernatural influences abound, the beast-men are attributed to a post-apocalyptic event that gave rise to them via humans exposed to a mutagen that made them beast-like.

Culturally and ethically, the backstory has references to slave trading of humans and clear prejudice is shown between humans and beast-men, though it's not depicted in a flattering light. When possible, you can save hostages and are usually rewarded with powerups for doing so.

If you have fond nostalgia for 90's beat'em ups, this game is certain to bring back some nice memories, especially if you don't mind a bit of challenge. Morally, if the violence and potentially disturbing themes don't trouble you, any reasonably mature teenager or older would probably have fun with this title.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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