Version Reviewed: 1.1.25
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Fatal Fight is a free-to-play beat-em-up game that focuses on combos. The style and aesthetic are all reminiscent of martial arts and - much like these anicent arts - rewards flawless execution.
Fatal Fight is not a traditional beat-em-up. Rather, the player character remains relatively stationary while enemies approach from either side. As enemies approach, players must wait until they're in range before tapping that side of the screen. Attacking out of range results in a miss, a broken score multiplier, and an open opportunity for enemies to attack. Players are scored and awarded shurikens at the end of stages so long as they defeat all their foes in a given level without taking too many hits, which are used to unlock new areas with new levels. Losing results in being booted out to the overworld along with a stamina meter drain.
Although it sounds simple, Fatal Fight doesn't hesitate to ramp up the difficulty after just a few stages - and the way it gets harder is part of what keeps it interesting. Instead of loading more enemies into each stage (which, to be clear, still happens), different kinds of enemies appear; each with their own method of takedown. Blue enemies, for example, always dodge the first attack that would hit them and will slip over to the other side of the player character. These twists on enemy design, along with the introduction of weapon-based combat, help keep the simple act of tapping challenging and satisfying.
In addition to the challenge and variety, Fatal Fight's visual design is attractive, smart, and intuitive in a way that really enhances the experience. Beyond the colorful, animated characters and slo-mo cuts of enemies being chopped in half. Fatal Fight overlays the player character's attack range and the attack patterns of each enemy on the screen so that players can always know whether they're close enough and how to defeat them without having to memorize too much.
Fatal Fury has two main issues, though. The first is that its gating mechanic, while reinforcing its demanding nature, can be a source of frustration. Secondly, the occasional slo-mo shot of an enemy getting kicked in the face or sliced up adds a sense of impact but can be really distracting - particularly for later stages with tons of fast moving targets. Oh yes, and it's also worth mentioning that it's ad-supported, but the ad placement is handled pretty well and can be purchased away for $0.99.
Fatal Fury is a pretty frenetic game that can be really rewarding to players that like a challenge. It looks great, feels great, has a good amount of variety, and uses a super smart visual design. Though there are a few issues, it's well worth checking out.