Forget the latest Mortal Kombat, here’s a Fight of Animals Switch review that will have you dismissing shadow kicks and sonic booms in favour of an Egg Dog.
Here’s a game you weren’t expecting: chimaera’s consisting of loveable household pets beating each other in the face with their bare knuckles or fins in a strange little beat ’em up that I can’t quite decide what I think of it.
It’s definitely something new, well, the characters at least. Additionally, it’s probably one of the easiest games to pick up if you’re after a button-masher without ripping the spine out of an opponent.
Available for the Switch, the VIC 10 and your local arcades, Fight of Animals, from Digital Crafter, is a peculiar title that may have you sitting on the fence.
Fight Of Animals Switch Review
It’s hard to cover new ground with a fighting title as they’re mostly the same. Standouts will obviously be the moves list, combos, characters and maybe unlockables.
With Fight of Animals, it’s very stripped down to be just about the fighting. There are only eight starting characters to choose from, and a handful of locations.
There’s a traditional arcade mode against AI with a good selection of difficulty modes, training options, local versus and an online feature to battle it out across the continents.
Not a fan of online gaming, I still gave it a go at online battles, but I may as well have waited for the next instalment of Jet Set Radio.
Want to get your fight on? I recommend Streets of Rage 4.
I went and made a cup of tea, and watched The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition back to back and there still wasn’t a bite of another player. Server options included all the continents, but there was never a single player to battle it out.
That doesn’t bother me as I’m anti-social, but I wanted to try it out at least. Like that time back in college with the parker and suspenders. That said, if you’re getting this to play against players online, you could be in line for some disappointment.
The Saga Begins
Opting for the arcade mode, I battled it out against all the characters one by one and at the end, got a thanks, a roll of the credits, and that was it. Zero story, no cutscenes of rivalries and not even any in-game achievements to remind me that I had finished the game on <ahem> normal mode.
I did unlock a new character called Bad Dog, however.
Returning to the accessibility of the game, there aren’t any tricky button presses or combos to learn, just a simple light attack, heavy attack, a skill attack/overhead move and the super skill which is executed with the B button.
The maximum combo I think I got was about eight hits, but you can do a few juggling antics and devise a decent enough hit pattern to make this game challenging.
It would have been good to test out against other players, but the difficulty level in Fight of Animals can be brutal – even on the default mode. So much so, that it’s a little off-kilter and you can go from a few perfect rounds to getting KO’d repeatedly without warning.
The roster is perhaps the highlight as they’re blends of animals such as the Muscle Beluga – a humanoid dolphin, or the Egg Dog (not dog egg) which is precisely that.
Here’s the fight card:
- Power Hook Dog
- Walking Cat
- Magic Squirrel
- Mighty Fox
- Muscle Beluga
- Egg Dog
- Slender Cat
- Bad Dog (unlocked after beating the arcade mode)
It feels like Fight of Animals lacks a bit of continuity with its themes. The music ranges from muzak to yacht promotional videos, then occasionally a guitar track that’s a little 80s.
This matches the background too as they flick back and forth between boxing rings to tatami interiors, but bizarrely, a Christmas stage.
Perhaps if the game had a large community, even bigger roster and a wealth of arenas, a seasonal theme would be an appropriate bonus, but playing a Christmas stage in July is dumb.
Another beef I have with the game is not getting a balanced diet of locations. On three different occasions, I ended up playing the Christmas stage back-to-back for no logical reason.
Equally, the colour palette is a bit on the uninspiring side. Nothing pops as such. The majority of the game looks like it was dipped in various shades of caramel, from the animals through to the tatami mats.
This Ain’t A Petting Zoo
Still, this is a fighting game and not an open world haven of vibrancy and wildlife to experience – it’s about beating up your opponent. On that note, Fight Animals does tick that box.
The emphasis has to be on this being more of a button masher. I played it locally against some family members, and while I’m far from a competitive fighting type, I can usually hold my own. But, when up against someone rapidly spamming an attack makes the skill level diminish somewhat.
Practice against the AI on the harder settings, and you’ll get a feel for the game pretty quickly and devise a plan of action, should you manage to locate another player online; otherwise, you’re going to be stuck in a bit of a rut.
Sure, there’s a couple of skins to unlock and colour variations, but that’s it: no additional modes, characters or a reliable online battle system, but it’s not going to break the bank.