Review: One Finger Death Punch





Table of Contents

Quick Information

Rating: Pretty Fun
Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religion
2 0 0 3 0
Age Rating Suitable for teenagers
License: Commercial
System used: Martha
Available From: Steam

Game Screenshots


Light swords don't cut as cleanly as you'd expect


It's all fun and games until someone...


Fatality!

General Notes

It wasn't that long ago that martial arts movies were all the rage. You'd see ninjas doing impossibly quick punches and kicks, taking out hordes of enemy grunts before finally taking on the mastermind in a one-on-one blur of rival techniques. Online, this trend continued with what are sometimes known as "stick fighters". These are short animated videos of stick figures fighting each other in elaborate and complex battles, and are frequently made by beginning animators as they are fun to watch and simple to do.

One Finger Death Punch combines the over the top martial art action from the classic movies and the simple graphics of stickmen fighting with a simple control scheme, making for an easy to learn and hard to master action game.

Gameplay Summary

As the name suggests, the game is controlled solely by the left and right mouse buttons. Your stickman character will perform his attacks as needed, you just tell him which side to attack and when. If you're too early or miss, he'll be vulnerable to an enemy attack for a brief moment. When he takes enough damage or kills all of the enemies, the round is over.

There are a few different types of rounds, but the gameplay is largely the same. There is also a survival mode, which is just one endless string of rounds that continues as long as your character stays alive.

Pros

Extremely polished
Everything on screen has a direct and obvious use, and there's even some tutorial-like guidance in the first few levels so you can learn the rules while you play. During the game, the player's character and the enemies will sometimes perform a special move, but no matter how anybody moves, everything flows perfectly.


Difficulty adjusts to fit your ability
Although the levels are divided into three difficulty modes, the game adjusts its speed depending on how well you play. If you're having trouble, things slow down. Otherwise, things speed up. After all, it's more fun when it's just a blur!


Epic battles
Fights can have over 200 enemies coming at you -- and that's not counting survival mode, where there is no end to the stream of enemies. There are also several different types of enemies, each of which features a unique attack pattern. Surviving the later levels means being able to adapt to new patterns in addition to the higher speed and larger crowds.


Various styles
Each round your character uses a specific fighting style picked from a roster of popular kung fu styles. These include Praying Mantis, Flying Crane, Eagle Claw, and the popular Drunken Fist.


Many Steam achievements
There are a lot of achievements to earn in this game. They include everything from the number of kills you managed to make in a single survival mode game to how many medals you've earned and what skills you've unlocked in the regular game.


Cons

There is no way to scale the difficulty manually
As you play, the game adjusts the difficulty automatically. This keeps skilled players challenged while giving the novices room to breathe. However, there's no way to tweak the difficulty other than winning or losing matches. If it's been a while since your last game, expect to lose a lot.


You can't choose what style to fight with
Many players prefer a specific fighting style. Unfortunately, there's no way to make this choice yourself. The style you'll use is either determined by the level or through a roulette.


Concerns and Issues

Lots of stickmen behaving violently
Put simply, this game is almost entirely about stickmen beating each other up in various ways. Sometimes with weapons like clubs or swords, but usually just with their fists and feet. Many of the special attacks are extra violent, with bones breaking or body parts being severed.


Blood everywhere
Stickmen are pretty thin, but these guys have a lot of blood in them. Nearly every blow sends some squirting out -- even if the blow wasn't fatal.


Dismemberment and impalement
When weapons are used, things get a lot more gruesome. Light sword rounds and nunchaku rounds are prime examples, as every hit chops the enemy into several pieces.


Mild racism
Like many martial arts movies, this game depicts its cast with some very stereotyped mannerisms. These aren't inherently offensive, but they are a little politically incorrect. For example, the announcer uses a very stereotyped manner of speaking, and many of the enemies wear conical hats (also known as paddy hats or rice hats).