Rival Fury is a game that WANTS to be good. It looks polished. But looks can be deceiving, as this game is anything but. It’s early access in every sense of the term, and $10 USD is waay too expensive for what you’re getting.
Graphically, its vaguely cartoony yet not overdone visuals are pleasant enough to look at. (If a bit muddy.) It feels like a modern Double Dragon or Streets of Rage tribute in 2.5D. This is not a knock on the game at all; if you’re going to ape a beat-em-up, these are games you’d want to imitate. However, that’s where all of the flattery I can muster comes crashing down. There’s no keybinding option. While I have no issue at all with the game requiring you to play with a controller (keyboard and mouse are not supported at all), the lack of any customization is problematic. If nothing else, looking at keybinding/control options gives you an easy overview of the controls. This is doubly necessary if the game never says “press A for punch” and the like. Guess what? The game NEVER tells you what button does what. You’re on your own from the start. I literally had no idea how to block. I still don’t. In fact, there’s no options at all. THERE’S NOT EVEN A PAUSE BUTTON. Enjoy hearing the same 30 second music loop FOREVER during stages that are overly-long and fairly boring. The only escape from your fate is to push ESC, which force closes the game.
There is no context for anything you’re doing, beyond the context given on the store page. “Corruption in the air has led to swarms of ill-tempered bullies who only learn by their own knuckle politics”. That’s all well and good, but that’s not a plot. I’m all for games that let you turn your brain off and just play. They’re the equivalent of eating junk food and watching a Mission Impossible movie. But in this state, it’s more like doing some flacca and watching the Left Behind series – you’re not in control of things, nor is it entertaining. You’re swarmed by enemies until you beat them all, and the stage just..ends. You might have to move to the right to spawn more enemies, though sometimes they’ll just randomly wander in from behind you. On the second stage, I literally got swarmed at the start and my controller ceased responding at all.
It’s early access, so there’s a chance this gets better, but I have significant concerns, particularly due to the dev’s overly optimistic tone in their Early Access notes, which seem to indicate they feel this game is already pretty good. It’s not. This feels like an alpha, not a beta release, due to its lack of exceedingly common elements that are standard and essential for all games, not just this genre. I hate being this negative, I really do, but I just can’t recommend this under any circumstance right now.
If you’re a masochist, or want to fund this out of a misguided sense of pity, click here.
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.