[PlayStation 4] Dusty Raging Fist Review
With a name like “Dusty Raging Fist”, you would be forgiven for thinking this was the name of a “special movie” you are supposed to deny ever watching or assume it was the name of a B-style Kung-Fu film. After spending some time with this side-scroller beat-em up, it would be safe to assume it is more similar to the latter. Find out why in our Dusty Raging Fist Review!
Dusty Raging Fist – Trailer
For those not in the know, Dusty Raging Fist is a prequel to PD Design Studio’s 2014 game Dusty’s Revenge. While this game improves on Revenge” there are some design choices that hold this game back – it feels patchy in some parts, particularly in its gameplay.
As with any beat ’em up worth its salt, Dusty Raging Fist allows co-op play for up to three local players but has no online functionality. For me, it was clear that this is something that might have improved the game a lot.
Though it lacks online play, the game does offer an interesting mix of features that add to the gameplay. You have the usual wealth of flashy combos and abilities that each character can possess, but they are ultimately interchangeable. as well as the usual special moves that can turn the tide of battle. Where the game does raise an eyebrow is with the ability to summon an off-screen sniper or a grenadier/RPG wielding lion.
You can also press L1/R1 buttons at the right time to summon one of your off-screen assistants to do crowd control for you. While the ability adds an extra dynamic to each battle, it does raise some questions when the game randomly decides that, at certain points, the two are unable to assist you for no reason whatsoever. While this decision is not game breaking, it might end up confusing players.
While playing through the game, I often felt as though my hits were not impactful on enemies as the could be. They most certainly looked flashy, but half the time I felt as though the most basic of enemies took far too much work to defeat – Random Grunt #98 should not require me to deal with things as if I was facing a boss. You only truly feel powerful when using the support of the sniper or your summons, but they don’t pack a punch when facing actual bosses. It feels a bit disappointing, especially when you spend your time leveling up your characters and using chests to improve your health and support, only to not feel as though you are actually improving much.
To make matters worse, character movement feels sticky as though there is the slightest delay in when you press a button and when something happens on the screen. This sometimes happens with some games, but with a beat ’em up it definitely is more noticeable when you’re trying to dodge your enemies’ attacks or trying to deal with attacking several of them at once and actually making some progress. Trying to time a dodge just right to then counterattack only to miss that dodge and being on the receiving end of a devastating combo is certainly not a fun experience.
The most egregious problem with the game is the questionable decision to make it impossible to cancel out of a combo. It is possible to change the direction of an attack once you commit to it, giving you some room in trickier situations, but it is impossible to stop mid-combo. Once you start a combo, you have no choice but to continue with an attack regardless of the situation, so if feels as if the only time you are allowed to use combos is when you are absolutely sure of what is to follow, and if you’re wrong you’re only leaving yourself oppen for a beating.
The different playable characters feel unique and are created with a high level of quality, and even the generic monsters you encounter have a great amount of detail thrown into them that is worthy of praise- Whilst some of the assets are rehashed from previously cancelled “projects” (those familiar with PS Design’s history will understand what this means), here they look more detailed and rich in their presentation.
Visually speaking, the game is beautifully presented with a polished and rich art style that comes across as vibrant and elegant in its presentation. It is clear to see that a lot of attention did go into this game, and this is why the sound design as well as the soundtrack shine in this release and feels tailor-made for each level. While the voice acting can come across as patchy in some parts, you really get the feeling that it has more to do with the lackluster storyline they have to work with than a poor performance from the actors. The game ultimately is passable, but at the same time it is clear that a little more polish was needed before calling it a day on this one.
PSN Game Size: 2.8GB
This Dusty Raging Fist review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by PD Design Studio.