Thunder Ray from indie Purple Tree is a fast-paced arcade-style punching game that pays homage to the beloved Punch-Out!! series. Learn more in our Thunder Ray review!
Thunder Ray from indie Purple Tree is a fast-paced arcade-style punching game that pays homage to the beloved Punch-Out!! series. Thunder Ray is the reigning champion and the best boxer in the world. With the thrill of winning dying after not being able to find a suitable opponent, his attention is drawn to defeating opponents from other galaxies in order to become the Champion of the Universe! As you can see from the trailer and screens in this Thunder Ray review, the game features some gorgeous hand-drawn animations that help to make everything pop on the screen.
The game can be played in one of three difficulty settings: Rookie, Contender, and Beast. As you can probably guess, Rookie will offer a less challenging experience, which is perfect for those of you out there who don’t have enough experience with games like Thunder Ray. Contender offers the standard experience, balanced to challenge you as you progress further and further, but without feeling overwhelmed. The last option is Beast. When choosing this difficulty setting, you better pay attention because your opponents will punish you if you make a mistake!
You’ll get to learn all of the basics during your first fight, which will be against a fighter named Rico. Your coach, C. Smith, will be by your side, reminding you of what needs to be done to knock out Rico’s lights. Once you’re in the ring, you’ll control the titular character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad. You’ll need to dodge incoming attacks by pressing left or right as needed. You can duck from an attack by timing things just right as you press down on the left analog stick or the D-Pad. Pressing up will allow you to block some attack types, but your timing needs to be perfect, or you’ll be in a world of hurt!
You can throw left and right body shots by using the B and A buttons and can perform left and right jabs by pressing the Y and X buttons. By pressing the L and R buttons, you’ll charge up the next attack with your left or right fists, respectively. Once you charge up your Super bar – which is located at the bottom of the screen, you can unleash a powerful Super Attack by pressing the L and R buttons at the same time. Your Super Attack will deal considerable damage to your opponent and can end up winning you the fight! As you progress further in the game, you’ll gain access to new abilities that will require you to fill up more than one chunk of the Special bar.
Once you defeat Rico, an alien will jump from within the crowd, blasting Ray with an energy gun. In an instant, Ray finds himself in a peculiar scenario far, far away from Earth. Before him is Backbreaker, a 499 KG behemoth who just happens to be his next opponent and the first intergalactic he needs to beat. While fighting Rico taught you the basics, that doesn’t mean you’ll be ready to just button-mash your way to victory!
Each new opponent that you meet needs to be studied so that you can learn what its different attacks are as you try to find the right window of opportunity to land enough punches to knock them down. If you’re the one knocked down, you’ll have to quickly press the B button to get up before the count is up, and you lose the match! When you manage to knock down an opponent, pressing the B button as quickly as possible will reward you by recovering some of Ray’s lost health.
When Ray is low in health and is about to be knocked out, the screen’s color saturation will change, and the game’s sound effects will also become a bit muffled. On top of that, the camera will pull in tighter, which will make it a lot harder to focus on an opponent’s tells. Not being able to quickly see if an attack is coming from the left or the right could end up with Ray on the floor. You need to knock down each opponent three times to win a match, and the same is true for them.
Thunder Ray is a solid and fast-paced boxing game that pays homage to the beloved Punch-Out!! series, which hasn’t seen a new entry since the 2009 Nintendo Wii release. There’s a good variety of fighters of all shapes and sizes to go up against. From ginormous cyborgs to intergalactic witches to a vampire-like creature of the night. Do know that things do get a bit cartoony and gruesome as you beat up an opponent, which is not going to be to everyone’s taste. Thunder Ray is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 price tag.
This Thunder Ray review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Purple Tree.