Fightback Successfully Captures Two Kinds Of Nostalgia [Review]



One of the first video games I ever finished was 1985’s Kung Fu, a port of a Japanese arcade game (Kung Fu Master)for the original Nintendo system. It was a side-scrolling beat ’em up about a guy fighting through five floors of a goon-filled building to rescue his girlfriend, and even though it’s probably not nearly as good as I remember, it’ll always have a special place in my nostalgia bank because I was so good at it back then.

Fightback by Ninja Theory
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Fightback is a new free-to-play fighter from developer Ninja Theory (makers of super-shiny console games like the PlayStation 3’s Heavenly Sword and the recent reboot of Devil May Cry), and it’s basically an updated version of Kung Fu. It even has the same 2D gameplay and girlfriend-rescuing premise and graphics and music that call back ridiculous action films from the ’80s.

So needless to say, I like this game a lot.

It isn’t just the nostalgia, either; Fightback has a simple premise (beat all those guys up) and gives you a lot of options for how to do so. You have punches, kicks, dodges, and even weapons. You can also level up your character to make those punches, kicks, and shots more effective.

And you’ll need to do that because enemies get stronger as you go, and you’ll eventually hit a wall and have to spend some time grinding in the endless “Downtown” mode.

It gives you a lot of options for how to kill all those bad guys.

And that’s where my main problem comes up: Grinding is necessary, but Fightback pulls free-to-play shenanigans by giving you a stamina meter that only lets you play a few rounds before it has to recharge. It feels like a trap to get you to pay, which I guess it is, but it’s so transparent that I have to point it out.

But if you can stand that, Fightback stands as a successful mobile translation of Ninja Theory’s console action sensibility, and if you’re old like me, it’ll hit all the right nostalgia buttons.

FightbackGame Name: : Fightback
The Good: Good controls, fun gameplay, and a pretty amazing ’80s-style soundtrack.
The Bad: Free-to-play shenanigans and necessary grinding.
The Verdict: It’s a fun little action title that’s a throwback in all the right ways.
Buy from:App Store