Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
Metroid is a classic game that many games have tried to emulate. This wanting to “be like Metroid” is such a common goal, that an entire genre of game came to be. This is a Metroidvania. A Robot Named Fight takes the classic Super Metroid formula, with its interconnected rooms and powerups, with an additional spice. This spice is randomly generated maps (creator Matt Bitner promises 4 billion combinations) and roguelike permadeath. When you die in this game, you start over fresh with a new map. This creates a new kind of game despite being rooted in Metroid. And it does it well, thank goodness. In fact, it’s one of my favorite games!
Game is 2D, with a 16 bit aesthetic. It is also a sidescrolling game, so perspective is from the side. Art is detailed, very detailed, and the gore is top-notch. Everything has a dark color tone adding to the dark nature of this game. Effects such as fire and lasers look very nice, giving a sense of what they are. Overall, graphics are really good.
Gameplay involves starting with a new fresh map, with the character struggling to stand up. After standing up with limited health, your character (is his name Fight?) goes off to destroy the Megabeast that is plaguing his world. Your next task is to find powerups and abilities (different per run) to open doors, defeat enemies easier, and ultimately arrive at the Megabeast. To traverse, you run, jump, and shoot at enemies. You can shoot in 8 directions: left, right, above, above left and right, below left and right, and down. Enemies can move in any direction though, so careful aiming and movement will be helpful to you. The powerups you pick up can do various things such as increase your damage, speed, or rate of fire. Different powerups will give you new abilities and skills. In the gameplay department, A Robot Named Fight kills it!
The overall coherence of the randomly generated maps amazes me. How can this be randomly generated? I dunno, but it is. The maps also give a good sense of isolation, just like the original Metroid. The level design often feels super coherent, with occasional hiccups that only show up in some runs. The maps feel like a Metroid game, but they’re random. I dunno why, it just impresses me a ton.
The sound in this game is meant to be creepy, and it sure does sound creepy. However, the music isn’t as memorable to me as Metroid’s was. While this isn’t a con in any means, the music isn’t a big hitter. What is is the sound effects. The sound effects are really fitting and give nice sounds to the game. Everything sounds as it should, and is often satisfying.
The roguelike nature of this game makes for a challenge. A Robot Named Fight isn’t hectic, but it is based off the retro Super Metroid in gameplay. As you can only shoot in 8 directions, you can’t hit everything you’d like to hit right away. Also, there are often traps on the ceilings and floors of the game. You will die at first, but ultimately you’ll get better. Starting over isn’t meant to punish you, it’s meant to reward you. This structure makes it engaging, and addicting even. You’ll be playing more and more, just you wait.
As you find new areas you haven’t before, you may unlock new abilities. For example, once you reach the caves you may unlock a new weapon, or ability. It depends on what you discover or do.
A Robot Named Fight! is an incredible game that almost perfectly blends a metroidvania with a roguelike. This is an amazing achievement on the developer’s end. Is it surprising one person made this? Yes it is. With an addictive gameplay system, fun gameplay, and a great capturing of Super Metroid, you’ve got A Robot Named Fight! which is waiting for a home on your Switch menu.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by Novy Unlimited