Fight Monkey of Magic – XBLIG Review

A Dominic Tarason review for XBoxHornet

“There’s a lot worse out there, but this is still far from good.”

The sprite-art and backgrounds are better than a lot of XBL Indie games.

And so my attempt at being positive about this game begins and ends. Fight Monkey of Magic is a 1-4 player isometric-view fighting game. You pick one of seven characters (only three available initially, the other four unlocked through slogging through the ‘story’ mode), ranging from a post-apocalyptic cyborg warrior, to a magic monkey and a busty elf-girl, and fight to the falling-over in seven effectively identical arenas.

You whizz around the arena like you’re ice-skating, minus the inertia, and your primary goal is to obnoxiously stunlock your opponent by repeating the same attack (no fancy special moves here – just an attack bound to almost every button on the pad!) infinitely until their health bar runs out. This will take some time, as you’ll inevitably drain your all-purpose attack energy bar in the process, forcing you to run around the arena like an idiot until you’re ready to renew your assault. Unfortunately, the game never tells you that your movement is limited to just the inner 60% of the screen, and attempting to run too far from your opponent will cause your character to begin jerking around until both the enemy and far-too-slow-panning camera catch up.

A lot of the combat is ranged, but it’s particularly unenjoyable as your characters can only face 8 set directions. If your target has the nerve to stand anywhere but in those 8 points, your attack (unless it’s homing, which a fair few are) will be rendered completely useless.

Now, I did say ‘infinite’ stunlocking, but that was a bit of an exaggeration. You can opt to spend part of your attack bar on blocking, which causes you to be invincible for a few seconds, but unable to do anything else. Some characters can’t even move while blocking, effectively just prolonging their lockdown. In short: Tedious and repetitive, and the game has the nerve of making you play a best-of-three match at least. You can increase that number up to best-of-21, but I don’t think anyone could actually survive that experience.

The sound and music are equally poor, too. Most arenas seem to have a 15-20 second loop of generic electro beats, and every character has a single ‘ARGH’ voice clip that plays every single time they’re hit. There are a few bloops and warbles for attacks, but they’re neither interesting nor memorable either.

There’s almost a saving grace in here. Slash Mode – a survival shooter playmode – but even that is sunk by the design flaws of the main game. You literally fight hundreds of identical miniature clones of a story mode opponent who do nothing but walk into you and (very slowly) drain your health.

Avoid this one.

Game Score 3/10

Download the demo here.

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