Metroidvanias can often be a hit-or-miss genre, with many failing to capture the magic of both the Metroid and Castlevania games. A proper Metroidvania gives players degrees of freedom, an interconnected world to explore, backtrack, and discover, most of all, fun combat.
The rogue-lite A Robot Named Fight! certainly lives up to the billing in some aspects, but could do with more polish.
Available on both the Nintendo Switch and PC, A Robot Named Fight! tells the tale of a lone robot standing between the Megabeast. a pulsating moon-sized orb of flesh, eyes, mouths, and the destruction of the world. The plot is slowly unravelled as you complete procedurally generated labyrinths and blow away monstrosities. It certainly is not groundbreaking storytelling, but it works.
The visuals of A Robot Named Fight! definitely echoes those of the classics, and everything looks great on modern displays, with weapon effects being a favourite of mine. While the music is decent, it can be a little annoying when you get that overly long celebratory pop when you stumble upon a new gadget.
Players familiar with Super Metroid will feel most at home with the controls, with the inspiration for A Robot Named Fight! laid bare for all to see. For better and for worse, the movement has been enhanced and feels much more natural than back in 1994.
That said, it will still take some getting used to, considering how the platforming is not exactly as precise as it should be. There are plenty of gadgets to be found to add to your arsenal, after all, it is a Metroidvania type game.
Enemies are aplenty in the various levels, and can sometimes be overwhelming. However, once you have properly geared up, they can be a cakewalk, which might disappoint some. Directional aiming is key, and can make for some really fun sections of dodging and firing against the more hardy foes.
As for the procedurally generated labyrinths, they can be usually conquered in just about an hour, culminating in a boss fight. The various secrets and paths are plentiful, with upgrades and resources just begging to be found. There are even trading partners that can save you some grief with powerful items. If you like backtracking and discovering the world, A Robot Named Fight! has you covered.
What was most appealing about the design choices of Matt Bitner Games was the variety that is introduced in A Robot Named Fight! While certain gadgets are required to progress in the game, your weapon upgrades can often vary. One run might reward you with a flamethrower, while another simply adds fire elemental properties to your existing firearm, this conscious choice certainly makes the game more refreshing with each run.
Like most Metroidvanias, you might need some time to really get into A Robot Named Fight!. Once you get the hang of it, discovering secrets and obliterating your enemies become second nature and enjoyable. While it might pale in comparison to the heavyweights of the genre, A Robot Named Fight! is a decent attempt that deserves a chance to be experienced.
A Robot Named Fight! is available on Steam for Windows and Mac for S$13.00.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
A decent attempt at recreating the magic of the Metroidvania genre, A Robot Named Fight! deserves a shot from fans of the genre.