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Review: Fly Punch Boom! Recreates Anime-Style Fights like No Other Fighting Game

Screenshot: Fly Punch Boom!

I know there are plenty of fighting games based on anime franchises. And they do a pretty good job of showing the insanity that can happen in the course of an epic anime battle. When two beings of immense power take off their lead weighted handicaps, and use their full power—just this once—it can have literal world shattering results. No fighting game has quite captured that, though. When they do, it’s usually in cutscenes depicting how cool your fighter looks when you land a combo—but players have no autonomy when it’s going down. Fly Punch Boom! is a fighting game that is entirely about those super powered moments. No game has ever quite captured the spectacle of gravity defying feats, and the clash of super human powers in the way that Fly Punch Boom! has.

Fly Punch Boom! is definitely not your typical fighting game in many ways, but in other ways it is. You and your opponent (there’s also a two versus two mode) square off and fight until you defeat the other using various moves and abilities. In Fly Punch Boom!, instead of fighting on solid ground, you’re flying around a roped off arena, pummeling each other in the air until your opponent’s health bar is decreased. Except, it doesn’t take a decreased health bar to win—because one badly timed click can end the fight extremely quickly. See, Fly Punch Boom! has a strange reliance on rock paper scissors and quicktime event type gameplay.

Screenshot: Fly Punch Boom!

Quicktime events and rock paper scissor style mechanics aren’t unheard of in fighting games—they’re just incredibly rare. But Fly Punch Boom!’s entire fighting system is based around them. Not only that, but there’s a rock paper scissors mechanic that underlies a lot of the moves, that makes playing against an opponent feel a bit luck-based, which isn’t great for a fighting game.

But getting past that, it does sort of work in Fly Punch Boom!, especially if you play it as a casual party game. You fly around, and attempt to “clash” with your opponent. While clashing, you can counter, hit, or throw. Hit beats throw;, throw beats counter, and counter beats hit. Not only do you have to choose the right option, but you have to also hit with sufficient power by timing correctly on a power gauge. It’s definitely NOT conducive to finger mashing as a fighting style, which is a bit of a good thing. And it’s pretty easy to pick up and play—especially in a party setting.

Screenshot: Fly Punch Boom!

There are multiple fighters to choose from, but as far as I can tell, beyond their ultimate move, each of these fighters is just different cosmetically–which is really too bad, because there was some great opportunity for depth that is completely squandered.

Despite its goal to be the ultimate anime style fighter, the art style hits a little differently. The art style, to me, invokes heavy old school WWF (now WWE) vibes. Or maybe a Flash fighting game you’d come across on Newgrounds. Wacky is a good way to describe it, but it really wears thin after a while, especially in the face of such shallow gameplay.

Screenshot: Fly Punch Boom!

There is an online mode so you can test your skills against other players. There are also versus modes where you can play against CPU opponents or your friend and  a single player mode where you can do a run against the various other fighters in the game.

There are plenty of unlockables in Fly Punch Boom! including a lot of characters that you won’t have access to unless you meet certain criteria, and each character has an alternate costume to unlock.

Screenshot: Fly Punch Boom!

Fly Punch Boom! probably doesn’t have a future as a competitive fighter. But it could make a great party game. Getting friends together, and attempting to pummel each other is probably the best setting for Fly Punch Boom!. Beyond that, the novelty wears off quickly. There’s no deeper mechanics to master here, but there’s a whole lot of casual fun that can be had.

 

Fly Punch Boom! is available now on Steam and Nintendo Switch

 

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