For every videogame genre there is always at least one standout title that people think of as soon as you mention it. For example, racing has the Forza series, sports have FIFA and shooting has Battlefield. If someone was to ask me what there was for fighting enthusiasts, I would probably point them towards Mortal Kombat, or the WWE series – dependent on how they felt about gore! With the constant arrival of new titles on the Xbox there is often something for everyone, but not all games add value to their genres. In fact some can remind people like me just why they don’t favour a particular franchise in the first place. But what category does LASTFIGHT, the latest fighting title on Xbox fall under?
LASTFIGHT is a 3D action/fighting title developed by Piranaking, and is the studios debut title with the developers taking inspiration from the French comic LASTMAN. LASTFIGHT sees up to four players choose between ten characters who then commence battle on one of the eight stages available in the game. Fights can take place as 1v1, 2v2 or free for all battles, with the winner being the one who depletes the enemy’s health to zero first.
This is done in a number of ways, and whilst punching and kicking is of course the most obvious choice, it isn’t the only one. Each of the arenas are full of objects that the player can pick up and use to inflict damage on the opponent; these range from things such as chairs and paintings, to missile launchers and rockets, with each item doing slightly different damage. On top of this players can activate and use stage specific items, such as boiling steam and fireball spitting statues, to add further damage should those various pickups not be doing enough. The last and most hopeful option of dealing a decent amount of hurt to your opponents is to collect the three random power-ups that appear throughout a fight. Should you manage to collect all three without taking any damage in the process – as this causes pickups and powerups to be dropped – you will transform into a much larger mutant being with enough power to smash up half a health bar in just a few hits. For those on the receiving end, it can very quickly mean game over should you not get out of the way.
Whilst a lot of fighting titles out there may be turning away from the family friendly experience, with Mortal Kombat X offering an insight to each of the characters’ insides, and WWE looking to impose a realistic approach on how to cause a busted head with a steel chair, it’s nice to see a title that doesn’t take itself all too seriously. LASTFIGHT offers a classic arcade style approach with sound and visuals that are truly reminiscent of retro gems of the 80s.
Another feature that I can’t appreciate enough is just how easy the controls are. Whilst I’m not against games that feature various different button combos for more advanced moves, needing a PhD in menu reading skills just to remember the controls can be something that takes a lot of the fun away from games. So with LASTFIGHT taking just six buttons to master in order to beat down your foes, it is certainly one title in which you won’t need to spend hours in the menus. For the handful of people that may feel uncomfortable with the seemingly easy pre-set controls, Piranaking have even added an option to remap the controls to whatever suits.
Whilst clearly designed with local multiplayer in mind, LASTFIGHT also offers players a solo story mode offering, however this is the point I was met with the first real disappointment. Players start off choosing from two fairly similar characters, Richard Aldana or Duke Diamonds, however no matter which character is chosen this option seems almost pointless as the story seems to be identical with both options. The story follows the chosen character as he battles each of the various characters throughout the game – who have each been affected by an illegal body-building drug called Anitrans – which has not only changed the appearance of each individual, but turned them into raging folk looking for a fight. On top of this, one individual has taken it upon themselves to kidnap the protagonists’ girlfriend and you must fight through each opponent until you reach the end and save the girl. For those of you thinking this sounds great, be warned, this is no tale of a fist friendly Romeo on a path to save his Juliet. If the apparent lack of urgency to save anyone doesn’t strike you from the start, then the repetitive and seemingly dull characters will. Yes, whilst each character may be colourfully designed, the dialogue from each was more than enough to see me put the controller down for something more interesting.
And this proved a problem in itself, as due to a lack of save option resuming the game later on isn’t an option in LASTFIGHT. This may well be in large part due to the story only being up to an hour long depending on how good you are, but one truly annoying feature is that no matter how far through the game you have come, quitting will see you return to the start menu, left with needing to try to beat each fight over again.
As for content that is as far as LASTFIGHT goes, and that is where my overall disappointment sits. Whilst the story mode on offer feels like nothing more than a beta test with its bland characters and tiresome dialogue, the multiplayer isn’t so bad, but there is no difference in content or characters, having a couple of extra players to fire those heat seeking missiles into can really add some fun to the game. So to see the option of online multiplayer missing was really disappointing. With many players preferring to play together over the internet for various reasons, it’s a real shame to see a title that’s only real offering of enjoyment is stunted by the need to have multiple players available at once.
Overall, LASTFIGHT is a game that just isn’t ready to jump to the market, offering so little with other titles readily available offering more. Whilst the art design is certainly pleasing, the gameplay and content on offer may not be enough to keep players interested.