Team2Bit's Kickstarter project Fistpuncher comes to Steam and provides some nostalgia for old school beat-em-up fans
As I make my way down the wharf, I come across a group of thugs just asking for trouble from Dr. Karate, so I have no choice but to give it to them with a swift crane kick to the face and a fireball to finish him off. Moments like this are exactly how Fistpuncher, developed by Team2Bit after a successful Kickstarter, lives up to its cheesy and badass name which makes one nostalgic for 80s action movies and classic sidescrolling beat-em-ups like Double Dragon. The city of Las Cruces is taken hostage by the evil Milkman and it’s up to Dr. Karate to lead his squad of vigilantes to give his thugs an old-school back alley beatdown.
Humour and old-school throwbacks are what Fistpuncher is all about, and it shines in this aspect. The story is predictable and over-the-top but this is what gives the game its charm, and with character names like Hella Fistgerald and Steroid Jackson, it’s hard not to love it. It offers a similar premise and style to classic beat-em-ups of yesteryear, but with enough modern flair that keeps it fresh and updated. A thumping soundtrack and colourful visuals that keep the 8-bit style from looking dated gets you pumped for cracking some skulls and jump kicking enemies off their bikes. Along with some brilliantly creative backdrops that have you going from nude beaches to a strip club full of nuns, Fistpuncher helps to break up the monotony with its outrageous humour that’s sure to surprise you.
Combat is simple to get the hang of and button mash, but takes a bit of time to fully master, especially on a keyboard. The game offers support for a gamepad and even highly recommends it as I found out that playing on the keyboard took some getting used to with its interesting key bind placement. Although this is a minor issue and even with the keyboard the game is very playable as well as customizable key bindings. Players can kick, punch, grab, throw, and use special attacks which provides some variety to the gameplay, but it still manages to get a little repetitive.