Fly Punch Boom! (Switch, PC)

If there was ever a game that needed the Dragon Ball Z license, this is it!  Fly Punch Boom! is a unique take on fighting games.  You control a Punchy, a super powerful being with the ability to fly and possesses ridiculously strong attacks.  You fight other Punchies in locations like cities, underwater, and even outer space.  This over-the-top action fighter is available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Basic modes in the game include the ability to fight other players locally in one on one and two on two matches.  You can also battle online.  There is also an Arcade mode for single players where you fight each character in succession and can change the difficulty.  The characters you can play as, as well as the locations, look like badly drawn scribbles in a kid’s notebook.  Some of the fighters you can choose include an Elvis impersonating chicken, a robot, fat wrestler, and more.  Although I didn’t notice much difference in their basic moves, though.

In battle, you and your opponent can fly around an arena.  I love how the dotted line borders of the area stretch out like a rubber band when you hit them.  As you fly, you can boost with the B button and when you get close to the other fighter, you can press buttons to punch, counter, or throw.  These actions have kind of a rock-paper-scissors effect, and once you choose one, you must time the button presses with a meter or rapidly tap a button to land a blow.  If you get hit too many times and are about to die, you can time another button press with a moving meter to get back into the game.  It’s like a fighting game with quick time events.  Long distance attacks include punching background objects like buildings and even planets toward the other fighter.  And if you collect enough green glowing things, you can activate a Spirit Bomb style attack to throw at the other player as well.

One thing I do like about this game is that it has both a thorough interactive tutorial and instructions you can read later.  And the ‘finishing move’ death animations are pretty funny.  But even then, I guess I just didn’t ‘get’ the game.  I’m not a big fan of quick time events in games, which this one is full of.  And these things happen so fast in the game that you have to have split second reaction times and if you blink, you’ll miss them.  Plus the camera can zoom from far out to see the whole battlefield, to a close up of a character’s face in less than a second.  And this happens all the time so it can get very chaotic and disorienting.  If the game ran at about half the speed, I’d probably like it more.

Kid Factor:

Fly Punch Boom! is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Comic Mischief and Fantasy Violence.  You can punch, kick, and throw energy blasts at the other players, and defeat animations include such ‘Road Runner’ style antics as being thrown into rows of buildings, getting zapped by giant aliens, and more.  But it’s all very silly and cartoony.   Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it a bit too difficult.

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