Them’s Fightin’ Herds (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

About ten or so years ago, there was a My Little Pony cartoon based on the toy line with the subtitle “Friendship is Magic.”  The cartoon was directed by Lauren Faust, who also worked on such cartoons like The PowerPuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.  So because of this, the My Little Pony cartoon was surprisingly good and developed a fan base of all ages and genders.  Some fans even made a fighting game based on the My Little Pony characters.  Hasbro shut that down, understandably, since they didn’t want their toy line associated with fighting.  But people liked that idea so much that Lauren Faust created some new characters for a fighting game, and that’s how we got Them’s Fightin’ Herds!  It’s a cartoony one-on-one fighter featuring all manner of hooved animals, and it’s available for all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Gameplay is pretty much what you’d expect from a one-on-one fighter.  You have buttons for weak, medium, and strong attacks of various speeds, as well as a special attack button.  By pressing these buttons with joystick combos, you can perform all sorts of moves.  You can really tell these new fighters were originally intended to be My Little Pony characters.  You’ve got Arizona the cow (Applejack), Pom the lamb (Fluttershy), Paprika the Alpaca (Pinkie Pie), and a purple unicorn (Twilight Sparkle).  You can fight with other people locally or go at it with the CPU, and you can even play online.

One neat addition is the story mode.  Here you mostly play as Arizona on a quest to defeat the evil Predators.  You travel around an overworld map like a 16-bit RPG and even fight enemies in the same fashion, although gameplay is still a one-on-one fighter.  You don’t gain experience points or anything like that, but you can find all sorts of hidden treasures that let you dress the characters in silly hats and whatnot.

I had two main problems with this game.  The first is the lack of playable characters.  There’s only seven main ones, which is even less than the original Street Fighter 2!  My other problem is that in the Story Mode, you have to do these non-skippable platforming challenges, and since this is a fighting game where you press up to jump, these areas can be annoying.  Boss fights require you to know advanced moves as well, and while that might be a good tutorial, novice players like myself may not stay interested.  But other than that, this is a decent fighter with plenty to do and likeable characters.  I’d say this would even make a neat cartoon!

Kid Factor:

Them’s Fightin’ Herds is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, and Use of Tobacco.  I really didn’t notice any tobacco usage but you do go to a bar in Story Mode where drinking is only implied.  It’s a fighting game, so of course there’s violence, but it’s all cartoony.  Even though I compared this game to My Little Pony, it doesn’t mean the game is suitable for ALL ages, but I still think I’d be OK with most any kid playing this.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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