An interactive guide on how to punch people to death with one finger
Type: Single-Player, Local Co-Op
Genre: Action, Beat’em-up, Fighting
Developer: Silver Dollar Games
Publisher: Silver Dollar Games
Release date: 15 Apr, 2019
The original One Finger Death Punch never had the right to be as good and badass as it actually was. It was a stickman figure game where you fought endless waves of enemies with one… finger.
No, literally! Your character couldn’t move and you just sat there with your hand on your mouse as you clicked left mouse to attack enemies on your left and right mouse to do the same, but on the opposite direction. Simple enough, right? So simple, in fact, that the sequel does the exact same thing, with little to no changes in the formula. Only a few updates and additions.
And it’s absolutely formidable… once again.
The gameplay is exactly as I described: two buttons to attack in the direction you want and kill the approaching enemy. Grey enemies are the biggest part of the “horde” and die in one hit, while other coloured enemies like green, blue, etc. will have a different system applied to them: some can handle more than one hit, others will dodge you temporarily until you can give the final hit, etc.
The game is presented with you in the middle, with a very nice background behind, waiting for hordes of enemies to come your way, two bars are below your character’s feet: one of the right and one of the left side, which will light up every time an enemy is present within that bar, meaning they are in range for an attack and can be hit if you click left or right.
It is emphasized not to button mash as it can make you miss (i.e attacking in a direction when there are no enemies in range), making you vulnerable for crucial fractions of a second can cost you the entire run, making the game feel quite tense at times when you’re down to 1 life (it’s worth noting there are several modes, some where you only have 1 life from the get-go).
This will be your gameplay loop, essentially; it has slight variations depending on the mode. The regular campaign has a fixed number of enemies that will flood your screen until you kill them all, survival is your classic infinite survival, getting harder and harder until you either run out of lives or live long enough to reach #1 in the leaderboards and be praised by everyone on this planet.
The game also goes a little bit further and give you a pretty decent variety of weapons to use, such as nunchucks, swords, lightsabers (yep), throwing knives and much more, all with their unique and awesome animations that somehow make a stickman game feel as good as a great hack n’ slash/brawler like Devil May Cry.
Again, this sounds painfully simple. Yet, it’s the feel of the game that completely sells it. Every punch makes you feel like the world’s strongest man smashing a peanut and by the time you get your lightsaber, it feels like God using supernova blasts to cook his divine meals; it really makes you feel powerful and dominant!
In all seriousness, the sound and animations of your character hacking away at endless stickmen really makes it feel responsive due to the simple controls paired together with the greatly exaggerated violence. This makes the gameplay feel phenomenal and you will come back for more during a work or study break just to smash, chop, stab, shoot, burn and/or blast 500+ mindless enemies that don’t understand the power of kung-fu within you.
Speaking of kung-fu, the game is heavily inspired by martial arts. The announcer/narrator speaks in a heavy Asian accent with gong sounds blasting as you start a new level, these animations just scream martial arts and some greatly inspired fighting techniques. This also translated to some finishing moves, where lions and other animals portrayed in very classic Asian style designs will come out and breathe fire into the enemies that dared bother your inner peace. The over the top nature of the game gives it that extra notch that makes it look just great. A very simple, yet particular art style and animations that just help everything combine into a very fun and great feeling video game. The game’s price is totally justified, just like the original, in my opinion.
The game isn’t without its faults and while I consider the gameplay part essentially perfect, it’s understandable that it may end up being repetitive for many people, so that is one aspect to watch out for. Another thing I want to mention is that you may have a hard time at first with the game because you will probably look at the bars below the character and not at the action happening at the top half of the screen. It may throw you off at first because of the break-neck pace of the game. However, once you’re used to it you’ll be looking at the action entirely and playing mechanically and with intuition. It just proves how responsive the game is once you learn to play it without the guiding bars.
It’s also worth noting that the game did not fix the terrible UI/menus of the original game. The menus are very basic with some buttons feeling out of place with the rest of the UI. For example, the options menu button looks the same for both buttons entering the menu, and leave the very same menu instead of a clearer indicator to quit the configuration interface. A lot of modes feel a bit buried in the play section as they could take a little more space from the menu, instead you have to scroll them in a window that is surrounded by a (very pretty) background that is showcased more than it should. The game tries to give an arcade-machine feel but ends up falling a bit flat on that part as it isn’t nearly as practical or pretty as it should be and the screen feels extremely cluttered while in reality, it’s very simple.
Some sections of the menus have little to no response to mouse hovers, while the arrow-key navigation feels far more detailed. This could also be fixed as the mouse is a superior way to play (in my opinion) so it deserves to have better menu navigation.
A final nitpick criticism on my end involves the metagame around OFDP2, in particular: achievements! The game literally rewards you with an achievement for the most basic thing and it’s annoying to get 5+ achievement notification from Steam pop-up on the side of the screen for doing nothing all that special. This isn’t like Dark Souls where dying for the first time gives you an achievement as a “joke”; you literally get dumped an achievement every 10 deaths, every number-multiple-of-5 streak (like 5, 10, 15, etc. I got a river of achievements until my streak stopped in the 100’s, that was over 20 achievements in a little over 5 minutes), every time you play survival mode (I’m not kidding) or get a 5 star rating (which isn’t all that hard). These obviously stop after a while as the numbers escalate a bit more exponentially, but to get 200 achievements in less than 2 hours is frankly absurd and they barely feel like worthwhile achievements that I (or you) should feel proud of.
*Phew* I can get very touchy about achievements, sorry. Let’s wrap this up.
Simplistic yet marvelous, One Finger Death Punch 2 deserves nothing but praise on my end. It doesn’t fix the main problem with the original since the menus are still… bad, but it knows exactly what it wants to give the player: fun. There’s nothing quite like it. I really urge you to get it and, even after all this praise you’re still on the fence to buy it, simply grab the original on a sale (which is quite frequent) for cheap and try it yourself or download the demo for the sequel: it’s free on Steam. Regret isn’t a word that can possibly be associated with the purchase of products that make you feel like a ninja, a Jedi and Jackie Chan all at the same time.