Fighting games used to be the bread and butter of gaming back in the early days of home consoles. Alas, the likes of Streets of Rage and the countless clones are no more, and instead we’re left with Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter to get our rage on.
Enter LASTFIGHT. Alright, it’s not really comparable to Mortal Kombat or Capcom’s Street Fighter, but it’s definitely going for something similar. People fighting? Check. And that’s about it.
LASTFIGHT isn’t your typical fighter. Players are presented with a 3D arena that can be fully explored in all three dimensions without having to do some sort of awkward shimmy. A bit unusual, then, though it’s very much by design. The idea is that, while you’re fighting your opponent, you’re also on the scrounge for some goodies. The different arenas present different opportunities as well as dangers. You’ll find throwable objects littered around just waiting to be thrown in the face of your enemy, while there are also some environmental hazards to avoid. Charming.
Fighting isn’t all that complicated and the controls are about as straightforward as you could wish for. There’s the basic attack, grapple, jump, block, and dodge, all mapped to different buttons on the gamepad. You won’t find yourself needing to memorise a thousand different moves with LASTFIGHT (something I’m more than happy about) so it’s a really easy pick-up-and-play game.
However, for all of its accessibility and colourful characters, it’s a rather shallow experience. There’s a roster of 10 playable characters, though you could play each one the exact same way as nothing really changes other than appearances. It’s a shame as some of the characters could have had some cool unique abilities to spice things up, but I suppose in order to keep it simple and not delve too far into “traditional” fighting game territory, things are kept basic.
That’s not to say there’s no fun to be had. The single-player campaign isn’t really worth shouting about and, if I’m being brutally honest, it’s a little bit crap. The two main characters, Richard Aldana and his partner Duke Diamonds are on a generic quest to save a woman. To be honest, I barely even paid attention to the narrative after the first few fights, and by the end I was glad it was all over. My main gripe was that I’d have to fight all by myself, whereas my opponents sometimes had a mate to back them up. What the hell?! The fighting aspect and timing blocks and combos are hard enough with one enemy, nevermind two. I reckon with campaign co-op, LASTFIGHT’s story mode could have had a bit more going for it (and it would have been easier!). Alas, it wasn’t to be…
The real fun with LASTFIGHT lies in its multiplayer mode, more specifically, the local multiplayer. It won’t keep you going for hours on end, but a few rounds with a mate can get pretty manic and it’s somewhat comparable to the days when you’d sit around playing Bomberman, Smash Bros, or Goldeneye while punching your friends for doing you over.
LASTFIGHT is pretty easy on the eye as far as its graphics go, and to be fair to the development team the characters do look and feel really good in motion. It’s just a pity that there’s not more on offer; eight stages and ten characters can get old pretty quick. I will note that the cast of characters were interesting and I was a little gutted I didn’t get to learn more about them. Another missed opportunity, then.
While the gameplay is decent, if a bit samey after a while, the audio is top-notch and Francophiles will be in heaven as the game’s dialogue is presented in French (with English subtitles.) As a speaker of the language, I really did enjoy it, but I could see how it’d be bit of a put-off for some. (You uncultured swines!) The music bobs along and does its job. I can’t really say much for it without sounding like a total twat, so I’ll just leave it there. (It was arcadey music, what more do you want?!)
In short, LASTFIGHT is a decent little brawler that’ll give you a couple of hours of fun – maybe more with a mate – but it’s ultimately a shallow experience that’s knocked out too quickly.
LASTFIGHT PS4 Review
LASTFIGHT isn't going to be taking the place of any other mainstream fighters on the market today, but it's a nice little deviation from the beaten path.
Due to the game's repetitiveness, perhaps this one is best played in small doses, or even better, with a few mates and some beers.
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