Strikers Edge is the debut title from Indie developers Fun Punch games. It is a few different things, which I will get to, but mostly it is a game of dodgeball. For reasons I will not get into here, I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t fill this review with quotes from the Vince Vaughn joint aptly titled Dodgeball, despite a nearly unbearable desire to do so.
Like I said, Strikers Edge is all about the dodgeball, with a healthy dose of classic arcade visuals and sound, tied together with a medieval bent. If that sounds kind of busy, well it is, but the smart folks at Fun Punch games have taken that hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated things and made it all sort of work. The key here is that the gameplay is extremely simple. You control your character with left stick, aim with the right. The only thing else you need to know is throw, dodge, block and special attack. Notice that I said the gameplay is simple and not easy.
The gameplay goes something like this: You have two players, one on each side of the screen separated by a line in the middle that the players can’t cross. Once the game starts, you hurl your weapon at your opponent, while trying to avoid getting hit. You’ll find obstacles like barrels or rocks on the screen that you can use as cover (until your opponent destroys them) and even a batch of spectators cheering you on.
Your best line of defence is the dodge. It’s a basic roll/dash move that is most effective in avoiding getting eviscerated in front of your friends. If it’s too late to dodge (or dip, dive, duck and dodge) you can simply block. These blocks are effective, but you can only use them three times, so you’ll have to use them wisely if you don’t want to bleed your own blood. You can charge up your regular attacks and in addition, each of the eight different characters has a special attack. These special attacks are hard to land, but it feels pretty satisfying when you do. Plus the extra damage is almost necessary to achieve victory.
There is a campaign where you can play through a unique story for each character, but they are all pretty thin. it’s obvious from the beginning that Strikers Edge is meant to played online, or on the couch with a friend. After I completed the short tutorial, I played several matches with my son, who promptly destroyed me in every game but one. It is extremely difficult to master hitting a moving human target, especially one in the prime of his youth. I fared a little better in the online arena, but only a little. I was able to find a match every time, although it would sometimes take a while. I could actually see Strikers Edge taking off and becoming a cult online classic.
As I mentioned, the graphics are classic early nineties and if you’re into that, they look great. The arenas are varied, although they offer only cosmetic differences and no real gameplay changes. One arena is on the deck of a ship allowing you to channel your inner Steve The Pirate. On this level, you’re surrounded by your shipmates, who push you back into the action if you get too close to the perimeter. Otherwise, from what I could tell, the different arenas all play the same.
Overall, the action is fast and fun, especially if you’re good at it, which sadly, I am not. The campaign feels tacked on and is pretty thin, but the controls are fluid and tight and the action, although basic, is exciting and fun. Even if only in short bursts. If you’re looking for some good online, old school action, then Striker’s Edge maybe just what you’re looking for.
Strikers Edge PS4 Review
Overall - Good - 6.5/10
Strikers Edge is a medieval dodgeball game with spears, swords and throwing stars. The gameplay is simple, fast-paced and can be an addictive good time. The campaign falls short, but the online and couch co-op provides some heated battles.
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Reviewed using base PS4.