Oct 18, 2013
Fist of Awesome is the beat ’em up revitalized. Or, in keeping with the theme of the game, a bear ’em up. I’ll see myself out.
This is a time-travelling action game where players control lumberjack Tim Burr, who gets possessed by Fist, on a quest to defeat evil bears that have taken over the planet all across the timeline of Earth. Tim earns experience as he beats up bears and fights boss bears which can be used to get more health, strength, speed, or a stronger special Fist attack.
The problem with most beat ’em ups is repetition: they get old fast. Not so with Fist of Awesome: it avoids this pratfall thanks in large part to the depth of the combat. Having so many different moves means that it’s possible to strategize in combat – it’s all about controlling the crowds, knocking enemies down to keep them from overwhelming Tim, and using the Fist move to deal large amounts of damage at one time. Perhaps the Fist move is a bit overpowered, but it requires a short setup time that also leaves Tim open to attacks, so there is a trade-off there.
The controls are great with a gamepad – I spent most of my time sitting back on my couch playing with my Nexus 4 hooked up to my TV, and using a Moga Pro to control the game – and I highly recommend doing this. Fist of Awesome is perfect for console-style gaming (it’s available on Ouya and GameStick for those who want it on their microconsole of choice). But the touchscreen controls are excellently-implemented: all combat is done with taps and cardinal swipes that all make contextual sense. It doesn’t get in the way of combat at all. Would I rather play with physical controls? Yes, but the virtual controls are still great.
The campaign will take at least a couple hours on the first go-round to defeat, with harder difficulties unlockable after beating the game. There’s an Arenas mode where players get to fight enemies for a limited amount of time in the game’s levels, but this mode has problems. For one, most of the objectives, which need to be completed to earn more XP and to extend the timer, are often extremely difficult to get. As well, the different characters having all kinds of different stats seems like an unnecessary hindrance as they all have their own stats that need to be leveled up. Why not just make them different skins for Tim Burr, particularly as he will always be the most powerful character and has health regeneration?
Fist of Awesome is a game starring a bearded lumberjack fighting bears throughout time. That’s a lofty premise to live up to, and I’m proud to say that the game does not disappoint. I highly enjoyed this, and beat the story mode in one sitting. I rarely just lose myself in a game for hours on end any more with the breadth of games I have to play, but Fist of Awesome did just that. Check this one out.