Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

[Review] The Rumble Fish 2 – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Dec 16, 2022
Developed By: Dimps
Published By: 3goo
Categories: Fighting
Release Date: 12.08.22

Rumble Fish 2 is an interesting fighter. Here we have a 2D, sprite based fighter by the folks at Dimps. Dimps was formed by ex Capcom and SNK developers, including Takashi Nishiyama, who was the director and creator for the orignal Street Fighter, as well as Fatal Fury. Some pedigree huh? What you might know Dimps for more is their work on a plethora of Sonic the Hedgehog and Dragon Ball games, the latter of which just recently had a game released, Dragon Ball: The Breakers. Though they did handle Street Fighter IV and V. To me, this is why The Rumble Fish is such an outlier and oddity to their resume.

Even odder is the history of this game and it’s predecessor. Both are arcade games on the Atomiswave arcade board by Sammy, who would publish this game. Atomiswave is very similar to the Dreamcast hardware wise, and would be home to a lot of SNK, Sammy, and Arc System Works titles. Guilty Gear Isuka, Metal Slug 6, and Fist of the North Star ring a bell? While a handful of these games would get ports, usually on the PS2 as the Dreamcast was long dead by this point, some did not, like The Rumble Fish 2. Not officially at least. As of lately, there has been projects to port these Atomiswave games to Dreamcast.

It’s hard to put down if I truly love The Rumble Fish or not. Lets start with what I love. This game overflows with style. The menus, the music, the character designs. All fantastic. There’s something quite magical about sprite based games made after the year 2000. The sprites in this game are rather fascinating too, employing a bit of an odd marionette rig style to their animation. At first glance, you’d almost believe they’re rudimentary 3D models. In addition to that, characters all will show off battle damage. This doesn’t impede the gameplay one bit however.

You’ve played a 2D fighter, right? Quarter circles, Dragon Fist (like a Z) motions? The Half or Full Circle, PRETZEL MOTIONS. Do these for specials and Offensive and Defensive, as well as Critical Arts. Most fighters have one gauge to watch for. The Rumble Fish 2 has two. Your Offensive gauge can help you do strong techniques, powered up combos, or even guard breaks. Defensive Arts can be used for mostly for counters and of course, defensive special attacks. Both gauges are full or filling up? You can enter a Boost Dive, which can heal you and heighten your abilities. But if both are maxed out, during Boost Dive, you can give a Critical Art, which can do devastating damage.

I didn’t have too much trouble winning fights after I figured out how characters work, but good lord does this game remind you that SNK Bosses are a thing. It took me over an hour to beat Beatice as Hikari, a counter centric character. It was frustrating, but I did eventually defeat her. Once you complete Arcade Mode, you can unlock concept art and endings for characters as well as the game period.

On top of Arcade mode, you do get the Survival, Training, and Versus Mode. This does feel like a proper console port, long needed after nearly two decades. And thankfully, if I get frustrated, I can just put the Switch in sleep mode and walk away. There’s even online and a museum for added replayability.

The online does feel a tad featureless though. Things that a 2022 port SHOULD have are missing. Like, I dunno, LOBBIES. At least there’s rollback.

So this is a good port and I do like the game outside of the final boss making me want to thrust my head into a TV, so what could I have an issue with. How about having three characters as DLC. For a console port of a game from 17 YEARS AGO. Unacceptable, completely unacceptable. This is going to sound awful, because I do like this game and I love that it’s finally getting ported. But do not pay full price.

4/5

Buy Now: $29.99

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*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review

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