Plenty of indie games try to recapture the magic of Nintendo's Metroid franchise. However, very few of them succeed in living up to the phenomenal 30 year old series so let's see if A Robot Named Fight does.
A Robot Named Fight has you control a robot presumably named... Fight. It's your job to rid your mechanical planet from invading organic life forms. That's the story in a nutshell so how does it play? When you first take control of Fight, it's obvious that the developer borrowed heavily from Super Metroid. A few years back, I played through the fantastic Axiom Verge and thought that it borrowed a bit too much from the Metroid series. However, A Robot Named Fight shamelessly copies even more from the classic franchise. I must say, when developers merely try to emulate the classics instead of having the creativity to craft a wholly unique experience, it really chaps my hide. On top of that, A Robot Named Fight isn't even half as enjoyable as Super Metroid due to its goofy world and controls that feel a bit off complete with floaty jumps. It's like a bargain bin Super Metroid but ironically, it's more expensive, too.
Thankfully, A Robot Named Fight has a roguelike structure that is admittedly unique for a Metroidvania-style game. The only game that comes to mind with a similar structure is Rogue Legacy and that game's incredible. Anyway, the roguelike structure definitely adds a great deal of challenge to the surprisingly short campaign. However, it's not very well implemented. For starters, you're always pushed along your way in a linear manner no matter how that iteration of the randomly generated world is laid out. You'll find yourself traversing the same handful of areas in the exact same order and start to recognize repeated room layouts almost immediately. Not only that, the randomness of it all makes some runs super-frustrating while other runs are a breeze. Sometimes, you'll have to head straight to a tough boss with minimal power-ups while other times, you end up being far too powerful early on. Also, whenever you perish (which can frankly feel very unfair in certain situations), you have to start the whole campaign over again. Luckily, it's only just over an hour long.
Roguelikes are most enjoyable when you unlock permanent upgrades between runs so it pleases me to say that A Robot Named Fight has a large array of unlockable power-ups. Upon unlocking one, you don't receive its effects permanently but it has the potential to appear in further playthroughs. You unlock these by completing tasks such as defeating certain bosses and exploring new areas which I found to be very rewarding. After all, the gameplay is simple and easy to learn so unlocking additional aspects makes it feel much more varied and fulfilling. This is especially true when you gather certain key items that act as currency which you can redeem at the odd store or offer to the gods at designated temples. To be honest, I never figured out how to appease the gods because my offering was never good enough. I'm thinking Mr. Fight should become an atheist after dealing with all that nonsense.
A Robot Named Fight has pretty solid visuals with detailed environments, bizarre creatures, and decent animation. One of the coolest aspects of its graphics is when you kill an enemy as it usually results in a bloody brutal mess with chunks of meat flying everywhere which makes killing things so much more gratifying. On the other end of the spectrum, the music is quite embarrassing. Just like with the gameplay, it tries too hard to sound like Super Metroid's soundtrack but it fails. It's as if an amateur musician heard Super Metroid's music then banged out the entire soundtrack in an afternoon. It's repetitive, annoying, and an insult to the game that it's inspired by.
A Robot Named Fight is clearly a modern interpretation of Super Metroid but with a roguelike structure. Considering Super Metroid is a far better experience in every way and is readily available at a much better price, playing this instead would be a silly mistake.
- + Provides simple 2D action gameplay that's easy to learn and can be fun in short bursts
- + Unlocking more content is rewarding
- + Cool visuals with brutal kill effects
- - Borrows too heavily from Super Metroid and isn't nearly as enjoyable
- - Roguelike structure isn't well implemented
- - Subpar and highly repetitive music