Matrix Of The Trade: Tango Fiesta

Tango Fiesta has come a long way since its birth at the first Rezzed gamejam. Dragging eighties action movies kicking and kersploding into the whateverthehellwecallthisdecade-ties, it’s a top-down shooter that can be played by four fist-bumping muscle-chums at a time. From the jungles of Predator to the desert islands of Paradise Punchout (may not be a real film), the trailer suggests players will be spending their time shooting everything that moves. Apart from other players – cooperation is the keyword here. Well, that and EXPLOSIONS. Early Access begins on June 4th.

Ploughing a similar furrow to Broforce, it seems. Like Marsh, I am a supporter of the Broforce brand of inventive chaos. It’s a clever game beneath the stylistic trappings and that’s a good thing.

Despite being a rugged chainsmoking, bourbon-swilling Mancunian, I am occasionally of a sensitive disposition. I’m rarely offended by popular entertainment but as I approach my mid-thirties, I find myself seeing the politics behind the punchlines, frowning like a parody of Stewart Lee’s already parodic persona. Enjoying things is for girlie men – if you’re not capable of raising some moral-philosophical quibbles, you might as well have stayed at home.

‘Girlie men’ looks out of place up there, doesn’t it? I am, of course, borrowing from Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who made films that I giggled and guffawed at with friends through college and university. A combination of his political and public persona altered the complexion of the cheery slaughter-quips, and the characters came to represent a side of military and macho fetishism that became more prominent than sweet and simple nostalgic pleasure.

Point is, everything gathers dust and baggage over time. Some of that baggage may be mislabelled and some of that dust may actually be delicious icing sugar – whatever the case, I find it hard to sweep it all aside and return to the guffaws and giggles. Treachery In Beatdown City looks like it might be a good example of how to call back while looking forward.

Tangential furor complete. I’ll always have room on my hard drive for anything that reminds me of Smash TV and Cannon Fodder. I leave you with this unedited ‘quote’ from the imdb page for Commando:

Bennett: [on his way to kill Jenny Matrix, tries to open the door, and the knob fells off, Bennett smashes the door open] You little BITCH!
Bennett: [He enters the room, saw a hole in the wall] Errr… GOD!
Bennett: [He looks through the hole, saw Jenny fled, Bennett hurled his way through the wall to chase Jenny Matrix] Catch… YOUUUUU !

Maybe it’s okay to giggle just a little bit.


  1. DiamondDog says:

    Moral philosophical quibbles?

    I’ll tell you what I think. I live to see you eat those morals. But I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I’m going to ram it into your stomach, and break your god-damn spine!

  2. OrangyTang says:

    I played this a few weeks ago and to be honest I wasn’t very impressed. :( Graphically it looks great, but pretty much everything about how it plays is awkward and not fun. The camera often frames the action badly so you’re either getting dragged along by someone else, or being hurt by something off screen. The objectives seem to just be ‘blow up these buildings’ which leaves your group randomly running in different directions with no sense of cooperation or tactics.

    Enemies are sparse and die so quickly that there’s no thought involved, and largely means you’ve killed someone before you properly engaged them, or you run over and someone else has already killed them.

    The limited bullets and reload mechanic is, frankly, annoying.

    To top it off, you’re not allowed to have two people playing the same character at the same time. Which means that the character choice screen becomes a race to select the faster characters so you can actually *do* something. Come on lads, SFII had this solved years ago, let me pick the same character and just give me a pallet swap.

    Unless this changes a lot I can’t see myself picking up the full game. Which makes me sad.

    • OrangyTang says:

      Hmm. That came over as more negative than I wanted. I’ll add that it was frustrating because you can see it *should* be great, it’s just got lots of silly game design mistakes that drag it down. Everything there is highly fixable, perhaps they just need to focus on the mechanics and level design a bit more.

      • Spilt Milk Studios says:

        Hiya! Can I ask when you played it? Every time I’ve demo’d the game I’ve been right there with it… Just trying to gauge what version you weren’t enjoying too much :)

        • OrangyTang says:

          Scenario bar in Dalston.

          • Spilt Milk Studios says:

            Was it at Multiclash or the Loading Bar relaunch party?

          • OrangyTang says:

            Multiclash I think.

          • Spilt Milk Studios says:

            (The reply button’s gone funny)

            Ah ok – well that build was 11 weeks into development, and that was 4 weeks ago, and we’re still 2.5 weeks from launch… so hopefully that restores some faith in our ability to react to this kind of (excellent, deep and genuinely useful) feedback. It’s a shame you waded in because I think it gives a misleading impression to other readers about the game, but I totally understand why you did. Just a shame is all :D

            Regardless, hopefully at the next event you’ll come and play and see a rather improved game :D

  3. Syra says:

    “Go commando on desert Islands and expose bad guys to naked terror”

    I see what you did there.

  4. Frank says:

    I don’t know what this and Broforce are satirizing with that character art. Is this some 70s thing or British thing? If they’re just making fun of Shank, that’s cool I guess.

  5. The Random One says:

    Should be called Tango Foxtrot.