Brawlers are a misunderstood breed. The descendants of Final Fight and Streets of Rage are easy to dismiss as unfair products of another era, where they stood in arcade cabinets and where seemingly designed to drain your wallet by forcing countless retries against random attack patterns in order to get that one lucky break. But for those willing to learn their intricacies, punch ’em ups can be seen as part of a precise and demanding genre where victory is always possible despite the odds.
While there have been attempts at revival such as Castle Crashers or Mother Russia Bleeds, those offer more style than substance. I dove into recent Steam release Fight’N Rage [Steam page] (debut title from solo Uruguayan indie Seba Games Dev) with some trepidation, but came out the other side overjoyed. Faithful fans of fisticuffs, this may well be the best brawler I’ve ever played, and I’ve played them all.