Has buying gifts for this gift giving season left you broken as a promise? Have all the recent Steam sales given your wallet martial arts movie beatdown? Fear not, No Budget Gaming has returned to cleave through the hordes of undead vaporware. For this installment, I’ll be looking at three death-titled games: One Finger Death Punch, Run or Die, and Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, to answer one simple question: are these games worth their 3-5 dollar price tags?
Photo Credit: Silver Dollar Games
One Finger Death Punch is a pleasant reminder that sometimes the most fun ideas are the most simple ones. The game has you play as a stick figure avatar, as you strike enemies that attack you with the left and right mouse buttons. You must carefully time your strikes to hit enemies when they come into range or a miss will leave you open to enemy blows.
Gameplay starts laughably easy but hits a nice balance of being chaotic, easy to play yet hard to master. The soundtrack is a perfect match to the John Woo-esque fights, and if you’re a fan of kitschy martial arts movies, you’ll get a huge kick out of the visuals, announcer, and feel of the game as a whole. Overall, One Finger Death Punch is a small, simple idea done masterfully, great for blowing off steam or slacking off from work. If you’ve got five dollars, it is well worth a try.
Photo Credit: Team Flow
Run or Die is a cross between a “free runner” iPhone game and a hardcore Megaman/Super Meat Boy-style platformer. You play as Flow and try to run as far as you can through a randomized cityscape filled with bottomless pits, mines, and blocks to get in your way. On any given run, Flow has randomized access to two of four special abilities such as a laser or dive kick, and if she progresses far enough, she can swap them out.
The game is capital “H” hard. This a game meant for gamers who adore hardcore platforming sections where even the smallest mistake is punished. The pixel-art style graphics are nice, but the music is bland; I only noticed one main song and it was fairly uninspired. The gameplay is the real draw- if you want work out your Super Meat Boy reflexes, drop five bucks. If not, pass this one by.
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, is a throwback to JRPGs of yore, blending elements Dragon Quest, 2d Final Fantasy, and Breath of Fire among many others. The game has your group of adventurers slogging through random battles, finding loot, and customizing their builds to your liking- all the staples of the genre without much variation. Though the game also has a slightly quicker pace than other classic JRPG of the genre, which is a nice touch. There’s a tongue in cheek sense of humor though I’d call it snicker funny, far from a laugh riot.
Overall, the game is too scant. As far as I got, battles lacked variety and challenge, though that may change with harder difficulties. Even then, I found myself resorting to the same strategies. Even the customizable aspects are superficial – your healer will be a healer no matter what. Even the games humor isn’t consistent and definitely runs out of steam at multiple points. Retro-styled games can be fine, but there is a pretty big jump between RPG grind fests such as Dungeons of Dredmor, actual classic games such as Shining Force, and this. Overall, $2.99 is a nice price tag, but I’d only recommend Breath of Death for the most hardcore of classic JRPG fans.
That’s all for this week. Have a request for what genre or category of games I should look at for my next installment? Leave it in the comments below. Until next time.
Feature Photo Credit: Silver Dollar Games