Regardless of a detailed description or fancy trailer, there are certain games you just have to play to get. There’s no other way for the fun factor to translate to the gamer effectively. When referring to One Finger Death Punch 2, the classic phrase don’t judge a book by it’s cover comes to mind. Admittedly, when I researched OFDP2 I was hardly impressed by the art style. Seeing it in motion wasn’t much help either, as the fast action and uniqueness of the genre made me confused. Yet once the controller reached my hands, the simple joy of the fighting mechanics took over and I quickly got it. As the game introduced new elements and became increasingly complex and challenging, I became fully engaged. What started off so simple quickly manifested into a speedy reaction and memory based experience that I couldn’t help but return to.
What type of game exactly is OFDP2? If you played the original years back, you might have a good idea. As for everyone else, it can best be described as two-button beat-em-up where the player controls actions of the white silhouette man on screen. While your character performs complex fighting actions, you’re only making use of two buttons: X and A. The X button attacks enemies on the left and the A button attacks enemies on the right. As long as your enemies are within the targeting range (that can be seen on the ground), you will unleash vicious attacks which kill the majority of them in one hit . Attack too soon and you will miss, giving your enemies the chance to lay in attacks of their own. Your health is indicated by the red bars at top of the screen and naturally if you run out you fail the level. After you defeat the set number of enemies, the level is over and you are graded based on your number of misses.
While that sounds simple and frankly, boring…things pick up quickly as new enemy types and tactics are introduced. Different enemy types are distinguished by their color, letting the player know which attack pattern they will take. Normal gray enemies run towards you and are quickly dismissed with a single button press. Green enemies require two hits, blue enemies will switch sides after the first attack while others such as yellow will drop speed increase items. I thought at first it would be hard to memorize the different enemy attacks, but that was hardly the case. The game constantly reminds you not to button mash, and rewards you by providing plenty of time between button presses before you succumb to an attack. This is important because in the frenzy of fast paced action, you’re likely to have a few brain fog moments where you need to remember what exactly you’re doing. Other colored enemies come into play as well; some requiring three hits, others throwing weapons that much be dodged, blocked or caught and re-thrown.
At least a few times during every stage there will be a slow-mo fight sequence where your player dukes it out with a single enemy. The camera will zoom in and players must press the correct button sequence (again only X & A) to win the fight. Sometimes at the end there is a button press sequence where you must outpress your enemy. These are a nice break from the monotony but eventually grow old after dozens of levels and thousands of enemies defeated. Enemies will often drop weapons of various types that you can pick up and use. There is a great variety of here including: chainsaws, nunchucks, staffs, swords and guns. The different fight moves of your character are highly stylish and bloody. This is definitely not a game you want to play around young children. Players will collect revenge tokens throughout the campaign. These allow the player to retry a level with regenerating health and a wider attack radius. These were nice to have when certain lengthy levels gave me problems.
Players will also want to go out of their way to collect skill points, which unlock perks for your character. About a dozen different perks can each be upgraded 3 times and include extra ammo for specific weapons or specialized attacks like laser beam eyes, fire, ice and earthquake attacks. Unlocking these new moves is a welcome change and made my character feel like even more of a badass. There are over 150 levels in the campaign across various map locations; which helps add to replay value. Some levels have unique objectives like kill set number of enemies with throwing weapons, knock them into traps, stay within a certain fight area and fight while invisible…all of which work nicely and add to the variety in the campaign. While there were times where I played continuously for an hour or more, the real value of OFDP2 for me was being able to make progress while my free time was limited.
In addition to the campaign there are a handful of other game modes to round out the package. Survival mode is a tier based mode where the player is tasked with surviving as long as possible. After defeating the required amount of enemies you will unlock the next tier. Should you die in the middle of tier two, you can restart from either tier 1 or 2. With 10 tiers in all, reaching the top is quite the challenge. Other modes are welcome inclusions but nothing I would spend considerable time on. These include: cooperative, gauntlet (a one life choose your path mode), training and the silly No Luca No mode where a giant cat blocks half the screen. As far as my taste goes, I mainly played the story mode and survival.
Presentation wise the game loads quickly, has stylish menus and good sound effects. I played on Xbox One X and did not notice any slowdown. As far as achievements go, most are based on reaching numerical milestones. For example: defeating 5,000 or 10,000 enemies. Use the chainsaw or other specific weapon type a certain amount of times. While some are grindy, the majority can be obtained just playing normally.
What first appeared to be a simple game, One Finger Death Punch 2 had a surprising amount of depth and challenge to it. With a regular price of $8.99 USD, players are getting a complete package of stylish fun and a lot of content. It always felt like I was progressing even if I was only completing a few levels per day. I would have loved an option to replace the blood with slime or rainbow colors to make it more kid friends. But if you’re in the mood for something different that might take up a few minutes or a few hours of your time, One Finger Death Punch 2 is an experience worth fighting for.