There was a time when fighting games were the most popular thing on the market. Between arcade titles and console games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, people couldn’t help but get into battles with their friends or random people they met. Fighters have since evolved, but the feeling of those old games haven’t gone away, and some are still trying to recreate that feeling. One of which is the team behind Slashers: The Power Battle. Though flawed, the game does make strides to try and recapture that classic fighting game feel.
I need to note before I go on that Slashers: The Power Battle isn’t fully done yet, this review is of the game that’ll be on Steam Early Access on November 3rd. So naturally, there are some things that’ll be worked out before the main release.
The game itself is modeled in the style of Street Fighter and Guilty Gear, among others, right down to the visual style which invokes the older style of things. On one hand, this is pretty cool, and it allows for a more vintage/classic feel. However, at times the character models don’t seem as crisp as they could be. And some characters lack the visual punch of others. There could be improvements of course, but it’s hard to say.
Another thing Slashers: The Power Battle does to invoke the classic fighting games of yore is its control scheme. There are a lot of buttons to know and learn. Three different types of attacks, jumping, blocking, throwing, recovery, and more. This means that casual players may not want to get involved, but hardcore gamers will feel right at home. One thing I really appreciated was that not only were there two different standard control styles for the game, but you could actually tailor the control scheme to your preferences. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot to those who like to play a certain way.
If you’re new however, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a very deep tutorial waiting for you. How to do attacks, defensive moves, combos, and more. Again, it’s a small thing, but it can have a big impact on how you enjoy the game. It even shows you the buttons to press in order initiate the action you must take, though at times it didn’t seem to register that I was doing it until after many tries. Hopefully that’ll get fixed.
For those who like many different modes in their fighting games, Slashers: The Power Battle does have you covered on that front. There’s a standard Arcade Mode, but also a Boss Battle Mode, a Combo mode, and more. Each have their ups and downs, but you’ll find what works for you and what doesn’t.
The one noticeable mode that is lacking at present is the Story Mode. Especially for a game like this, with unknown characters, we need some backstory and depth to them. There’s a street kid, a knight, an old woman, a ninja, and more, why are they all fighting? I honestly don’t know. Another odd thing character wise is that half the roster isn’t available at present. But if you look at the roster screen, you’d think they all were. The ones who aren’t weren’t blocked out until you actually scrolled over them, more than that though, they were all jumbled together instead of blocked out by availability.
The other thing I don’t know about is whether the fighting system itself is where it needs to be. Again, this is an Early Access title, and it’s clear that they’re still feeling things out, but certain things rang hollow amongst the somewhat tight mechanics. There are special attacks that are apparently one-hit KO’s, and that happened to me once without so much as a warning as to what happened. Other times fights would be extremely back-and-forth, then a special attack would reign in and just end me, it was frustrating, especially as I was still trying to learn everything I could about the game.
Easily the most annoying thing at present though is the audio. The character sounds repeat after every attack, and while that’s ok to an extent (and you can adjust the audio), it does get weird and repetitive at other times. But weirder than that, sometimes the background audio will just completely cut out, and then not return for the entire match. Also, the victory/defeat screens feel like that they should have voiceover audio, but don’t.
Slashers: The Power Battle is for those who want to relive the glory days of fighting game genre. Where intense combos helped pave the way to victory. If you want to help make this one like those, then go check it out on Steam Early Access when it releases November 3rd.