Punch Club 2 Fast Forward: Review
This game was reviewed on Playstation 5.
Reviewed by: Amanda Martin
This game follows the story of a young man in a dystopian future. He has lived as a hermit for most of his life, and spent most of his time working out in his garage...or rather his mother's garage. But eventually he has to wonder out of his shell and into the world, where he learns that some of the people around him knew his father. After learning that his father has gone missing, he goes to find him. This is just the beginning of a wonderfully ridiculous story that will have you invested from the very start.
This is a fighting game, mixed with a time management simulator. You are responsible for making sure that you eat and are well rested between fights, as this can affect your performance. You have to make money to buy food, and you can make money by working different jobs. This again passes the time in-game, so you have to also make sure that you don't miss your fight time as this will result in a penalty charge. But it never seems overwhelming, the balance is just right and you are easily able to slip into a routine.
I must say I am not a fan of fighting games, nor am I very good at them, but this game blends the two genres together so well. It also simplifies the fighting genre, allowing you to work on your strength, agility and endurance to enhance your fighter. These correlate to your power and health, stamina and initiative, all of which are very important to note when sizing up a competitor. It also helps that these are all colour coded, so you know which moves are going to be most effective, depending on your style. There are different fighting schools as well, each with their own techniques and abilities. As you progress through the story, and also through the leagues, you earn points that can be spent on buying new moves that will make your life easier as you progress.
The moves that you have access to are broken down into attacks, blocks and modifiers. Attacks are used to strike the enemy, and use varying amounts of stamina. They can also have useful side effects, such as stealing health from your opponent if the attack connects. There are different types of blocks you use to defend against different attacks. Dodge moves are also incorporated into the block moveset. You shouldn't forget your modifiers either, as this section is full of useful benefits, from draining your opponent's energy, or even making them use twice the amount they normally would.
There are many things to keep you entertained in this game besides the main story and the fighting leagues and it can be easy to lose track. This game utilises a very simple flowchart to help you keep track of what your next objectives are, whether it be picking up a box of doughnuts from the shop or yet another adventure into the sewers. It's quite satisfying to see these event boxes turn green after completion. You never feel locked into a quest either, which is quite good. If you encounter a difficult fighter that you end up losing against, you don't automatically fail the quest. You can go and work on your stats and find some new moves and come back for another shot when you are ready.
Every piece of this game is littered with Easter Eggs that will make you chuckle and grin the whole way through. These can be very in-your-face, as certain fighters you encounter through the leagues have very familiar sounding names. They can be references hidden within the dialogue and, as this is not voiced, you have to be reading closely to spot them. Even as you move around the city you are sure to notice characters that you are bound to recognise. A head in a jar? A grumpy janitor? A mysterious figure swinging through the rooftops? I'm sure I've seen these somewhere before...
One downside of this game, however, is that it can feel a bit grindy towards the end. You constantly have to be working on your base stats in order to progress through the leagues, whilst making sure you don't run out of energy for your work. I also noticed a few grammatical errors in the text boxes, usually in the form of missing words, but these were few and far between. There was also a trophy that temporarily glitched out on me as it didn't pop when it was supposed to. Instead, it randomly popped when I loaded up my save file one day.
A highly entertaining game guaranteed to take over your life for a while.
Reviewed by: Amanda Martin