Foul Play is the latest game to come from developer Media Tonic for Xbox live arcade and pc.In this action Theatre brawler you play as Baron Dashforth, as he recounts his tales of daemon hunting and ridding the world of darkness.
Firstly lets look at the gameplay.
The menu screen is very aesthetically pleasing, with the main option called perform, enticing you to get underway and play. The second option being your daemon diary, giving you the relevant back-story and history.
The entire game is set out like a theatrical play where Dashforth and his broom wielding apprentice Scampwick are actors playing themselves with a cast of extras as they reenact their most famous adventure. The game is set like a traditional brawler, with two main buttons X and Y to attack, mixing light and heavy attacks, B to Block and A to jump, so at times when playing through you may feel like you are button mashing. However to put a spin on the traditional, instead of a health bar your performance is measured by a mood meter, which shows the level of entertainment and enthusiasm from your audience. Mixing attacks with blocks, parrying attacks allowing you to hurl your foe at other enemies and not getting hit will increase your audience’s excitement. Fail to block and this level will decrease, as your audience does not want to see their lead hero get hurt. Drop too far into the red and your audience will loose interest and the curtains will fall making it game over. Fill your mood meter to its maximum and you will release your show stopping power upon Dashforths enemies.
Another interesting feature that adds to the dynamic and realism is that of audience and crew participation. Being the actors forgetting lines or the audience giving their opinion to Dashforth, it makes the setting of a theatrical performance all the more believable. There are a total of 5 plays, 4 of these consisting with 4 normal acts and 1 boss act and the 5th play serving as the grand finale of the show with only two acts, adding up to a total of 3- 4 hours of gameplay before the credits role. After completing each act, you have an encore round where you are timed to earn as many points as possible that contribute to your overall final score of that act.
The game also has its re play ability where in each act you have a total of 3 challenges, being it getting a combo of 100 hits, saving an innocent or defeating a certain leader character last. After two playthrough’s you should be able to complete all the challenges. By completing all 3 challenges your earn something called a charm, two charms can be equipped at the same time. Each charm displays different aspects, which help and contribute to your overall fighting style. Again with each level up comes a new attack to add to your combination and send the audience on a thrill ride they’ll remember for an age.
The game also features co-operative gameplay, allowing your friend to drop in and play as Scampwick between acts, helping you defeat the many Daemons that fall upon you in your quest. You can also check your score against your friends by the leaderboard on the games main menu. Graphics wise the game is stunning. Mixing the hand drawn style within a superb two-dimensional space making it not too laughable and at the same time not to serious making it fun, visually pleasurable and interesting to play.
My overall score is a solid 4 out of 5. Foul Play is a brilliant and unique take on the brawler genre, mixing humoristic dialogue with fun and enticing combat techniques making it an overall enjoyable experience. I would defiantly recommend you to check this game out.
Foul Play is available via Xbox Live arcade and Steam on Windows pc.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.