Sometimes we play video games for a captivating story or for a mentally challenging endeavor. Well this is not one of those times. This is Fight Crab, the new crustacean fighting game from indie developer Nussoft, aka Calappa Games. Fight Crab doesn’t distract players with a narrative, character back stories, nor does it apply logic. It’s simply a good old-fashioned crab brawl, and as silly as it is, it’s a shell of a good time.
The goal? Flip your opponent onto their back in a battle of ultimate supremacy. It’s a physics based fight, using crazy controls and pure willpower to take on your foes. As you attack your opponent, their health percentage will rise, making them easier to flip over. In a way, it’s kind of like Super Smash Bros. combined with a weird crab version of Punch Out!! It’s not just about getting them on their back though, as they have to remain on their back for three counts. It’s an interesting mechanic that works both for the theme and offers a unique game objective.
Players will start out with a Snow Crab and eventually unlock more shellfish as they fight. Eventually, you’ll be able to choose from over 20 different crabs (plus one lobster). You’ll even be able to bring a partner into battle. While many of the crabs offer different body types and sizes, the real skill comes from using weapons. There are nearly 50 weapons to use, including knives, nunchaku, rockets, and even shotguns. As you fight through the campaign, you’ll discover new weapons, often resulting in hilarious surprises. When you think it can’t get any better, the game goes the extra step to prove you wrong.
As mentioned before, the game has pretty crazy controls. While you can play it with a mouse and keyboard, it really isn’t ideal. Using a gamepad, you’ll have a much easier time. The left and right claws can be controlled by using the respective analog sticks. Moving them around is key to picking up weapons and applying a swing to your attacks. The triggers will act as punches, or if wielding a weapon, it will deliver a fierce strike. Of course, as claws, you’ll also have control of your pincers with the left and right bumper. This can not only grab your opponent, but will also pick up weapons off the ground. It also can work to block incoming attacks.
Overall movement is a bit unusual, but once you get used to it, you’ll be moving in no time. You can move forward, sideways or backwards, even having access to a dash maneuver. You’ll even have the ability to walk on walls, which can gain the high ground and give you a true advantage. Turning it a bit different, as you’ll need to move both analog sticks in the direction you wish to turn. While this is good to control your crab, it’s vital if you’re close to staying on your back as the countdown appears.
Of course, like many fighting games, there’s a revenge mechanic in place. Take enough damage and you can activate Hyper Mode, which will power you up for about 15 seconds. After the short power-up, a small explosion will come out and deal some decent damage to your foe. As an option, players can even activate the explosion early as long as they have at least five seconds left of the buff. Hyper Mode can easily turn the tide of battle, but the real mastery comes from learning Hyper Skills.
Hyper Skills are special abilities that can be activated in Hyper Mode. This can range from firing lasers while you punch to literal Dragon Ball Z attacks. Ever want to see a King Crab launch a Spirit Bomb (known as a Crab Ball)? What about a Mantis Shrimp firing a Kamehameha (or Kanihameha in the game)? All these abilities and more ridiculous moves are available to unlock in the game. If you master these moves, you can really dominate the online multiplayer rankings.
Online works really well, seemingly pretty responsive and stable. There seems to be a pretty active player base too, as I had no trouble hopping right into a few matches. I’ll admit I’m not skilled enough to take on those that have mastered the game, but I’m glad to see the game has dedicated high level players. If you really want to make things interesting, you can even do co-op fights. The game offers 1-on-1 as well as 2-on-2 battles, so there’s a little variety on hand.
Fight Crab may not be a traditional fighting game, but it’s definitely a game that gets by on its humor. Luckily, the crazy fights and over the top situations make this game very funny to play. It also comes with a rocking soundtrack that really jazzes you up for the fights. While the idea is pretty simple, the results provide a fun ice breaker game. Even if it’s not the best fighter out there, you’ll still want talk about Fight Crab when it’s all over.
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