Game Reviews

Big Action Mega Fight!

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Big Action Mega Fight!

Are you a bad enough dude to play a mobile game that lets you walk from left to right and punch out anyone who gets in your way?

That probably depends on whether or not you're carrying a torch for classic 8- and- 16-bit brawlers like Double Dragon, Final Fight, and Streets of Rage.

Big Action Mega Fight! successfully recaptures the heady atmosphere of the amusement arcades, when finding a good meal of turkey and pop was simply a matter of punching open a steel barrel.

At the start of Big Action Mega Fight! you're introduced to Brick, a burly dude whose moustache is only bested by Mayor Mike Haggar's cookie-duster. Punks are making trouble in Brick's neighbourhood, and that's motivation enough to go out there and start punching people in the face.

These ain't no sissy punches

Whereas most mobile action games utilise virtual D-pads and buttons, Big Action Mega Fight! operates with swipe-based controls. A regular swipe delivers a straight punch; an upward swipe delivers an uppercut; and a circular motion causes Brick to pick up nearby enemies and hurl them over his shoulder.

The controls work brilliantly for punches, but can be troublesome for throws. This wouldn't be a major problem except for the fact many of the stages are littered with chicken-bomb hybrid enemies (yes, even chicken-bomb hybrids have it out for Brick) that cause damage when you punch them.

Ideally, they're supposed to be thrown into other enemies, but if you don't get the circular motion just right you punch the frenzied fowl instead and get a face full of Kentucky Fried shrapnel.

Pay the Reaper

You can upgrade Brick, which helps offset any damage you might incur from control-related slip-ups. By gathering coins, you can pay to power-up your punch, or shore up your defences in order to take more damage.

You can also collect Gold Teeth, the premium currency in Big Action Mega Fight! Gold teeth are used to buy temporary power-ups at the start of a stage, including the ability to dish out more damage.

Moreover, if a punk knocks out Brick, you can use those precious gold-capped gnashers to revive him on the spot. Otherwise, resurrecting Brick takes a life from your stockpile of three. Lives regenerate over time.

Thankfully, Gold Teeth aren't too hard to find. You can uncover them in barrels along with health-restoring street meat. They also come flying out of beaten enemies' mouths. Imagine that.

Streets of Age

Big Action Mega Fight! is engineered to cater for retro-loving action game fans who long for the digitised, bone-crunching thuds that defined our childhoods. Those who indulge should find a loving, if flawed, tribute to a more pixellated era.

It would be grand if the game's throw could be fine-tuned, but this is a small complaint in a game with an otherwise satisfying control system.

Big Action Mega Fight! is a solid beat-'em-up. Retro arcade games are a fixture on the App Store, and this won't be the last or the most distinguished brawler to feature on these pages. But it will keep your blocky bloodlust satisfied until the next dose of nostalgic ultraviolence comes along.

Big Action Mega Fight!

Big Action Mega Fight! pens a love letter to the beat-'em-up genre. Then, it sets that letter on fire and rams it down your throat