Mid-Week F.A.P: One Finger Death Punch

One Finger Death Punch 02

After the non-sequitur intro of last week I am going to at least try and lead into this week’s F.A.P. with something mildly relevant.

There are some points in life when I do take a step back and look at what my life involves. Sometimes when I am sitting there playing Ride to Hell: Retribution or some such soulless shit like Narco Terror and I start to wonder why I play games.

It is not like the developers seem to really care about these games nor do they even remotely seem to appreciate you playing them. Once you’ve bought it that’s it, fuck off.

Enter: One Finger Death Punch

I’ve never liked rhythm games; I just haven’t found the appeal in them and I far from understand them. The input is so binary that there is no expression of self. There is no personality and deviation in a rhythm game; it is just a Quick Time Event extended into minutes.

It is like people play them because they want to be told exactly what to do; like in an exam.

OFDP is one of the few rhythm games where there feels like there is some semblance of agency but really it is the aesthetic that I want to talk about.

I’ve never wanted to be a Rock star but I have wanted to punch a guy so hard he goes flying through three walls then take the staff he was using to pummel four more men and impale some other guys with throwing knives. When I was a kid I would draw elaborate scenes of mayhem with an indomitable stick figure martial artist.

That childhood fantasy is what One Finger Death Punch is in motion.

The input is limited to two buttons and you press them in correspondence with the direction your enemies come at you. There are differing factors, like what weapons you pick up and what power ups you are using as well as the patterns of more elaborate enemies and that lends itself to strategies for how to get through the increasing waves of opponents. Later, the game suffers the rhythm trap of having only one correct input sequence but the first 200 levels are anarchic, Bruce Lee bliss.

Then you finish the game and the developer thanks you personally in a several minute long video, which doubles as a call to arms to indie devs.

It is awkward and adorable and reminds me why I love video games.

One Finger Death Punch is available on Xbox LIVE Indie Games. Check out the site here.