It feels like nostalgia is a big deal these days, especially 90s movies and video games are making their return in a big way. Raging Justice is basically a relic of the past with its gameplay rooted deep in history. If you owned a console back during the 90s or were a frequent visitor to Arcades, There is a good chance you have tried one of the several side-scrolling brawlers that were all the craze during that era. The most popular ones were arguably Double Dragon, Final Fight and Streets of Rage.
Raging Justice is basically what you would call a game that takes inspirations from the classic brawlers. It feels more akin to a PlayStation 1 game than something out of the 16-bit generation. Part of the reason why it feels rather dull and disappointing is its ugly art style that doesn’t really give a good first impression of the whole game. The truth here is that Raging Justice is essentially a classic game in its entirety with all of the flaws that plagued them.
Indie developer MakinGames has decided to bring back the genre and despite the unfortunate choice of going with a more modern 3D art style, it is hard to shake the feeling that they have nailed the gameplay aspects of the classics. Raging Justice feels like a spiritual successor to games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage. It features multiple playable characters, fights against ruthless gangs and criminal and offers full co-op gameplay if you are looking for some good multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch.
The story setup is pretty simple. Right from the beginning, the game shows how the city is in peril due to the disappearance of its Mayor. There are 3 lead characters that are a part of the story. First up is Rick Justice, who is a veteran cop. Rick is followed by Nikki Rage and Ashley King. Unlike Rick, Nikki is a former Soldier while Ashley is just a teenager with a penchant for action movies. Despite offering different characters, the basics of the combat remain the same between them. There is also a lack of more playable characters since this roster feels rather restricted.
Gameplay mechanics wise, Raging Justice is pretty limited. You have your standard punch, kick, and jump and grab buttons. It is also possible to execute a special attack that damages your character in return but knocks out a big chunk of enemies. There is not a lot of strategy or depth to the combat, you just need to be on your toes and keep an eye out for enemy attacks. Speaking of the enemies, they can also be handcuffed once you have taken down their health to a certain point. During some of the levels, you will be tasked with optional objectives like arresting a specific enemy.
The combat doesn’t really evolve from its initial button mashing nature. You can try to mix it up with jumping attacks or grab opponents in order to spice up the combat, but the truth is that it will get boring rather quickly. As I played more of the game in solo, I found myself looking at the ground to look for weapons or any other objects that the enemies drop in order to quickly kill them. However, this is something that was a part of the charm for the original side-scrolling fighters so I can see why the developers decided to stick with it.
I wasn’t really enjoying the game until I decided to give the multiplayer a chance. I mean if we play the classic games now, it is easy to see that they are not as fun alone as with a friend or in multplayer. The same applies to Raging Justice and once you play it in multiplayer, the experience becomes a whole lot better. It will be easier to kill the enemies and boss fights become a breeze. The game might be easier now but the fun factor also doubles.
If you think the game is easy, just wait until you hit the boss fights. This is where the majority of the challenge comes into play here. Boss Fights will require you to learn the pattern and exploit the weakness of each boss. Button mashing doesn’t work here so you will have to keep an eye out for their attacks and wait for your moment. Playing it in co-op will make them easier so if you are stuck at a fight, maybe try asking for help.
As far as the replay value is concerned, I don’t think there is a lot to do here. If you are of the competitive type, you can try for a high score in each level to get a position on the online leaderboards. Aside from that, you can attempt three different difficulty settings and spend some time in the Brawl mode, which loses its appeal rather fast since you are just beating the same enemies without there being an end to them.
Raging Justice Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Raging Justice is a classic beat-’em-up game of epic proportions, brought to you by ex-Rare developer MakinGames and Team17!
If we focus on Raging Justice solely as a Beat 'em up, it is not exactly the most original experience with a terrible art style. Despite that, it is still a fun multiplayer game that is good for passing time if you are in the mood for it.