Developed and Produced by Household Games, The Way of Passive Fist takes your stereotypical arcade style fighting game, and flips the script completely. For once, your main objective isn’t to beat your enemy physically, but rather dodge all of their attacks until they tire themselves out, finally allowing you to strike with a simple yet effective blow.
The narrative of the game follows a character simply dubbed ‘The Wanderer’, as he roams the desolated wasteland of the planet Zircon V, which has now become overrun by the forces of an evil dictator. Pretty simple and straight forward, but that is all this game really needs to be. Its simplistic narrative makes it rather enjoyable, and fits its retro aesthetic perfectly, there wasn’t an abundance of characters/plot to remember, and that was a rather pleasant change. Playing this will truly transport you back to the days of youth playing at an arcade and begging your parents for extra pennies to play.
However, as previously stated The Way of Passive Fist, doesn’t involve fighting and as the name implies, it will require you to be passive and dodge your enemies attacks. But more so than anything else, the game is rhythmic based, and as you encounter new enemies a short tutorial will guide you on exactly how to beat them. For example, if you encounter a large enemy you’d have to Dodge, Dodge and then Block. But for smaller enemies you’d simply repeatedly Dodge, until they’ve worn themselves out. This technique of ‘Passive Fist’ is a rather refreshing take on the arcade-style fighting game, and with the inclusion of the rhythm style of playing, you’ll find yourself instinctively playing for hours on end. But be warned, trying to break the rhythm or trying to use one enemies fighting style on another, won’t work out well for you.
If I were to offer any major critique on the gameplay, it would be its replay value. As previously mentioned, each enemy has a very specific way of being defeated, and as such if you put down the game for several days, and then come back to it, it can initially be quite jarring being thrown back into something and having to constantly remember, ‘What do I have to do in order to defeat this guy?’. But this isn’t anything to be majorly concerned about, as perhaps this is just me and my forgetfulness, and perhaps other gamers wouldn’t miss a beat.
Another aspect of the game-play which was highly enjoyable was the option to customise your gameplay, a trait which I rarely encounter when playing smaller indie games. Upon selecting ‘Story Mode’ you will be greeted by several sliding bars, in which you’ll be able to alter several aspects of the game, all of which will greatly alter your style of gameplay. These range from Difficulty, to Frequency of Enemy Encounters to Character Strength. This made each and every play through different, and if you found yourself breezing through or struggling, you could alter the game accordingly to your skill-level, a nice addition which could benefit younger gamers.
Additionally, the game artwork and graphics are well designed, with everything from The Wanderer, to the enemies to the varying landscape, being detailed and eye catching. When playing these retro style of games, I am always amazed at how developers find ways to ensure that their work still shines through, despite the somewhat dated style of graphics they are using. There isn’t really much to add, and the only critique I could really offer would be that one of henchman (the one with the hood and green eyes) looks kinda generic, but that really is nit-picking.
To further this critique, I would say that I did initially become bored of the repetitive nature of the game. This didn’t happen quickly mind you, but over the course of several hours of playing, I found myself wanting to do more than simply block, block, dodge, hit. I wanted something else. However, once I came back to the game a few days later, I found it just as enjoyable as I did, when I initially began to play. And thus, perhaps this is a game better served for short intervals, instead of long binge-gaming.
In conclusion, Household Games may have a creative and unique property on their hands. The Way of Passive Fist, found an innovative way to refresh an otherwise predictable and boring genre of gaming. The game is currently retailed at £10.99 on the PS Store, and I would highly recommend it those who loved the arcade style beat-’em-ups of their youth. So, good luck gamers, and I hope you enjoy learning the art of Passive Fist!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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The Way Of Passive Fist Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
The Way of Passive Fist takes your stereotypical arcade style fighting game, and flips the script completely.