Have Game, Will Play: Foul Play
In Foul Play theatrically inclined daemon hunter Baron Dashforth and his sidekick Scampwick are walking to the right and beating up anyone who stands in their way. Foul Play is, as you likely guessed(or saw), a side-scrolling beat’em up that takes place on a stage.
You control Baron Dashforth(Scampwick in coop) and must kick, punch, throw and parry to survive while keeping the audience engaged. Foul Play follows the usual tropes of the genre; 2 player couch/online coop, unlockable moves, plenty of people to punch and a boss. The similarities stop there. The more varied the moves you do the more the audience appreciates your “performance” which is measured by the mood meter. If the audience loses interest, you lose the game.
The game has a wonderful sense of humor as you’ll see players who’ve just been beaten to a pulp crawl off stage or get yanked by a hook. Each level has a handful of challenges that keep things interesting and quite challenging. One of my gripes is with the move set and progression. I found myself doing the same combo over and over while fighting groups of the same enemies that could have been a bit more varied. The attendees were happy but it made me yearn for another move or a more fleshed out combo system. The enemies can take quite a beating before exiting stage left. Even with these minor issues the game looks great and controls well. I look forward to unlocking more complex moves in some well-acted multiplayer.
Developer: Media Tonic
Publisher: Mastertronic Group Ltd.
Genre: 2D Side-scrolling beat ‘em up, action adventure
Price: $14.99, Buy it if you are really into beat ‘em ups, otherwise wait for it to drop to $10
Platform(s): Xbox360(XBLA), PC