The great machines left earth, leaving the poorer and weaker robots behind, defenceless against the Great Beast, a pulsating mass of flesh of planetary proportions. Now you must fight, as A Robot Named Fight.

Genre(s): Metroidvania

Developer: Matt Bitner Games

Publisher: Matt Bitner Games

Release Date: September 2017

Played Main story

Platforms: PC

Purchase At: Steam

Good:

  • Classic Metroid gameplay.

Bad:

  • Blatant metroid clone.

  • Bland procedurally generated world.

Review

What is it with games billed as homages or love letters to classic video games? Most of them are terrible, only a handful push the boundaries and truly innovate, and the rest are like a Robot Named Fight, blatant copies of their inspirations with very little to set it apart.

A Robot Named Fight is a solid metroidvania game because it’s a blatant Metroid clone, right down to the energy barrier doors between rooms and most of the character’s abilities. You can call it spider form, but it’s really morph ball, as it serves the same damn purpose. Even the character’s moves make it seem like a palette-swapped Samus Aran, from the way you aim to the jumping.

A Robot Named Fight - Intro
Now imagine the worst performed mechanical voice of your nightmares reading this aloud!

If there’s one difference between this title and Metroid, the only thing that sets it apart and away from any claim of plagiarism is that A Robot Named Fight is a roguelike and of course procedurally generated. In theory this means endless variety, but as every room looks similar, just a collection of palette swapped building or cave tiles with blood and disgusting fleshy bits hanging or trying to kill you, the variety is a moot point.

A Robot Named Fight sets you to fight a bunch of hideous organic mutations that many compare to the abominations found in the Binding of Isaac. The difference is that the ones in Binding of Isaac are visually interesting and have individual themes. These…not so much, just different variations on maggot or random meat nugget. Worse still are those enemies you can’t hit even when crouched, which to me just breaks some unwritten metroidvania (or good game design) laws.

A Robot Named Fight - Crouch
I call shenanigans on these enemies!

One element that annoyed me to death with A Robot Named Fight is when I found objects that had no explanation on their purpose other than “It’s been unlocked for the next playthrough.” What is the damn point of having things unlock for the next playthrough if you can’t use it on the current one? You’re assuming I’m going to be even remotely interested in trying again…which I honestly wasn’t but had to for review’s sake.

Also, if you’re going to make Metroid, you need to be aware that the strategic placement of upgrades and abilities is key to the metroidvania experience, as it drives exploration. Random placement does not a good metroidvania make! I had playthroughs where the selection of random items didn’t help in any way to proceed through the environment, which again defeats the whole Metroidvania thing.

A Robot Named Fight - Bosses
Bland boss visual design, bland boss game design…

This might be the first game to annoy me with its intro, which features a grating “melody” and a badly acted mechanical voice slowly reading out the opening exposition, even going so far as to have some “engrish” in there for what I assumed was a bland attempt at comedy, as it states you must collect artefact to become “Fight enough” to fight off the enemies.

A Robot Named Fight - Enemies
Think of every variation on worms and fleshy bits and those are your enemies…

Conclusion

There’s nothing more I can say about this game other than if you want a Metroid experience, go play Metroid, not this knock-off.

TMA SCORE:

1/5 – Oh Hell No

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