One Finger Death Punch 2 Review — Laser Focused Kung Fu
Despite its apparent simplicity, One Finger Death Punch 2 provides hours of entertainment and absolutely maximizes the successes of the original game.
Before each round of One Finger Death Punch 2, the game informs you how many enemies you'll be squaring off against. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of foes headed your way in later rounds, and that actually is better than the alternative. A low number usually means you're facing off against difficult enemies, rather than a steady supply of cannon fodder.
Your weapons in One Finger Death Punch 2 are your left and right mouse buttons. There is no way to move, no way to jump, no way to dodge. Like the climactic battle in any good kung-fu movie, success depends on reading the situation, timing your attacks, and having lightning fast reflexes.
In so many words, this is a good fighting game.
Wax On, Wax Off
One Finger Death Punch 2 revolves around a simple premise — your character is a kung fu master, and people want you dead. They charge you from both sides and when they are in the range that appears on the bottom of the screen, you can attack and kill them. You click the left mouse button to attack left, and the right mouse button to attack to the right.
Then things start to get more complicated.
Some enemies take multiple hits, and they dodge from one side to the other. Weapons occasionally drop that you can snatch up with an attack, extending your range. Enemies throw color-coded projectiles at you: one color you can snatch out of the air and throw back, one you can duck and it will hit enemies behind you, and one you immediately send flying back in the direction it came from.
There are "balls of death" that you can send hurtling across the screen, instantly killing anything they touch. A variety of passive skills trigger after a set amount of time, unleashing mystical kung fu powers that wipe out multiple targets.
Essentially, for such a simple game, there is a lot going on. And it does an excellent job of introducing each new concept, letting you master it, then building something even more difficult on top of it.
The Crazy 88s
Screenshots don't really do One Finger Death Punch 2 much credit. When things aren't moving, it looks like a web-browser Flash game.
However, if you can ever find time to actually pay attention to what's happening around you, it actually features some beautiful animation and art.
Your character has a seemingly infinite number of martial arts moves at their disposal, switching between stances and attacks with every click. And it's through these little touches that you start to appreciate how much thought actually went into creating this game.
It's actually a rhythm game when you really get down to it. One Finger Death Punch 2 forces you to feel the beat, even if it isn't music you're aligning your reflexes with.
Instead, it's sweet, sweet kung fu murder.
This is one of those games where you find yourself just getting into the zone. The more you think about things, the worse you do. It's all about feel and rhythm, and it's immensely satisfying when everything clicks into place.
As you effortlessly mow down wave after wave of enemies, One Finger Death Punch 2 perfectly captures the feel of a climactic kung fu battle in all those low-budget movies.
Put Up Your Dukes
The presentation adds to that epic battle feel. The music alternates between stereotypical "Music of the Orient" and epic, operatic battle music. Two very stereotypical kung fu voices, a "sensei" type and an "evil masked villain" type, welcome you into nearly every level with some nonsensical quote.
There's no real story, here either. It's just a vague connectedness as you move across a map and battle your foes.
The game tells its story almost entirely through its style, and it luckily nails that aspect. The background collapses around you, your passive abilities trigger without any hitches, and the game occasionally throws in random events, such as a power struggle over two clashed swords, a slow-motion kill, or an overpowered enemy called a "Nemesis" that will take several hits more than an ordinary foe.
All of these aspects combine to make you feel like you are re-enacting scenes from a Bruce Lee movie. Everything in One Finger Death Punch 2 is seamless and just feels right.
Button-mashing gets you killed, and the sense of panic that builds as the game speeds up and its complex patterns start to emerge will test your cool and challenge even the most hair-trigger of gamers.
Boards Don't Hit Back
The dynamic difficulty in One Finger Death Punch 2 also helps gamers of all skills master its systems.
As you start to learn and perfect your abilities, the game will start to move faster. This, of course, awards you with more points. However, lose on the same level a few times — or even squeak by close to death a few too many times — and it will pull back that speed to keep things close.
As such, you will rarely find yourself getting blown out of the water by extreme difficulty spikes. Likewise, once One Finger Death Punch 2 has essentially figured out your skill level, you will have a tough time getting through any level unscathed.
There are other ways to play the game besides just the regular mode, as well.
One Finger Death Punch has some pretty in-depth challenge modes and a survival mode where you can compete with friends and strangers to see who can kill the most faceless enemies as speed and intensity increases.
There is also a variety of customization options:
- You can manually adjust speeds if you want things to be easier or more challenging.
- You earn skill points as you progress through the game that you can use to make your favorite passive abilities trigger more often.
- You can even add small customization flourishes to your character (like shading or angry eyes) to help certain things stand out.
It may seem like a bit of a one-trick pony, but One Finger Death Punch 2 does that one trick really well.
There's a lot of content here for such a simple-looking package. You could sink hours into any one of the modes without touching the others, but it definitely rewards you for playing through each way. Unlocking skill points and perfecting strategies are easier to learn in the regular mode, which will translate to getting higher scores in survival mode.
- Excellent difficulty scaling
- Strategic and difficult without being too complex
- Captures the feel of kung fu movies
- Not much beyond the central gameplay — if it isn't your style, there isn't much else to find here
One Finger Death Punch 2 is not a perfect game for everyone, but it does execute its game plan to perfection. It takes a lot of skill without being infinitely complex. It is difficult without being infuriating. It is stylish without being a load on your GPU. It works equally well in small doses or in marathon sessions.
Best of all, it makes the player feel good. It hits that zen-like sweet spot that so many games strive for, and it rewards you for being able to quickly strategize and use the skills you've learned.
There are not many people that I would not recommend this one for. One Finger Death Punch 2 is beautifully designed, and it takes all the positives from the original game and draws them out to their logical next step.
[Note: A copy of One Finger Death Punch 2 was provided by Silver Dollar Games for the purpose of this review.]