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Foul Play: PC Review

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You know, brawlers just haven’t been the same since The Behemoth revolutionized the genre with Castle Crashers. Foul Play is a rather unique take on side scrolling brawlers. A two Player Co-Op Adventure this is a game that certainly is better when played with a friend. Offering a unique challenge and atmosphere, Foul Play is a game very much worth your money.

Baron Dashforth is a dapper adventurer and daemon hunter. You play as him and his trusty sidekick Swampwick in a play that details his life. In a grand theater production filled with changing backdrops, delightful music, the different plays stories and even the combat Foul Play has a lot to offer, but falls short on a few mechanics that leave you wanting more.

I like the story, it has a very “machismo” feeling to it. It feels like Sean Connery should be in a movie based off this game and he is Dashforth. The 5 plays all have different stories and enemies to partake in. What makes this game really stand out is that atmosphere of being at a stage production. Everything is done as if it was in a theater. Everything down to the visual presentation to the storytelling, it is really fun and unique. I cannot imagine this game being done differently.

The combat is your standard three button combo system, light, heavy, and parry. You gain extra moves and combos by completing acts and the in game challenges. You also gain little trinkets that have abilities, their variety is quite large, from offensive abilities to utility ones. To keep in tune with the theater production experience, when you KO enemies and get high combos, you please the crowd. This results in a higher score and access to “The Showstopper” which gives you more crowd pleasing potential and higher scores.

The challenges are easy at first, but they begin to test your skill at the end of Play 1. Some of them are done by getting high combos or by defeating enemies a certain way. Speaking of enemies, their looks are diverse between the different plays, but there is not much variety in terms of classes of enemies. Their attacks are mainly the same and you will be using the same combos to juggle them in the air. The bosses are generally fun though. The way to combat them is very different when compared to the smaller enemies and each one has their own sweet spot to exploit.

While this game is Co-Op the matchmaking for online is a tad difficult to find a game with, so local play is the way to go. Sadly, not everyone has access to friends in house or close by to play, and this game thrives on Co-Op with Dashforth and Swampwick. Foul Play also falls flat on replay value, after completing the game, it leaves you wanting more. Going back and doing the challenges is not rewarding enough.

The combat, the music, and visual presentation of Foul Play is simply awesome. No other game is quite like Foul Play. However, it falls short on replay value and a small need for a Co-Op partner. The game is still fun, but the best experience is with a friend. I give Foul Play an 8/10. You can pick it up on PC and XBLA now.

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