One Finger Death Punch 2 is the very definition of an improved sequel that takes a very simple premise and extracts absolutely everything you possibly can out of it. A joy to play, infuriatingly addictive and rewarding to get lost in – this is a time sink without you ever knowing.
You play as a ninja who looks like a cross between a stickman and a hazard sign man. You’ll be placed in the centre of the screen and you’ll have ninjas coming at you from left and right. One button will let you attack left, the other right. That is literally all there is to the game. Underneath you is an attack range that when your enemies move within means you’ll definitely connect an attack. Hit too early and you’ll miss and be open to an attack back, or be too slow and you’ll get hit anyway. The crucial thing here is that button mashing is not an option and the game tells you this over and over.
Each level has number of enemies to kill, weapons to deflect or enemies to kill in different ways. Across the campaign mode you’ll be doing this with ever decreasing hit points for your own character so that means precision needs to be improved. The trade off is that enemies get tougher, require quickfire mini battles of their own if they are clan leaders and can swap directions underneath you. This is all pre-choreographed with the very helpful and intuitive UI below you where your attack range is shown.
It isn’t all against you though. You can earn revenge tokens which you can activate to recharge your health on difficult levels and also earn a variety of power up gems that you can allocate to about 20 different abilities. Some of these bring out special attacks that wipe out one or both sides of enemies on the screen or increase your attack radius. They also bring out mini games such a jumping on a horse and stabbing everyone or give you special weapons like a lightsaber.
What it difficult to convey in words is how rewarding and over the top One Finger Death Punch 2 is. It goes out of its way to please you. Slow motion attacks make you look like a pro. The variety of chained attacks keep you in awe of the speed of the game. It constantly screams at you ‘look how powerful you are’ and that makes you beam with glee. Weapon racks are great fun too as they give you five weapons to play with in kick succession. By then you’ll have charged up some spirit attacks and they’ll unleash something too. Then a death ball appears that lets you kick it into your enemy to kill them. All this usually in the space of about 45 seconds. This is why its so addictive.
Outside of the main campaign mode which will span several hours and make your reflexes twitch like crazy, there is a survival mode and loads of weird minigames. One includes guiding a child through a minefield hoping they aren’t blown to bits. Another see’s you picking your nose and either eating of flicking the boogers away. There are loads of hidden cheats too such as a music player for the hyper EDM soundtrack. One of the most fun is a weird Peggle ripoff that offers you shields. One Finger Death Punch 2 didn’t need to cram in all these extras but its this embrace of excess that stylises the whole experience. Its what makes it what it is – a warm slap on the back and a party popper to the face. I couldn’t stop playing until I had that platinum and I still return back to it for a quick fire run at survival mode. This game is so much more than the sum of its parts and shows just how well style and mood and carry a simple experience.
Mindless? Yes. Awesome? YES.
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