I’m always down for a good side-scrolling brawler game, as I’ve been a fan of the genre since Double Dragon ruled the days of my childhood. While I never thought you could mix this with RPG’s very well, Atlus’ Dragon’s Crown proved me wrong as it was one of the best games I played at the time. So when I was sent Hyper Awesome Entertainment’s Dungeon Punks for review, I was pretty excited to check it out. While the controls and movement come off as sluggish, the fun you’ll have playing together with friends more than makes up for it.
The story follows the Dungeon Punks, a group of mercenaries of sorts for hire and the many adventures they get stuck with as they’re all about gaining fame and earning gold whenever they can. You’re able to pick from quite a wild bunch of characters including a magic throwing werewolf, a warrior-like knight, a lizardman, a demon and more. As to be expected, each of them has their own play style with their own pros and cons such as one that has the most strength or magic, as well as using different weapons from swords to magic scepters. Thanks to the RPG elements, there’s plenty of gear, skills and stats for you to upgrade and equip with the aid of gold, items and leveling up on your adventures.
The best thing this title has going for it is the ability to play with two of your friends via local co-op. If there’s no one around to play along with you, the computer has you covered as it will control the two other characters as you make your way through the missions. While I did enjoy playing with the AI controlled partners, especially since they tend to kill everything and leave all the sweet loot behind for you to pick up, it’s still not the same as playing with friends and having epic couch co-op fun. The graphics look pretty good for a budget game, as though you’re playing with hand-drawn comic or manga art made characters, and the sounds will keep you pumped as you mow down enemies. The only downside to this game are the sluggish controls/movement and the repetitive combat that may drive some away. It sometimes felt as though my button presses weren’t going through and it feels like your characters are walking through knee deep mud most of the time. But if you’re willing to look past these issues that will be hopefully fixed with a patch soon, you’ll still have some fun while holding out for a better experience.
It’s not the best brawler/RPG out there, but Dungeon Punks is worth a try if you’re a fan of those games. The mucky controls are a bit of a hindrance, but the cool visuals and audio, and especially the local co-op play tend to outweigh the bad stuff. So if you’re looking for a decent couch co-op experience with some friends, you’ll want to pack your inventory and grab your weapon of choice for this adventure.