Anybody remember Newgrounds? It’s still around, actually. It’s where you went during lunchtime at school to watch Xiao Xiao stick fighting animations or play the latest Flash games. Today the same sort of thing still shows up there but it’s less of a focal point than it used to be. Moreover, those Flash games are now being sold on Steam for $5-10 each, typically failing and leading to plenty of indie angst about “discoverability.” Sometimes, though, they’re pretty darn good. Sometimes you get One Finger Death Punch 2.
One Finger Death Punch is…well, it’s simple enough. You tap left or right to attack. That’s it. That’s the whole game. There’s various styles of pressing left or right, and sometimes you press it for different reasons, but that’s what you’re doing. Dodging attacks, catching thrown weapons and so on largely boil down to the same thing, with more difficult enemies taking the form of a mini-stage all of their own. Watch the strike zones and hit the buttons at the proper time or you’ll flub your attack and likely take a hit for your trouble.
There’s a bit of customization going on as well, but the bottom line is exactly what I’ve described above. Push left. Push right. Kick butt. Kick it with a friend in the co-op mode if you so choose. Many of the improvements to the first game are focused on the presentation, though there’s some gameplay changes here and there..that don’t mean a lot since the basic idea is so simple and effective.
See, the key to this game isn’t what you’re doing, it’s what happens when you do it. Properly playing One Finger Death Punch 2 means looking absolutely flipping fantastic. It’s like all your favorite stick figure martial arts videos from Newgrounds all over again. You look like an absolute god when you’re doing well, so when you flub an input it’s more disappointing than painful. This is the kind of game you want to practice and improve in just for the sheer joy of doing so. I don’t know if I’ve felt that way since the days of Amplitude and Frequency on the PS2. There’s a pretty fair amount of content to go around as well if One Finger Death Punch grabs you, which it almost certainly will.
As mentioned, the focus here is on presentation and One Finger Death Punch 2 knocks it out of the park. Everything just looks fantastic. It never stops looking fantastic. You throw weapons, engage in martial arts, wield melee weapons and tear apart entire hordes of bad guys…with one finger. It’s great. It’ll probably also run on a toaster, so that’s a plus.
Look, if you’re after gameplay depth or the latest game-as-a-service that will consume your life, that’s not what you’re getting here. Instead, you’re coming to One Finger Death Punch 2 for a taste of that classic Newgrounds nostalgia. It’s a chance to relive the good ol’ days of middle school, back when the Internet felt new and fresh and the kind of spectacle on display here was the coolest thing in the world. You know what? It kind of still is.