Fenix Rage is a game I heard quite a bit about, and even saw quite a bit about, it looked like a perfect game for me, being a massive fan of Super Meat Boy and other various other speed platformers. As I opened the game, I was looking through the (very limited) screen options, of Full screen or not, since I play most of my games in Windowed, I picked this option, and unlike some games, it worked very well. Until I wanted to see what other programs I had opened, and since I had planned on streaming the game, this made it very difficult to try and organise my set up. This may have just been a problem on my end, but it was highly infuriating, but it was something I could deal with, as I was looking forward to this game.
As soon as I started playing, It brought back memories of Super Meat Boy and how much fun I had with it when I first played that.This game was amazing, and it had an awesome art style, what could go wrong? Unfortunately for the game, quite a lot. At first it was a few nit-picky things, such as, not being able to see my character behind a bit of scenery (which gets highly confusing and very annoying when combined with the teleporters). But eventually the problems kept building up.
"I just looked away for a second, my character is now hidden behind some scenery..."
The first major problem I came across in this game, was dying, not the act of dying itself, but the respawn, it was literally instant respawns. “Oh but this is a good thing in games where you die a lot” No. No it isn’t. The speed at which you spawn is so quick as soon as you respawn, you have already dashed into enemies about 3 more times. ramping up your death count even more. For comparison, Super Meat Boy gives you about 0.3 seconds before the timer and you start, so you have “preparation” time, which I feel this game would greatly benefit from, but at least I don’t have to check “Continue” everytime I die. Secondly, on the note of dying and respawning, enemy patterns don’t reset, so unless you manually “reset the level” by pressing a button, all the timings you were learning don’t actually mean anything, which in a speed platformer, mean you can’t learn and go fast.
Following on from the notion of going fast, some spawn points were incredibly badly laid out, simply, they would start you going the other way forcing you to do a u-turn and then begin the level. Another unnecessary addition to this “speed platformer”. While still talking about speed, there is one certain level I feel I have to talk about. The Auto Scroller. Do not put these in your games if they are not fun, there is nothing wrong with a decent auto scroller (apart from you can’t go fast, I keep talking about going fast in this game, maybe this isn’t really a speed platformer as literally everything within the game suggests), but this is literally one button, just one, it’s nearly just a quick time event, and this is also the level that I gave up on the game, 75% of the main game done, and I just stopped.
"I need to go right, yet I start left. Why?"
I guess I should talk about some of the good things of this game, the soundtrack was kind of decent, if repetitive. Level progression was decent, sometimes a bit random, but it never threw you into an extremely hard level after a few easy ones. Most of the hard levels were saved for the secret levels, which are one of the things I really loved about the game, because you could only access them if you got to them fast enough, and they were tough, but not in a brutal way, in a way that forces you to get better, which was a nice touch to some otherwise easy levels.
Bosses are something I have not mentioned at all yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the bosses, they were a fun challenge with just the right difficulty and took a large number of attempts to beat, but this could have been due to some bad collision detection within the game. These often left you trapped on a block, or hit when you were clearly not in the range of a projectile, but these took a step back when a boss fight was around.
"It seems our character can double jump forever, Who knows why."
This title is available on Steam right now and will be available on both Playstation 4 and Xbox One early next year.