Saturday, November 23, 2019

"Creepy Brawlers" Review

When a spectral hand reaches out from the great beyond and pulls you into a world of monster pugilists slugging it out in an underground boxing circuit, you've got no choice but to lace up your gloves and sock it to them.

"Creepy Brawlers" lifts the ropes and saunters into the Switch ring with panache. To survive, you need to observe the attack patterns of your opponents, then dodge and counter accordingly.

It's all about timing and rhythm, with the increasingly complex patterns and shrinking reaction windows significantly ramping up the difficulty as you climb through the ranks.

Developer Mega Cat Studios takes what is basically a reskinned NES "Punch-Out!!" and applies horror sensibilities. The feel and flow of the original game, which was tweaked in subsequent SNES and Wii follow-ups, remains intact. Certain enemies even seem to follow the design philosophies of "Punch-Out!!" counterparts, laying in wait as Easter eggs for superfans.

Although the gameplay may be one-dimensional, "Creepy Brawlers" makes for a captivating "fail and try, try again" obsession. It's satisfying to suffer endless beatdowns from the same archenemy, only to incrementally forumlate a strategy for success, then finally achieve dominance in the ring.

The concept may be absurd, but that doesn't dampen the fun. Those looking for an NES "Punch-Out!!" remake can jump and raise their fists in triumph.

Publisher provided review code.

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