One Finger Death Punch (non-review review)

I’m a dumbass.  I attempted to play One Finger Death Punch, the final Dream-Build-Play winner.  Both the developer and my boyfriend had declared the game off-limits to me due to my epilepsy.  However, that didn’t stop me from playing Charlie Murder, and I still had all the equipment I used to make it through that game (an older, fading projection TV and extra lighting in the room, in addition to sunglasses I was wearing), so why not?

Well, because it still wasn’t safe for me.  That’s why.  One Finger Death Punch was much more intense in its effects than Charlie Murder was.  I was only able to play a little past the first world before a flickery background made me feel a little off and it was decided I shouldn’t play any further.  Rats, I say.  Rats, because I was really enjoying it up to that point. The basic concept is using only two buttons, you kung-fu your way through wave after wave of stick figures.  You don’t even move your character.  All the action in the game is done using only the X and B buttons.  When an enemy enters your attack range, you hit them.  The violence is over the top, but really, One Finger Death Punch reminded me of Nintendo’s Game & Watch line of titles.  It’s just about timing and patterns.  Gameplay boiled down to its purest core.  Yet, OFDP is a total reinvention of some extremely old concepts, and it works well.

Theory #1 why this game bombed in sales: the screenshots are obnoxiously saturated with sales pitches for the game. I speak on behalf of all consumers when I say "we'll read the sales blurb for that shit. All we want to see is an unbranded, uncovered, unblemished pictures of the fucking game. Yeesh."

Theory #1 on why this game bombed in sales: the screenshots are obnoxiously saturated with sales pitches for the game. I speak on behalf of all consumers when I say “we’ll read the sales blurb for that shit. All we want to see is an unbranded, uncovered, unblemished pictures of the fucking game!” Yeesh. That goes double for all you iPhone developers.

At least it did until I got to the part that simply wasn’t compatible with my medical condition.  So I can’t vouch for the game completely.  That wouldn’t be fair.  I can say this: it seemed good enough that I think I would have ultimately awarded it the Seal of Quality.  I mean, you never know.  I really did suck at what little I got to play.  Once enemies started to come in different colors (green enemies take two hits, blue ones dodge your first hit and jump into the other button’s range, and I’m sure more colors were coming) I started to fail with more consistency.  I also was downright embarrassing against the first boss, losing three times before getting it right.  But I was enjoying my mediocrity.  I wish I could have played further.

Either way, One Finger Death Punch is, according to developer Silver Dollar Games (yep, those guys), a total bust in sales.  What sucks about that is this was their most expensive production, and their most critically acclaimed title.  These guys have been lambasted by the community, including me, and yet in the end they proved that they were real artists with real talent.  Let it be said, even though I couldn’t finish their game, Silver Dollar today made me proud that I’m Indie Gamer Chick.  Perhaps they’ll be the final reminder of how Xbox Live Indie Games cultivated talent.  These guys went from being demonized for their, how shall we say it, less than play-value-chalked titles to being demoralized by their best game doing poorly at the point of sale.  It’s almost like a microcosm of the XBLIG community as a whole.  Don’t let this get you down, guys.  You made a believer in me.  Stand up, lick your wounds, and go make something else spectacular.  I have no doubt you can do it.

Oh, and that spectacular thing you’re going to make?  Yea, can you do me a solid and try to make it something that won’t potentially kill me?  Thanks.

Theory #2 why it bombed: the box art sucks. Part of the charm of the game is its minimalist characters (literally stick figures), and this captures none of that. This looks like the type of generic cover you would expect on a clone of an Avatar: Last Airbender game. XBLIG developers are already screwed by not having trailers at the point of sale. Don't screw yourselves further by making the box art look generic. Well drawn, but generic nonetheless.

Theory #2 why it bombed: the box art sucks. Part of the charm of the game is its minimalist characters (literally stick figures), and this captures none of that. This looks like the type of cover you would expect on a clone of an Avatar: Last Airbender game. XBLIG developers are already screwed by not having trailers at the point of sale. Don’t screw yourselves further by making the box art look generic. Well drawn, but generic nonetheless.

One Finger Death Punch was developed by Silver Dollar Games

80 Microsoft Points are really bummed about this because the thing that made me feel ill was a darker, wavy-pulsing background effect.  Not my typical trigger.  Shows how unpredictable this shit can be in the making of this non-review review.

This review will not count against the Leaderboard’s percentage.  For a full review, check out my amigo Tim Hurley’s thoughts on One Finger Death Punch at TheXBLIG.com

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

8 Responses to One Finger Death Punch (non-review review)

  1. An XBLIG guy says:

    I bought this game, and it is really good. I followed it since its publication in the Dream Build Play contest in 2012. Back then, the box art was a minimalistic fighting scene between two stick figures, one punching the other one. Personally, I think that the new cover is way much better.

    Great game, and congratulations to SilverDollars!!!

    • An XBLIG guy says:

      What I don’t understand is why One Finger Death Punch was not featured in XBLA. I mean, Blazing Birds was published there.

  2. AxelMill98 says:

    The game, as you said, IS good, but after about 100 levels it starts to get a bit repetitive.

  3. mike says:

    I don’t think the game is “a total bust in sales” (link to that source btw?). It has been hanging around place 20 since launch, over a month ago. That’s not a fortune like the Top 5 games make, but still pays a decent salary.

    Besides, they got $40k already from the DBP grand prize. That should nearly pay off, depending on how long they worked on it.

    However, a game of near XBLA quality not entering the Top 10 is baffling.

  4. Pingback: Cooties: Patient Zero and The Heckler | Indie Gamer Chick

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