"I never say no to a challenge and I went into it with an open mind, and my skills waiting to be tested."
When I was asked to review Fenix Rage it was described to me as a “2-D hardcore platformer”, and that’s pretty much what I got. I wasn’t that familiar with the genre but I knew what to expect. I never say no to a challenge and I went into it with an open mind, and my skills waiting to be tested. My first impression of the game was positive yet quietly unimpressed. While I haven’t traversed the rage-inducing gameplay of too many other hardcore 2-D platformers, what I experienced between the opening cutscene and the end of the first world left me feeling somewhat empty.
I played through each level waiting to encounter some kind of legitimate puzzle – something that made me believe I was playing a hardcore platformer. I can believe that Fenix Rage fits the genre but the gameplay, much like the game’s mechanics, was simplistic and straightforward – a little too much so for my liking. The gameplay was more trial-and-error than anything reminiscent of the level of challenge I had expected from a game calling itself ‘hardcore’. Maybe it was my lack of familiarity with other games in the hardcore 2-D genre that made my expectations so high; but maybe Fenix Rage could have actually tried a little harder to make me, you know, rage.
"The game is easy to learn but difficult to master. If you don’t mind dying 120 times trying to complete a level then maybe you’ll enjoy this game."
From a mechanics standpoint the game is easy to learn. It’s intuitive and simple which is in itself praiseworthy. When a new move/button is introduced, you’re greeted with a self-explanatory prompt at the start of a level. That’s awesome. There are some elements to the game that aren’t explicitly called out, however; and while not major, it’d be convenient if they told you that you could restart the level with the press of a button, for instance. Overall I would definitely say that Fenix Rage is good for those interested in delving into the world of hardcore 2-D platformers and getting their feet wet.
The game is easy to learn but difficult to master. If you don’t mind dying 120 times trying to complete a level then maybe you’ll enjoy this game. Fenix Rage is a game in which you either succeed or you fail. If you die, you restart the level. There is no health to keep track of, items to exploit or anything to really introduce an element of strategy to the game. It’s a lot of hovering and waiting, or learning the patterns of the enemy’s movements. Some might consider that strategy enough and that’s fair. Picking up on the objectives is simple – and I mean Angry Birds simple. You fly or dash around while trying to avoid touching the green ooze squares. You can try to get the bonus cookie before you reach the blue end square, but it’s not necessary to beat the level which means completionists will have something to do besides attempting the ‘fastest time’ on each level. The end level of a world features a boss, and that was a nice break from the monotony of floating between vibrating oozes and deciding if the cookie was really worth the risk.
"The bottom line: Fenix Rage is a good, likeable game ideal for long-time fans of hardcore 2-D platformers and those just looking to get started."
Fenix Rage is not a bad game by any means but its simplicity and ease of play only does so much for the game. I’m the kind of gamer that will struggle even through the worst of games if the characters and story are worth investing in. Despite this being a 2-D platformer there’s really no reason the game itself has to suffer in either story or character. I don’t really know why the protagonist has a beef with the strange, cloaked figure and his blue cube, nor do I get why the level’s objective involves getting a square cookie. It’s the small details that keep me coming back, especially when it comes to those games that rely on such simple, repetitive play. Yeah, I won’t lie: I love me some button-smashing, hack ‘n’ slash games – even those that skimp on good storylines and characters – but the lack of versatility in Fenix Rage’s straight-forward gameplay left me wanting more.
The bottom line: Fenix Rage is a good, likeable game ideal for long-time fans of hardcore 2-D platformers and those just looking to get started. It offers intuitive mechanics and straightforward gameplay. There’s not much in the way of story to get distracted by, leaving you to flit about and dash for that cookie to your heart’s content. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table but the core of the game should satisfy anyone who’s looking to bide their time with a bit of 2-D action until something better comes along.
Review by: Robert Ortiz | Reviewed on: PC