Everybody and their mom wants to capture the same magic Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. brought to the table, but few manage to stand out from the rest of the herd. Early Melon has thrown their hat into the ring with their new free-for-all platform fighter Roof Rage. Does this Early Access brawler crib all the right notes from Mario’s escapades, or is it just another pretender?
Hit It or Quit It – Roof Rage Early Access
Roof Rage cribs a lot of the same mechanics from the Super Smash Bros series. There are Smash-like attacks that knock people back, double jumps and wall jumps, bottomless pits that take away stocks, a shield mechanic (complete with a dodge containing i-frames), and a motley crew of characters.
There are some differences though – health bars replace percentages, and some of the moves require fighting game-like quarter-circle moves. Despite a robust movelist, the game is easy to understand while still being versatile. Those that understand the art of aerials and ground attacks will no doubt come ahead. Things are changed up a little bit when there are only two fighters left as well – a “Showdown” goes down, changing the music and the atmosphere as a whole. It’s more situational awareness than rote memorization – a welcome addition.
Each of the eight playable characters in the Early Access build bring something unique to the table. Jin is your typical samurai, the taekwondo master Hoon has got some of Ryu’s moves, Leon (as in, Leon the Professional) has got a bevy of bullets, and more. The game is fairly balanced right now, with each character being fairly viable when things get heated. It all comes down to a matter of preference.
There might not be any items (except for tiles) or major stage hazards (other the occasional wall or train), but each of the eight stages present here is different enough to stand out. Made up of izakayas, ruins, markets, and dojos, it has admittedly got a somewhat cliche feel. However, the detailed pixel work shines through.
As of right now, there are a decent amount of variables that can be tweaked before each match. With support for up to eight fighters, players can go for a stock setup, a score-based one, participate in team battles, or just practice. The difficulty of the bots as a whole (rather than individually) can be tweaked, along with the amount of health each character has. There is definitely room to flesh it out a bit more, but what is here gets the job done. Players can also save replays, which is a nice touch, and can also throw down online.
Roof Rage makes just enough tweaks to the Super Smash Bros formula to pay tribute while still being unique. It might be a little cliche, but it is shaping up to be a solid party game for the PC crowd.