Roof Rage Early Access Review - Promising Platform Punchies

July 8, 2018
Local multiplayer
 

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been on one hell of a fighting game kick lately. All kinds of fighters, too. Anime fighters, horse fighters, violent fighters, and of course a staple of any house party: platform fighters.

So when Roof Rage came across my twitter feed no more than two days before it released on early access, I knew I was gonna want to play it. We recorded a couple rounds of it on Friendly Fire, a local multiplayer-focused channel I have with my fiance and two of our friends, and we had a pretty damn good time with it.

We’ve kinda reached this point in the platform fighter genre where not every single thing to come out is trying to ape Smash Bros., and a lot of the devs we see working on platform fighters have started to find and hone in on mechanics or ideas to make their game more than just a slightly different Smash.

Images courtesy of Early Melon

To that end, we’ve got Early Melon’s Roof Rage, a platform fighter inspired by kung fu movies, their heroes, traditional fighter mechanics, and the aesthetics of South Korean streets and countrysides.

Development of Roof Rage was ongoing for roughly two years before its launch onto Steam’s early access platform on June 8th, and those two years of work show. This game is nicely polished, with its smooth animations and powerful hits that lead into fun combos all set to a soundtrack that bumps like nobody’s business.

The thing that sets Roof Rage apart from other platform fighters, besides its aesthetics, is that it takes keys from the more “traditional” 1v1 fighter genre and includes special moves that can be executed with quarter-circle movements on the left thumbstick combines with a button press. In addition to that, charging normal attacks really isn’t a thing in Roof Rage. Instead, the focus is placed more on finding good ways to chain normals and specials together in a way more akin to standard fighters.

This game doesn’t have special moves that require some crazy amount of sequential button presses to perform, but this is still something of note for the genre. See, dost platform fighters stick to a strict system of inputs, and it’s pretty frequently note-by-note a copy of the Smash Bros. command methodology.

It’s also important to note that Roof Rage still has some kinks to be worked out. There’s the very rare bug that’ll happen, sure, but more importantly online play is a bit finicky. As with most online indie games, the success of its internet-based components depends entirely on the community of active players. I’ve been able to find one online game and it was pretty laggy and barely playable. That could be because of internet connectivity on the host’s end, or it could be because of the game’s own netcode- it’s hard to say- but if you aim to play this online then just consider that you may need to make use of the game’s Discord server to meet people and get matches going.

Roof Rage is still in development and there’s plenty more to come. Features in the pipeline include new game modes (including ranked play), new characters, new stages, tutorials, and there’s even a potential for a story mode to be added.

If you’re down to clown with some friends in a rooftop battle with characters based on some classic John Woo and Bruce Lee movies, as well as a couple fighting games, then I think you should give this one a shot.

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