Will Fight For Food (First Impressions)

I have to start off by saying that I just love the indie game scene. Not only can I get quality games for cheap, I also get put into some wonderfully odd situations that most conventional retail games, I think, would never explore, such as being a washed-out wrestler seeking revenge/redemption in Pyrodactyl’s two week old new brawler/rpg .

Game: Will Fight For Food
Type: Old-School Brawler/RPG
Developer: Pyrodactyl
Release Date: April 14, 2012

Will Fight For Food is the second game to come out of Pyrodactyl Studios, the studio behind A.Typical RPG of which I’ve yet to play. Playing a game with an intricate dialogue system as a hobo was just too much for me to pass on, so I bought it at the fair price of $4.99, sat down with it about three days ago, and played to my heart’s content while jotting down these impression notes:

^ The dialogue system is pretty thought-out, seemingly deep, and entertaining.
WFF features one of the more interesting dialogue systems I’ve seen as of late. Instead of just of choosing a response from a list as in most other RPGs, WFF presents players with three adjustable attitudes (Body Language, Opinion, and Tone), and players must choice their reaction based upon not only their personal opinion but also the opinion of their conversation partner if they hope to successfully persuade that person. The dialogue system is not only an interesting take on dialogue gameplay, but it is also functional (thank goodness) and helps draw a quite a bit more character from the cast. It would appear as though there are no branching paths since Opinion Increased, Opinion Decreased, and No Change all proceed to the same line, but that’s a small complaint when faced with such an ambitious concept.

In-Game Explanation of WFF's dialogue system

– Health seems to recover at odd intervals and does not recover between area of the town.
This was just an absolute bother while playing WFF. Instead of recovering once all enemies have been taken out, health will usually recovery after the defeat of a key enemy.

* Various bugs when working with Desura
While this doesn’t have much to do with WFF itself, I did experience many problems with my saves and loading up areas whenever I was playing WFF through Desura. Of course, this has no bearing on the quality of the game itself, but at the time it was/still is worth note.

* Desura page holder is soooo helpful.
And throughout my ordeal with save files, Arvind, the lead programmer of WFF, was kind enough to help me out in a very swift fashion. Again, nothing on the quality of the game itself, but man is it good to know that the developers care.

Yep, I was that poor Voler sap, and I'm just one of quite a few people that Arvind's helped out on the WFF indiedb/desura page.

+ Combat is shallow, but functional and satisfying in a very simple sort of way.
v However, this simple combat is very exploitable, and because of this WFF lacked any sort of challenge even on hard.
I’ll keep this short and bitter: PPP (Punch-Punch-Punch) is crazily overpowered. Enemies walk right towards Jared/the player and won’t stop until they get right in Jared’s face, but with PPP Jared just knocks them right back. Also, there is a lack of variety between enemy fight patterns which allows for basically every fight to be exploited in the same way. Through rinse and repeating this process, five to ten to fifty to one-hundred of WFF’s enemies could, theoretically, easily be felled.

– A few weird graphical errors occur, such as extra green pixels in the air around a green monster and Jared’s mask appearing when hit even when not in Combat Mode

Just a few random green pixels around Greeny here, but it's still a pretty noticeable thing.

– Some dialogue text box mistakes in regard to the speaker

Trying to talk to a food vending female named Lou, instead Mister Patriot, the male mayor of Whateville, decides to butt in. What a jerk, right? Also, he asks me if I can beat him up. Conflicting, it truly is.

Then a really really weird things happened while I was writing all this down; the game ended. Not by a crash or anything, WFF just ended, which leads me to my next note:

v Ridiculously short.
And when I say short, I mean short as in 2 hours if one takes their time. It’s kind of a childish complaint I understand; it must be a very good thing when someone is complaining about wanting more of a game, but in this case I just can’t help but wish the game was released with more content. WFF is moddable, which should provide some more cool content over time, but even so the released package should have had much more to it. The ending is lackluster at best too, but that’s a discussion for a more coherent review of WFF.

I sat around for a bit, perplexed at how suddenly the game had ended, then decided to jot down a few more general thoughts on WFF before closing up shop.

* Very interesting premise/concept, even if execution isn’t top notch.
+ Music has that upbeat retro hypeness that this sort of game needs.
+ Story is appropriately silly
+ Humor is quite apparent throughout the game.
+ Situations are quite interesting, hilarious, and entertaining
– Story lacks progression until around the last 5 minutes, as much of the game is spent resolving problems for your old WFF companions.
+ Characters are quite distinct and fun to interact with due to the dialogue system even though they never get as much screen-time as they rightfully should.

Dang, even Jared's alarmed by all this potential personality!

First Final/Final First Word: Will Fight for Food is a fantastic text-book example of a great indie game and developer, an “into it” developer works with a very unique concept and dishes up a clunky yet undeniable fun/quirky game. The combat could use a lot of work and it would be great if there were more chances to play with that dialogue system (especially revisiting characters that players have already dealt with), but overall the 2 hours I spent with WFF were enjoyable and left me and my spent $4.99 quite sated. However, brawler/RPG fans may be disappointed in the lack of depth of the combat system, and 2 hours of an interesting concept is a hard pitch to sell at any price. There is something just whimsical and fun about WFF, so I simply have to encourage anyone who reads this to give this indie title a shot.

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