Cruz Brothers – Review

Three weeks in a row baby! And unlike the previous two – story driven rpg’s that I loved, this one is is a fighting game with an incredibly dumb story. That I hate.

So. I’m a Tekken player. It’s what I played every day after high school instead of, yknow, talking to people (no regrets), and I got to be very good at it. Any other sort of fighting game I’m pretty average at best. I won’t be turning heads playing Street Fighter anytime soon is what I’m saying.

That said, I’m always willing to try something new. And after winning a copy of the game from a Cultaholic twitch stream I figured I would give it a shot.

I should have remembered they have a Youtube show called Worst Games Ever. Ah well, let’s go over the game a bit.

Background

Cruz Brothers is an underground boxing game made by DCF Studios. I tried to do a bit of research on the game (well, the bare minimum), but neither the game nor the developers have a wikipedia page. DCF Studios does have a webpage of their own though, which is how I found out it’s short for Donut Coffee Shop Studios, and they’re an indie developer out of Brazil. They have four games out right now – Cruz Brothers (Combat Zone Edition), Cruz Brothers (Camps Edition), Bunny Battle Arena, and Cube Zone.

I have no idea what Bunny Battle Arena is, but that’s the best fucking title I’ve ever heard. I really wish I liked these guys, but….yeah, no.

Anyway, this takes place in Brazil, the main characters are Felipe and Igor Cruz. I was going to have this whole diatribe about how Igor was a ridiculous name for a Brazilian, but apparently it’s not that rare in Brazil, Portugal, or Spain. I have no idea how an Eastern European name got spread that far west. It’d be like Malcolm being a common name in China. Which I guess could happen – the Brits had a lot of influence there. This tangent has gotten away from me.

Story

The storyline is kinda basic. Let’s be generous and say it’s archetypical. The protagonists are street rats who are good at fighting, get taken under the wing of a has-been who finds a good coach for them. Presumably at that point they start rising in the ranks of the underground fighting scene. I’ve only played the first few chapters – I’m going out on a limb and saying one of them will probably betray the other, and will then be the final boss.

Again. This is just a guess, but I’d bet the cost of the game that’s how the plot goes. If I end up beating the game I’ll update this and confirm or deny it. It’s not a novel plot by any means – hell, Tony Hawk has done it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad though. Like…The Hero’s Journey is in everything because it works.

Looks and Sounds

I wanted to do both of these together, because the complaints I have for them are both largely the same. They’re…not good. They’re not even average. So, the cutscenes are done in comic panels in watercolors. I’ve seen actual comics that look worse than this, but you really have to dig around to find them. The characters look unnatural, the dialog is misspelt, and the script is boring.

Also – the voice acting. I get the feeling that voice acting is one of those things that if it isn’t great that it sucks. And it is not great. Ugh. I hate being negative. The menu music is good though. So that’s something

Gameplay

So here’s the thing. Storyline and voice acting in a fighting game is an optional extra. It’s like complaining when your coffee comes in a regular mug instead of porcelain. As long as the gameplay works well, fuck the rest. And the game is very responsive – it’s not buggie or anything. It just isn’t fun. Not because it’s too hard, because it isn’t, but because there’s no real challenge. I got a 124 hit combo by hitting x over and over again. The special moves are all quarter-circle-forward + a button.

There is one thing I like about it. In order to progress in the story, you need to level up – you can replay earlier levels in story mode, or you can do challenges and such. It’s an interesting way to have players explore other modes.

Overall Grade: D+

This game kinda bums me out just talking about it. I think I’ll do something more fun next week. Like play Desert Bus or something.