Friday, 18 December 2015

Burning Angels (PC)

Firstly, this game has nothing (as far as I can tell) to do with the theme song from Sonic Team's firefighting classic Burning Rangers. Instead, it's an all-female fighting game themed around pro-wrestling. It's obviously a very low budget indie game, and it's very barebones, with nothing more than a single-player story mode and a versus mode on offer. There's also only one background in the game, though each character does have their own theme tune.

It's got some nice mechanics of its own, though, so it isn't just some throwaway vanilla fighter with a wrestling-themed lick of paint. The player has five buttons: a taunt, and hard and light variants of strikes and throws. Unfortunately, the throw buttons aren't very interesting on their own, just performing an irish whip to the side of the screen. But with typical special move direction inputs, they allow each character to have a few special throws, and even super throws. In keeping with the wresting theme, normal strikes do very little damage, and strike specials generally not much more, placing a stronger emphasis on throws than combos. The throw buttons are also used for parrying throws, while strikes are blocked in the usual manner of holding back

The game's strongest point is probably the way it looks: big sprites, bold colours and an oddly smooth style of animation that brings to mind the french tv cartoon Wakfu. The character designs are pretty varied, too: rather than the usual tactic seen in the likes of Stardust Suplex of using real-life wrestlers with the names changed, Burning Angels uses exaggerated cartoonish characters, and though some of them seem a little fetishistic (a leather-clad sadistic heel, a skinny, flat-chested catgirl, etc.), they're mostly okay, and pretty varied too. There's a typical heroic wrestler (very reminiscent of Rumble Roses' protagonist Reiko), a long-legged woman with a heavily kick-based offence, and a female Ultraman parody, among others.

It'll probably never happen, but Burning Angels is a game I'd really like to see some high-level versus play of. I think the emphasis on throws, and the Irish whip move that doesn't really have an analogue in other games would make for interesting viewing. It's worth a look if you want to play a fighting game that's a little different from the norm, though probably only if you have other humans to fight against.

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