Wot I’m Playing: Fight! Shonen

Since there’s no indication we’ll ever get a create a fighter game ala WWE2K’s create a wrestler mode, I’m glad we have Fight! (by Divine Madness Press) and the latest expansion, Fight! Unlockables: Shonen, a 27 page expansion to the popular fighting game RPG.

(editorial note: I was provided with a free download copy of the game in return for an honest review)

What is “Shonen”, you might ask? Well, it is a subsection of anime and manga, that primarily deals with action and combat, aimed generally at males. Some of the biggest series in anime history started out as shonen manga. For example, the long-running Dragonball series and all its subseries, or Ranma 1/2, or in more modern times, things like One Piece, Bleach, and the like are all Shonen series. When I first agreed to review the book, I wondered how something designed to translate the sometimes finicky world of martial arts video games like Street Fighter (where the phrases Frame Cancel and Juggle Combos are common) to the more wild and wooly nature of Shonen.

Fight! Unlockables: Shonen from Divine Madness Press. It's power level is.. wait. is that joke too old?
Fight! Unlockables: Shonen from Divine Madness Press. It’s power level is.. wait. is that joke too old?

Turns out it does it pretty well.

The book is full of optional rules and setting information to help you run a Shonen game using the Fight! system, which means your character can (theoretically) gain power from the presence of a rival or a romantic entanglement.. (you may be feeling pain, but you’d be dammed if you’re going to let THEM see it..) or transforming into a more powerful version of yourself when you need it (Super Saiyan Level 3 anyone?) and makes sure that fights end in suitably dramatic ways (no poke damage to take out the last point of health from Akiyama the Squid God here!)

They even have rules for holding your attack to power it up (complete with internal monologuing and Lens Flare) until you release a mighty blow. (Goku, I’m looking at you here).

While it’s not mandatory (Fight! runs a great game for fighting game as is), if you’re going to run a shonen style game using it, I highly recommend it. Now, to try to get someone to make that Create a Fighter martial arts video game…