Rumble Fighter Re-Review: Still Packs a Punch
By Michael Sagoe (Mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Rumble Fighter (RF) is a multiplayer online fighting game developed by Nimonix and hosted by OGPlanet. It features an anime visual style along with easy controls and tons of action. While it’s being marketed as a simple, kid friendly game, the combat has a lot more going for it beyond simple button bashing. As an old veteran player, I was more than eager to return to the world of RF and see if it still had some moves left in it.
When starting out: You can select between one of four different character classes (with the option to go either male or female.) There are no initial creation options to change the look of your starting character, as they are all pre-determined. This can be disappointing for those that are looking to distinguish themselves from the get-go, but later on you’ll have a truck load of customization options to work with… (MUCH later on)
The amount of customization options available from the item shop is huge, allowing for some heavy personalization. Unfortunately, customization requires players to pay up with Astros (OGP currency) or insane amounts of Carats (in-game currency.) The rate of earning Carats in RF feels way too slow and requires players to go through several matches for hours or even days before they can get a defining look. This could have easily been fixed by bumping up the Carat gain rate, and to an extent, the game DOES give out small rewards including redeemable Carat coupons, but they’re only small amounts ranging from 500C to 1000Cs, and that’s only if you’re lucky enough to get them from reward boxes regularly.
Protip: Until you get your first scroll and exocore, it’s going to be awhile before you can make your characters look as cool as these.
Another layer of customization comes from RF’s enchanting system, allowing players to increase the stats of their characters by placing gems on outfit items. This system, however, rides the line between breaking the importance of the player’s skill and player’s stats. While gems can be earned as rewards for completing adventure missions, they can also be bought from the item shop.
There are also lesser enchant cards that can be earned or purchased, but fair and master enchant cards can only be obtained from the shop. With these, players can increase their stats to very noticeable levels.
Not only that, but there’s also the “Rebirth” item that can only be purchased from the item shop, which can give players the option to perform instant recoveries or random critical hits in battle…
Yes, that’s right: You can BUY a gameplay mechanic from the item shop.
Rebirth “Saver” in action
While gameplay is still very skill based, players with skill, high stats and purchased mechanics will have a hefty advantage over players using skill alone.
Rumble Fighter uses a very simple control scheme for keyboards. By default: Arrow keys are used for movement, while the Z, X and C keys are used for punching, kicking, blocking, grabs and counter attacks. The game also supports gamepads, but keyboards are recommended since using a gamepad will make grabs, panic and counter moves more difficult. Controlling your character with different sacred scrolls (fighting styles which are mostly based off real martial arts) feels distinct, most of which do an excellent job of recreating their real world or fictional counterparts.
Rumble Fighter’s gameplay plays like a mix between Power Stone and Tekken, where combat emphasizes combos and juggling your opponents to rack up damage. You can also transform using the game’s exocore system, allowing you to become a more powerful killing machine. Sacred scrolls have many different attributes including base damage output, hit stun, attack range, invincibility frames and more. Hardcore players can wrap their heads around these mechanics, and along with their exocores, character classes and stats, they can fine tune their character to fit their playing style. Casual players, on the other hand, might get caught off guard by the amount of depth RF’s combat has to offer.
The amount of available game modes in RF is incredibly vast (for a fighting game), including King of the Hill, Zombie Survival, Duels and even an adventure mode that turns RF into an arcade style beat ‘em up. There’s plenty of variety here, but getting others to experience that variety with you can be a problem, as most players tend to play on specific maps (mostly ones with heavy knock out points) and game modes such as Moving Screen for fast Carats. It can be frustrating to see a player earn their room master powers and then want to switch up a few maps and modes, only to see players leaving in droves.
Graphics and Presentation
RF presents itself with a clean and colorful cartoon style. Characters with huge heads and huge hands give RF a pseudo-chibi anime vibe. Environments include various stages such as rooftops, pirate ships, live volcanoes, haunted houses and more. Visual detail on character models look solid, but environmental textures tend to look bland and muddy.
RF’s sound work is fairly average. Sound effects for attacks and throwing out specials seem ordinary but appropriate, and the in-game music is also fairly average, only offering generic battle themes.
RF features a small amount of community features, including buddy lists and the long awaited guild function. Players can now also chat with others in a global lobby instead of having to join active rooms. Those that like to socialize will have tons of emotes available for players to express themselves. While these features aren’t mind-blowing, they are certainly nice and much needed additions.
While the community features have changed, the community itself sure hasn’t. Many of the players you’ll find in RF tend to act cocky in victory and bitter in defeat. It’s best to find some friends to play with, and if you don’t have any, the “chat off” function still works great.
OGP has been stepping up their support for RF by having Nimonix shift nearly all of their focus towards updating the game. There’s always at least one event happening in-game where players can earn extra items and prizes including Astros and Astro-only items from the in-game shop, which helps to soothe the Pay-2-Win stigma that freebie players may get from playing later on.
Rumble Fighter still packs a punch as a fun fighting game, but the heavy amount of dedication required to reap rewards may throw casual players off, along with stat tweaking and special item shop only features that can make freebie players turn away in disgust. Those that do put in time, effort (and a few bucks) to play will find plenty of content to enjoy, with much more being added on a regular basis. Rumble Fighter is looking stronger than ever, but could still use a bit more training…
Customization - 3
Gameplay - 4
Controls - 4
Graphics and Presentation - 3
Community - 3