Developer: Retro Reactor
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Available Now
Disclaimer: A code was provided by the developer for review purposes.
One Strike is an 8-bit styled fighting game that stands out from other fighters in both aesthetics and gameplay. Set in medieval Japan, One Strike‘s six-fighter roster is very unique, as each combatant has their own different style of weapon and attacks. No matter who you choose, the style of combat is very close quarters and gives off a sense of tension I’have not felt in a fighter in a long time.
Specifically because, unlike many fighting games, the characters in One Strike cannot jump. Instead, they can only move side to side in duel-like fashion on a 2D stage. Staying true to its name, it only takes one hit to defeat your opponent and win your match, unless you are playing multiplayer or arcade mode, in which case each match is five rounds. Though the game does have four single-player modes, local multiplayer is where the game is most fun, as its one-hit-kill style of combat makes for some interesting comebacks. Also, I found matches to be more tension-filled when fighting against someone other than the computer. It is important to note that, unfortunately, there is no online multiplayer.
Aesthetically, One Strike really does a great job of capturing the retro 8-bit feel in both its looks and sound design. Stages are unique from one another. One that is set in a dojo of some sort took a little bit longer for me to see where my character was located at the beginning of the match because how the stage is designed. When it comes to its control scheme the game keeps it simple by assigning the A-button to attack, the B-button to defend, and the triggers to dash. There is also a bit of strategy when it comes to attacking as well. as all attacks and blocks are timing-based.
However, that is the game’s biggest and really its only issue outside of all of its modes basically being the same. You have to block at the precise moment of your opponent’s attack or else you die. This made some match outcomes a bit stressful because sometimes the blocking mechanic would not activate, making it very hit and miss.
Overall, regardless of a missed block or two and too many similar modes, One Strike is a fun game to play if you have friends over and want to split the Joy-Con, or even if you have five to ten minutes to spare by yourself.