Monday, March 5, 2012

Game of the Day - Eightman

Eightman is a fun side-scrolling fighter with lots of style and a few unusual tricks.

First, I have to mention that I like the look.  The graphics are in a comic-book superhero style.  They aren't as crisp as previous GOTD "The Punisher", but remind me of that game a lot.  The visuals when you run and attack add to the nice look of the game.

You have three buttons.  The first button is punch OR kick and is context sensitive.  How you attack will depend on the enemy, the positioning and how fast you button mash. The other buttons are jump and bomb.  Additionally, pushing the A and B buttons together is a special attack (jump/spin/punch/kick).
But Eightman tries to one-up the genre but having gameplay that isn't just straight fighting.  In the second level (and others down the line) you are running full speed (not in your control) and the game plays much more like a horizontal shooter than a fighting game.  Enemies approach you from all sides and fade in from anywhere while you have to essentially line them up in your path and blast them.  It's a little strange to control and interpret who and how to attack.  Since you are running full-out, all you can do is jump and crouch to affect where you are aiming.  Also, the enemies that come from the bottom and the sides aren't really in your path 'til they move around you a little and get in front of you.  It is a completely unique kind of play and takes a little getting used to.

But that's not all.  On the 3rd level (and future levels), Eightman tries hard to add in some more jumping and exploring.  While you are still fighting enemies, there are a lot more ramps, platforms and other obstacles to jump and time your approach to, making it much more like a platform game.

All the while there are many power-ups.  Some make your punch/kick attacks stronger or turn them into weapon attacks.  Some upgrade and add to your bombs.  There is also the "8" (as in Eightman).  It floats around and when you obtain it your attack is giganta-mongo-betty-rific.

Eightman tries to be lots of things for lots of different gamers and succeeds well at most of it.  Crank it up and beat a few heads.

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