The 80’s and 90’s had their fair share of beat ‘em ups, both in arcades and on consoles. As of late, numerous new titles in the genre have released; usually combining the action game play with some RPG elements. This new hybrid can make for some rather interesting experiences. Dusty Revenge falls into that category, with a nice art style and only a handful of RPG pieces dropped in.
Players take control of Dusty, an anthropomorphic rabbit character hell-bent on finding the animal-men that killed his wife, and taking his revenge on them. Along the way, he will gain support allies and learn that there was more to her death than what he originally thought.
Dusty Revenge is a 2D beat ‘em up with some platforming and RPG elements mixed in. For the most part, players will be utilizing Dusty’s fighting prowess with a two button system. Dusty has a light attack and a heavy attack. Combining these attacks will string together combos that can both knock back enemies and juggle them in the air. He also has ranged attacks in the form of dual pistols or a shotgun. He also has an evade roll that can be used to dodge attacks but also string together multiple combos.
Dusty gains experience points for every kill he racks up, as well as finding them in loot chests. When he levels up, he will unlock new attacks and combos. Early in the game, Dusty will have allies join him that offer support through a grenade launcher attack or sniper shots. When activating these support attacks, the camera zooms out and the player takes control of the ally and aim with some simplistic controls via an arching shot with the grenade launcher, or a first person reticle when sniping.
For the most part, the action felt sound. There were a few times that it felt a little stiff and when dashing, the animations came first even if I wanted Dusty to stop mid dash. It’s a small gripe, but with games like Shank and Dust: An Elysian Tail having some impressive, tight controls, it felt stiff by comparison.
The game does have some unique boss fights that will have players changing up their strategy when taking them on. It mixes up the game play just enough to make it feel more varied. The game also kept throwing new enemies at me so I couldn’t always rely on the same old combos over and over. Dusty Revenge did a decent job keeping the game play rather fresh.
The game unfortunately has no multiplayer of any kind. It’s a real bummer because I think it would have benefited from it. It’s going to be a solo run for players. Still, the game can last well into the four hour mark if not more.
The game has a Western feel to it with both Dusty and enemies looking like cowboys and rustlers; it all fits the overall presentation and the soundtrack sets the mood nicely. Unfortunately, the voice acting and scripted events in the cut scenes feels lacking. I could never get behind Dusty and his tale because of how forced his dialog felt, and since the story is narrated by Dusty, it made the entire experience feel like an after thought.
The art style and animations are what were really impressive. The hand-drawn feel and the way animations are displayed looked great and on a nice HD screen, really popped. I had no slow down and even when the battlefield became hectic with multiple enemies, it never skipped a beat.
For ten bucks, Dusty Revenge is not a bad beat ‘em up. The story does fall flat, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. The game play feels a little stiff compared to other titles in the genre, but learning new combos and pulling off some pretty flashy attacks feels great and rewarding, and the art style and soundtrack will set the mood very nicely to have players beat the crap out of some animals. If you’re big into side scrolling beat ‘em ups, Dusty Revenge is not a terrible choice for your money; just remember it’s all about the game play over the story and sometimes that game play is a little off.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.