I've seen preview footage for Fenix Rage for a while now. I love Super Meat Boy (which is a big influence here), so I was interested in another precision platformer. What do I think of Fenix Rage? Read on, loyal reader. Read on...
Fenix Rage is a fantastic platformer that's similar to (and very much inspired by) Super Meat Boy. While Super Meat Boy has momentum-based movement, Fenix Rage controls more like Donkey Kong Country (in that you stop moving immediately when you let go of the analog stick. Side Note: I prefer movement like this, but that's just personal preference). What's unique about Fenix Rage is that the main character has infinite jumps and dashes that you can use whenever you want.
"But wait!", you say. "Doesn't that ruin the game?"
Not at all. The levels are designed around this over-powered movement style. In fact, you will die - a lot. That's okay, though because the respwan is *instant* (which is FANTASTIC). It feels less like you're dying repeatedly and more like you're just learning the level and playing it until you beat it. The levels are actually not *that* difficult (I found myself flying through level after level), but an optional cookie that you can get in each level ups the challenge dramatically. I found getting the cookies super-rewarding and loved the added gameplay this provided.
The art is charming and unique, the soundtrack rocks and is fun to listen to and the level design is great. The difficulty ramps up so gradually that near the end of the game you're doing straight-up ridiculous maneuvers to stay alive, but it never feels overwhelming. With over 200 levels - including arcade mode and secret warp zone levels - there's a lot of game here.
Everything is not rainbows and unicorns, however. Some levels have enemies moving really fast in tight, confined spaces. Getting past these types of enemies felt more like luck than skill. The same goes for dashing through tiny 'one-block-high' holes in walls - that *always* felt like luck to me. Also, the little green squares (the main enemies in the game) are used *a lot*. Like, "bordering-on-too-much a lot". I honestly think they're used too much. I would have liked to have seen more variety in the gameplay. Different types of enemies, more patterns to evade and so on. With four Light worlds, four Dark worlds, a secret ninth world and warp zones there are a LOT of levels here. There's no reason to have a single mechanic (the dodging of square enemies) be used SO much. There are other mechanics in the game, though (I don't want to make it seem like that's all the game is). The variety of gameplay is good, but I would have liked to have seen more.
Now that I've beaten the full game and gotten all the cookies (except 3 on Sanctuary), it's resoundingly clear that the game truly is fantastic and a LOT of game for $15. It's one of my 'Best of the Year', right after Shovel Knight. Now, if only I could play Bayonetta 2 ... >_<
TL;DR : Fenix Rage is a fast, frantic precision platformer that's a lot of fun. The controls feel fantastic. The level design is great except for a few places that feel 'cheap' (depending more on luck than skill). With tons of levels (over 200), exciting boss battles and lots of optional objectives, it's a game that you'll be playing for a while. An excellent game by Green Lava Studios and I look forward to whatever they're working on next.
Final Verdict: 8.5 out of 10
Have you played Fenix Rage? What do YOU think of it? Comment below, let me know. Also, if you're on Steam, add me. Just note me and I'll send you my name. I need more friends on there. >_< Much love, y'all. Talk to you soon.