While I am an absolute scrub at platform games, I do enjoy the difficulty and the frustrations that come with those games. Fenix Rage is no exception in this, it comes with all the highs and lows of a platformer. The learning curve is fair, although sometimes tough to bite through, but gratifying nonetheless. Fenix Rage is like a futuristic Super Meat Boy, but with some added flair, which I like a lot.
To infinity and beyond
What I like about the controls in Fenix Rage is that you can jump an infinite amount of times. When you combine that with the sliding technique, you can soar through the levels. Not mindlessly of course, you will have to watch out for the environment that is dead set on killing you.
Another neat feature is how they incorporated the environment with the character’s abilities. Along the way you will have to break through ice barrier, and what better way to smash through a level then by putting yourself on fire. An added bonus of burning is that your slides go a lot faster when you are scorching the place left and right, as if you were the Human Torch.
Frustration comes in stages
I played through the first five worlds. Each world has its own special feature, but the world that comes next takes on the features of the previous worlds. So in the beginning you may have some trouble with the portal system in world two, but when you reach world three it will have been so common for you that it will become just another tool in your toolbox.
In world three and four I had some trouble adjusting to the many things they throw at you. Especially the boss battles made me feel beyond my normal frustration with platformers. The bosses inherit the world’s theme, but give a really different twist to it. For instance, world two has a boss at the end that shoots blobs at you. Those blobs have existed in nearly level so far, but instead of flying all over the place, they were stagnant.
Pretty little extras
As a little extra, there is a cookie hidden in every level. And who doesn’t love cookies? Gather enough cookies and you get to unlock cookie recipes. I can’t wait to find out what kind of delicious treasures are discovered.
I kept seeing birds in levels, but I figured they were just a nice little thing to add to the scenery. It wasn’t until a boss battle that I found out that they are quite the helpful bunch. When you get close to the flock of birds, they fly away. This is a clue for the player to help him out with his sense of direction.
If the game still proves tough for you, then you could try your luck in the arcade. A tiny drawback is that you will have to gather stars from every level. You get these by finishing a level within a certain time. One of the mini-games is just you floating in the sky, dodging every slime that is thrown at you. You get points by picking up the cookies that get randomly thrown between the waves of slimes.
The art of speedrunning has really become an established e-sport in the gaming community. Games Done Quick immediately come to mind. So it is a good thing to see features added in this game that make it easier to keep track of your best time and those of your competitors.
After every level there is a leaderboard that shows you how well you did. While it is nice to see the time, I would’ve preferred a system like in Dustforce. In that game you can replay everyone their attempt. This would’ve been a great guidance system for Fenix Rage as well, because sometimes you just want to see the pros at work.
With its two hundred levels stretching over nine very different worlds, you can expect to spend at least ten hours on the story mode alone. Since I am far from a great platform player, I would say I could easily see less fortunate souls spend more than sixteen hours on it. This is not counting the hidden levels or mini-games, so this game can definitely become a time sinker.
If you loved Super Meat Boy and you have been waiting for a good sequel, Fenix Rage is definitely there in spirit.
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