[Review] Fight Crab – Nintendo Switch

Written by Brett Hill
  • Developer: Calappa Games
  • Publisher: Mastiff
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99 
  • Release Date: 15/09/2020
  • Review code provided by Mastiff

Introducing Fight Crab Switch Review

2020 has been a year to remember mostly for the wrong reasons but there have been a few positive highlights sprinkled throughout to make it not a complete dumpster fire. Fight Crab being released on the Switch is one of the latter. Behemoth crustaceans battling it out to take the crown and flip their opponent by any means necessary, whether its on the back of a seal wielding a trident or how about creating the most obscure combo of weapons you can think of like a boomerang with a lightsaber.

I’m sure there is meant to be some rule I should mention but I can’t quite remember oh yea get crabs…. err that’s not it, it will come to me later.

Feeling A Little Crabby

Fight Crab is a high octane physics-based fighter where mastering combos is key to pulling off a killer move and making crab sticks out of your opponent. Learning the combos and controlling the giant arthropod can take getting used to caused by the counter-intuitive controls and with no map to tweak, there is no option other than to button bash your way to victory and pick up techniques along the way. Each analog stick controls an arm with ZR & ZL being the attack buttons and L & R letting you block attacks. As you can imagine whilst you are flailing your arms around to hit your opponent trying to lay down a combo can be a flustering mess. Then there is the added movement around the 3D environment. Using the D-pad to shuffle around sounds straight forward enough but combine that with everything else. I’m not sure how my Joy-Con survived the constant barrage of button pressing.

My other issue with Fight Crab is the main menu. It is clunky and awkward to navigate, the garish backdrop art makes it too busy and distracts you from the options. It could do with an overhaul and be more streamlined.

What’s Crab-a-lackin’

Once you have completed the tutorial level it’s time to cause havoc in one of the 6 arena style environments, from a medieval banqueting hall to a Chinese restaurant, there is plenty of fun to be had. Interact with your surroundings and pick up melee weapons to give you that winning edge! My personal favorite were the palm trees in crustacean city. I found it somewhat humorous smacking a crab round the grill with a tree in one arm and pistol whipping with the other, that combo surely shouldn’t exist especially in a game about fighting crabs.

Visually Fight Crab does suffer on the Switch version especially in handheld mode with the 3D environment looking muddy and blurry. It felt like I was playing the game on a fifth gen console. The game also felt rushed aesthetically with weapons and objects kind of floating around the pincer rather that it looking like the crab was holding the item. The soundtrack is monotonous and repetitive which I found disappointing as the main menu welcomed you with happy catchy Japanese metal.

You Mess with Crabo You Get A Stabo

As you progress through the game you unlock more weapons which you then have to buy in the shop for a hefty price. It feels like Mr. Krabs runs the store due to the inflated prices. The way to earn money is to grind away and flip more crabs. You can also unlock more playable characters from the store which can be fun to buy and experiment with different fighting styles. I tended to stick with one crab though during the campaign due to the RPG style leveling up which meant you had to start all over again if you changed crabs.

Even though there are 3 difficulty levels, Fight Crab wasn’t challenging and I found it was more down to chance rather than skill. If you were beat by the CPU though there was the option to have assistance from a friendly crab. The Decapod fighter also boasts online CO-OP and versus mode but unfortunately I was unable to find another player on multiple occasions so I gave up.

Fight Crab did have one impressive feature called ‘Photo Mode’. This paused the game and let you take photos of the arena. You could achieve some pretty great shots as you pan around the 3D environment and zoom in and out.

Conclusion

Fight Crab is a fun experience that is short lived due to the awkward controls and repetitive gameplay. It is Jam packed full of content but fails to keep the player engaged giving little incentive to try out all the options the game has to offer. It is not all bad and would probably recommend you play in short bursts or with your mates. Fight Crab has been on my list of games to play since it was announced but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to the hype. With muddy visuals and an over complicated menu it felt more like crab paste than Lobster Thermidor.

Pros

  • Fighting Crabs
  • Crazy amount of unlockables
  • Photo Mode

Cons

  • Controls are over-complicated
  • Main menu and sub menus are awkward to navigate
  • Online community is none existent

Verdict
Fight Crab is a fun and hilarious physics based fighter which quickly loses its appeal due to the convoluted menu’s, awkward controls and repetitive gameplay.


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