You Are Crab. You Fight Crab.
From the depths of the ocean and the waves of misfortune that have hit us, a new hero crawls out to bring us Fight Crab! A 3D fighting/action game, developed by Calappa Games and published by PLAYISM. It was initially released for PC and then for the Nintendo Switch a few months later.
Games have come a long way over the years. It started with a simple idea of hitting a ball back and forth between two goalies in the classic Pong, and now we have reached a new height. Humanity’s gift of creativity that would make every generation behind us proud shines here in gaming. You might think I am talking about super immersive games that make you feel like you are witnessing every event yourself, but that is not what I am thinking about.
Look deep into your heart, and you shall see crabs wielding lightsabers and katanas was always the goal for gaming evolution all those years. As the game’s website says “A game where you are crab, and you fight crab”. It can’t get more sophisticated and charming than that.
The gameplay is where Fight Crab truly shines. I am a huge fan of 3D fighters, even more than 2D fighters. Even so, I was surprised at how fun Fight Crab was, as soon as I got used to the controls. They are a bit different from the norm. Perhaps that can be attributed to having to fit a huge amount of functions into the Switch controller I was playing with instead of the keyboard it was initially planned for.
Fight Crab uses the left and right sticks to control the left and right pincher respectively, allowing you to flex it as you wish to block and attack, using L/R for the former and ZL/ZR for the latter. There’s also a sort of counter-attack that grabs the enemy crab’s pincher to shock them, taking advantage of the commonly known fact that crabs use electricity. That’s a thing, right? Moving your character, however, is something that takes a bit of time to adjust to. It uses the directional buttons to charge your character in that direction, using pushing both sticks at the same time to rotate our crab boy and double-tapping a direction to dash to it. Do you think that’s all? We also have a hyper mode. If your crab has suffered enough damage, with the press of a button, you get to unleash the inner underwater beast within you and unlock new possibilities, like shooting energy waves ripped straight out of anime. This game feels like a fever dream with all of my support
The fighting system is based on a damage percentage as you brawl it out. Higher percentages lead to a higher chance of flipping over the crustacean on the other side of your claws, and canonically the one who gets flipped goes to the frying pan so yes, prepare yourself for this battle to the delicious death. Here’s a tip: The scenario on some maps can be interacted with, so go ahead and use Mother Nature to hit opponents with a tree. They deal more damage than regular attacks, and you can never be too sure.
Single-player or Versus?
The game has a campaign that revolves around your story as the one looking to become the best fighter. This means that you must search for the strongest opponents and triumph over them. There’s not a narrative to the campaign itself, but the text before each fight brings so much personality to the game, such as “the ultimate crustaceanal crabby street fight begins here”. How can you not get hyped with that? These bits help flesh out the world as you advance, with the insanity of weapons and their quantity increasing over time as you get used to the amount of chaos on the screen. I did notice here the menus being a bit hard to get used to. For example, some fonts almost pop out of the screen to scream at you to level up your crab.
There’s a versus mode with multiplayer to decide who is the king of the sea. You can likewise use versus mode against A.I. to train again an NPC or hop online to use the wildest crab combination you can create to fight worldwide. Just you and your crab facing, shell shockingly, both Switch and PC players with cross-play. The online community was a bit scarce, but I was able to find a PC player quite quickly to hand me my first defeat. My brain somehow decided that starting the game by going online, no tutorials was a great idea.
Arts and Crabs
Fight Crab also understands that every death battle requires amazing music to accompany it, and honestly, the game is so out of the box in this direction that it sticks in your mind. Brawling it out to anime-style music with lyrics in the background, while using nunchakus to knock the enemy into another dinner table in a Chinese restaurant is something I didn’t expect to write about in my life, but here we are.
The models themselves are also really well done. All crabs have enough differences between them for you to pick your main one and get used to it. These differences include longer pinchers, higher hitboxes, and so on. You can choose based on which aspect of the game you prefer to focus on.
The level design in this game is also great, with different scenarios spicing up the formula as to not leave it stale. This is important. Despite the variety of buttons and weapons to use, the game does not have a deep learning curve for you to experience, so once you know the basics, you are settled for the rest of the game. You have playgrounds with platforms going up and down, underwater for a truly all-out brawl, the streets to feel like you are Godzilla, and many others filling up more than 10 stages to keep you interested.
Overall, Fight Crab was a great experience. I believe that games that don’t take themselves too seriously are always needed to balance out heavier stories on the market. When they are as fun as Fight Crab, despite its flaws, I feel like I have a moment to reset my brain and relax to truly enjoy my passion. I recommend this game for those who enjoy 3D fighters but don’t feel like they need to be taken too seriously. This isn’t for serious competition, but for those who enjoy playing a game that you can laugh along with some friends when you get together.
FIGHT CRAB IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Mastiff Games for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.
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Nick has been gaming for quite a while, a decade now! His first console was the DS but the first one played extensively was the Nintendo 64. He loves a huge variety of games, favourite genres include RPG, platforming, metroidvanias and visual novels. No longer a member of the NookGaming team, but still here in spirit. Follow him on @NickMendz.