Okinawa Rush (review)

Oct 28, 2021

Okinawa Rush

Take on the role of the martial arts master Hiro, Meilin, or Shin as they face off in a desperate fight for their lives against the Black Mantis clan. DOUBLE THE MAYHEM: Bring a friend and battle against ninjas, demons, and more in the 2-player local co-op mode of this action-adventure platformer.

Publisher: No Gravity Games
Release Dates: Steam, October 21, 2021. Nintendo Switch October 28, 2021

A button masher that isn’t a button masher? Okinawa Rush from No Gravity Games is a fun retro action-platformer that is well worth the small price tag. By the end, your thumbs may be sore, but your gaming heart will be full.

Story/PLot

In a retro style fighting game that will take players back to the late 80’s and into the 90’s, does story matter? Okinawa Rush is a total blast to play, whichever route you want to take. You can leave the story behind and just the Arcade Mode. In that, the player will skip the story and get right to the button mashing. Take the other route and learn a bit about who you play as. Learn more about the Black Mantis clan and who leads their fight on Okinawa. Either way you shake it, the story isn’t what matters. Akin to Double Dragon or the TMNT NES game, what matters is the way the game plays, not the why.

Hiro in Okinawa Rush

That’s not to say there isn’t a story, and with three playable characters, the story can change throughout. With multiple endings spread across just as many playthroughs. You will get something different out of each playthrough. Play as Hiro or Shin and small subtle changes will be seen by the end. That helps the playability of the game.

GamePLay

On the surface, it may seem like a button masher. The Player can play the game that way. Rush in fists flying and kicks thumping. In that sense, death will most certainly come to the player. There is more to it. There are combos, holds, and special moves that can be used to defeat the clan. Traversing the 2D world can be fast or slow. Players can take time to look for 1ups, search for people in need of rescue, or that hidden switch to move to the next level. Meticulously take out the boss, or throw caution to the wind and mash your way to success. There is more than one way to skin the cat in Okinawa Rush.

Three different characters result in three different fighting styles, all with their own attributes. Just like the story having different paths to take via your character selection, the way you handle each battle will vary depending on the character you chose. There isn’t much for a real tutorial unless you take another route. That leads to a little criticism though. The in-game menu is confusing and leads to starting out in the dark with what kind of game and why you should be playing it the begin with. There are multiple ways to play the game, through characters, difficult, endings. It can lead to a bit of a mess logistically, but the downright balls the wall action and wicked gameplay make up for any missteps along the way.

Meilin

Visuals/Sound

We are talking a 80s/90s retro game here, so with that comes the music to boot. Just like those SNES games of old, music adds a level of enjoyment in its simplicity and effectiveness. Upbeat and constant, the music helps with the pace of the game and the increased need or want to continue. Nodding your head, or tapping your foot while slicing a bad guy in half with a samurai sword has never been more fun. The sound effects are strong. Every jump, slice, or punch can be felt. The voice work is simple but has some funny dialogue that is akin to an 80s kung-fu flick.

Nostalgia plays a huge part in the enjoyment of Okinawa Rush. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a soft spot for retro style kung fu games that you won’t enjoy Okinawa Rush. You will still find a great looking action platformer that can be played in multiple ways. To each their own. If you love TMNT for NES or Double Dragon, then Okinawa Rush will be for you.

Rating: 7.5/10

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