‘Strikers Edge’ Review: Medieval Dodge Ball

Strikers Edge is a new game that released on PS4 and Steam that takes the childhood game of dodgeball and raises the stakes by combining it with a gladiator arena. Fun Punch Games decided to remove the “harmless” rubbers balls and replace them with throwing stars and spears. Each match moves at a blistering pace as you and your opponent hurl weapons at each other, while blocking and dodging to achieve victory.

The controls in the game are simple, utilizing only a few buttons to control all the action. The left stick will control the movement of your character, and the right stick will control aiming. L2 is your dodge roll button and will become one of your primary defensive abilities, the other one being block, which is done by pressing L1. Attacking is done by hitting R2 and holding the attack button will allow you to charge up a character-specific special attack. Pressing R1 after using a special skill will activate the skill’s secondary ability.

Strikers Edge Review

As 90 percent of the Character rosters moves are the same, I was concerned with how this would affect the difference of each character. This worry was quickly proved unnecessary as the special moves each character has differ widely. For example, the ninja can throw a red kunai, and if it connects with the target, pressing R1 will activate a special flash step attack where he will teleport to the enemy and attempt to slash them. The Valkyrie’s special is to throw a spear which can be activated to scorch the earth beneath the path the spear traveled. I was surprised at the amount of strategy I was able to play with for how simple the control scheme was.

Strikers Edge features a roster of eight playable characters each a different type of warrior. While some have skills and abilities that are similar, none of the characters feel exactly the same, which is impressive considering the block skill and the charged attacked skill are the only things really separating them. Also, each of the game’s unique medieval-inspired arenas, like the decks of huge boats, thick green woodlands, and more, give the player a taste of variety in their matches.

Strikers Edge Review

Strikers Edge has a pixel art style that would feel right at home on the SNES or Genesis, but the speed and control of a modern title. That being said, the biggest flaw as far as gameplay goes is the laggy response times when doing rapid control inputs. During online matches, when trying to hurl a spear or two and then dodge or counter, I would notice my character having a slight delay between input time and the completion of the corresponding action. While this is by no means game breaking in any way, it definitely added some unneeded frustration to my online matches.

Players will find three options on how to play this game. First is the story mode; each character has a story mode for them that gives you a brief back story on each character and sends you on a very short four-mission campaign. I honestly felt that each story mode was there to serve as an advanced training session to familiarize you with your selected character. That being said the biggest draw to this game will be the online and local VS modes. Matches can be played 1v1 or 2v2 for those looking to play with friends. What personally had my interest was that the game offers four-player local co-op in a time where most games are one player on console, and this was refreshing. I’m always looking for fun games to play with my group of friends and Fun Punch delivered.

Strikers Edge Review

Overall, the game is well done, and the controls are easy to learn. That is nice when combat gets hectic since you won’t need to remember long combos. Characters were easily distinguishable in their design and also in the way they play. I enjoyed the pixel art style they chose to go with because I felt like a little kid in my grandma’s living room playing SNES again.

Strikers Edge is overall a solid game and if FunPunch keeps working toward fixing some minor issues, I think Strikers Edge will definitely accrue a base of fans who enjoy its unique formula.

Strikers Edge is available now on Steam and PS4 for $14.99. This review is based off a PS4 code provided by the publisher.

Strikers Edge Review
out of 5

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