Siege Spots – A Robot Named Fight

Posted on Sep 11 2017


A Robot Named Fight is a game that seeks to capture the Metroid formula, bringing it into the world of Rogue-lites. It certainly delivers on its promise, providing exactly what you’d want.

A Robot Named Fight is designed by Matt Bitner (who we interviewed recently and who provided us with a code for review), and it’s clear that this guy has a passion for Metroid. Seriously, if you’re looking for infinite, randomly-generated Metroid, this is your game. It feels exactly how you’d want this kind of game to play. Controls are pitch perfect; jumps feel like you’d expect, and you move at a good speed. It may be a bit buzzword-y to say, but it has great game feel. Like, by the textbook definition. The game is just fun to move around in. Graphics are heavily inspired by the Metroid games, but do a good job of being their own. The music is stellar, again aping the Metroid aesthetic while finding its own identity. The fact that this was made by one person is amazing to me.

Robot Named Fight Story Screenshot

It feels like Metroid when you’re playing it in the moment, and for some people, that will be enough to keep them going for a while. You explore an alien planet, running left to right, shooting baddies and acquiring new weapons and gadgets. The problems start to arise in the aspects of the game that sit outside the gameplay. While the rooms that are randomly arranged to create each run of A Robot Named Fight are well-designed, you’ll start to notice a lack of variety in them as you start the game. It comes with the territory of making a Metroid-like; the levels are supposed to be built to accommodate the items you find, and I don’t blame Bitner for not trying to build a more complex algorithm that generates rooms on the fly. But still, it makes for a lack of variety.

I don’t think the variety would bother me so much if I was able to play through the same arrangement again after my death. I know that runs against the nature of these kinds of games; you’re supposed to encounter a totally new arrangement after each death, a lot like something like Rogue Legacy. But while in Rogue Legacy this system of generating a new dungeon after your death felt interesting and rewarding, something about the same system in A Robot Named Fight felt frustrating. Games like Metroid are built on learning about the secrets and nuances of the world, rewarding multiple playthroughs with increased speed and skill at completing it. And maybe that’s not what this game is trying to do, but it’s hard to separate it from its Metroid kin. Generating new dungeons is important, but I think the game would have benefited from the ability to take on the same arrangement again rather than being left to start in a new unfamiliar world each time you die.

Robot Named Fight Gameplay Screenshot

Don’t get me wrong, the game is still solid, and I still recommend it to anyone looking for something to scratch their Metroid itch. I just personally don’t see myself getting as much play out of it as I would if I had the ability to keep working at one arrangement, or if there was more variety to the rooms. I won’t rule out that the game might open up more in variety later; as you play the game, you unlock items that will show up in future runs, and those items probably have their own rooms associated with them. But for now, it’s hard to walk through the same rooms in unpredictable order and still enjoy.

That said, this game comes around at around the same time that things like the Super Metroid Randomizer are hitting major popularity. There’s an appeal to people playing the same game in a different order, and those of you who are skilled in Metroid won’t die as much as I do, thereby limiting your exposure to my gripes. If you’re a Metroid superfan looking for even more to play, A Robot Named Fight will scratch that itch, competently, with great graphics, music, and gameplay. But it’s sadly not for me.

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