Over the top. Absurd. Ridiculous. These are but a few of the things you might think upon seeing Mighty Fight federation. And you would be 100% correct. But dig a little deeper and you’ll realize that these are both intentional and positive qualities of one of the wackiest and best arena fighters in at least a decade. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Mighty Fight Federation, made by Canadian developer Komi, is a multiplayer 3D Arena fighter, a sub-genre of fighting games perhaps best exemplified by Capcom’s Power Stone where up to four players can control a fighter in a frenetic free for all to defeat each other in a complex 3D arena. These games usually sport a cast of colorful and over the top characters, stories, and combat. Mighty Fight Federation delivers in all three categories.
The combat in Mighty Fight Federation is fast and frenetic, with characters getting blasted up and down and all over – and off and through – the 3D arenas the characters face off in. Hype is the key word in these battles, not just the feeling, but the in game resource. As you deal and take damage, you build up your Hype meter, which you can use to break combos, recover from knockback, and perform special moves. Unlike more standard fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, you don’t use your Hype for your ultimate “Hype” attacks. Instead these are once-per-life super moves that deal crazy amounts of damage when they connect. And yes, that’s once-per-life, not once-per-round or match. Mighty Fight Federation doesn’t stop the action when one fighter loses a lifebar, they just spawn back in down a life and ready to fight. It makes for some frenetic multi party battles, especially in the game’s four man free-for-all fights.
But no fighting game can coast by on mechanics alone without a colorful cast of characters, and that is where Mighty Fight Federation truly shines. From a selfie and workout obsessed demon werewolf, to a killbot that can’t kill, to a man made of explosions and the audaciously named Originelle, the game’s characters all stand out from each other in look and play and feel like they were all ripped away from their own game. Of course, some of them were: Toejam & Earl and Yooka & Laylee from those series respectively, and it’s believed Kunio and Riki from the River City Ransom/ Kunio-kun series are going to be added sooner than later.
This brings me to my only major complaint about Mighty Fight Federation, which is ironically also the characters. Now don’t get me wrong, the problem isn’t with any of the characters themselves or how many there are, Mighty Fight Federation has thirteen already with more to be added on. No, what I’m complaining about is the frequency with when they appear in combat in story mode. As near as I can figure, aside from a few fixed fights, each battle in story mode, both the one on one and the four man free-for-alls are randomly selected. This isn’t a problem in the one on one fights, especially since it seems like code exists to prevent you from fighting the same person multiple times. Where it IS a problem is in the four man matches, where I encounter Toejam & Early and Yooka & Laylee with extreme frequency, including multiple times in a single story mode. Some characters feel like they never appear, which is a shame, because the chaotic nature of these fights is otherwise definitely a plus for Mighty Fight Federation.
I sadly don’t think Mighty Fight Federation will manage to take the world by storm, but what it does do is fill a sadly forgotten niche in the fighting game genre, and I wish the game and its developers the best of luck in getting all the hype they deserve.