This review written by Sean Harrison originally appeared on PSPMinis.com back on October 6, 2009.
After looking at screenshots of Funky Punch by Solus Games, my brain said to me “Hey a budget fighting game on PSP minis that looks quite fun!” Unfortunately Funky Punch seems to fall at pretty much every hurdle. Now this is not to say that this game should be avoided at all costs, it is just very severely flawed. Any hardcore gamer will shy away from it after their first hands-on because they will expect things from it that the game just cannot deliver. Now hold on, I shall elaborate.
The game sounds absolutely fantastic on paper. It’s a cell-shaded 3D beat ‘em up with a nice range of characters (12) with great visuals and environments, all for $4.99 (US pricing). That sounds like a bargain surely, and indeed the game does offer all those to a decent standard. It is just the game seems to lack on one rather major department and that is the handling. Using the analog nub, you can move on the X, Y and Z axis, but this isn’t the problem, as this is done to a rather accurate standard. You have more than just 8 directions of movement, which was surprising for a casual title, but the main problem is that the game just isn’t fun!
To use one of your special moves, you use your ‘Funky Flow Meter’ and then have to dance mid-battle to recharge it. Each character has 3 special moves, all of which are animated well enough, but the game just feels really heavy and clunky. You will hit your enemy, the animation will take a second to play out, and before it finishes, you get hit. This results in an “I hit you, you hit me” scenario in pretty much every fight and lacks any depth. This is the case unless you run away, but even then you just get hit with the enemy’s projectiles, and dodging in such a small arena really isn’t easy. There is no real skill involved in Funky Punch, it is definitely a game for all you button mashers out there. However, there is a little more to the game than you may be expecting.
There are more than just your average fighting modes like training, arcade and survival. In addition to those you also have a mode called “Emotimania” which pitches you in a series of fights versus multiple computer-controlled opponents. Again, it is the person who bashes the buttons the most that emerges the victor and then you progress to the next round. Finishing this mode gives you a ‘belt’ which is the closest to an achievement system as you can get with belts such as “Win 3 battles in arcade mode” to keep you busy if you’re a completionist.
After half an hour or so with Funky Punch, the game starts to grow on you, trouble is you start loathing yourself for doing so. The game really isn’t good, but you can tell a lot of thought and planning has gone into creating and designing the game. If the designers had tweaked the fighting a little more then the game could be really enjoyable. Unfortunately though this really doesn’t deserve your money unless it is on sale on the PSN store, it has the makings to be a good game, but it just seems to fall short.