Fight Crab 2 Preview
In 2020, Calappa Games captured the market for crab-battling games with the release of Fight Crab. It’s four years later, and they are back with their sequel, Fight Crab 2. Have they managed to improve some of the issues that plagued the original, like clunky controls, or will piloting feel awkward and unintuitive?
I have played the original Fight Crab in the past, so I had an idea of what I was getting into when I began this game. The game advertises that it has made changes to the combat system and now has the option to play with modern controls that make it feel more like a twin-stick shooter. If you enjoyed the original way of controlling your crab, you have the option to use that, but I opted for the new system to see how different the experience would be.
Instead of transforming into “a superior lifeform,” you are playing as a knight who is riding on the back of one of these crustaceans. How exactly someone would get into that line of work, I’m not sure, but I don’t think I would enjoy being in the ring with some of these angry crabs. Besides getting to select which kind of crab you want to control from a roster of 33 different types — only 10 are available from the start — you also get to select the colour of armour your knight is wearing. If you want the rider to match his mount colour-wise, you can totally do that. I opted to keep my crabs looking more realistic.
When searching through the crab roster, stats are displayed, telling you important information about each selection, like: Weight — the heavier they are, the harder they are to push back; Toughness — your crab is harder to knock down; Grip — reduce your stamina loss from holding weapons; Technique — how fast its arm speed is; and Agility — how fast the crustacean can move. Most crabs have a speed of five or six kilometres per hour, but the Moon Crab moves a whopping 22 km/h, so this instantly cemented which character I would select. If any of the stats are lower, don’t worry, between fights, you have the opportunity to train and improve in any of these areas to make your fighter stronger.
There are multiple modes to play in Fight Crab 2, some for one person or multiplayer. For single players, you have the option of Career Mode, where you can play an Event Battle, Exhibition, or a Ranked Battle to try to get to the top of the Crab Battle League. This is where you try to raise the crab of your dreams and defeat your opponents to be at the top and be allowed to leave for the Crab Nebula.
The last thing you need to do before beginning this crab wrestling match is select which loadout you want to use. You can use one of the pre-made selections or make your own, choosing which weapon or item you want to hold in your left and right claws. To go along with this, you get to select one additional attack, like crab beam, blaze up, or an item that you will use when you power up and do a stronger Hyper Attack when prompted on screen. The rounds last for three minutes — 180 seconds — and if a winner isn’t determined by then, the game will select the crab who has the least amount of damage dealt to them as the winner.
Once you begin fighting, you will notice one thing off the bat, your crab moves ridiculously slow. Even selecting the fastest option didn’t help much; it’s made even worse if you are competing on a level with uneven terrain. Once you finally got close enough to attack your opponent, I felt like I was doing a lot of button-mashing. The weapons that you carry can be destroyed, but fortunately, you can pick up anything you find on the ground in the arena: smashed pillars, lights, and even weapons the enemy dropped can be grabbed and used. Though most of the time, I would try to get up close and push my opponent over, once on their back, you can stand on them so they can’t get up. This pretty much guarantees you the win. Obstacles in the environment, like chunks of ground that move up and down, can also knock you down, so be conscious of that.
In Career Mode, I played through the whole Standard League and noticed that there wasn’t a huge variety of different arenas to fight in, and there were multiple times where you were at the same play for three fights in a row. My favourite was the battle that took place at a train yard, as there is actually a train driving around that the crabs can be hit with. Pushing my opponent onto the tracks was a lot of fun; it added to my repertoire of attacks that I could use. To go along with this, the crabs that you are playing with look very realistic, just like the species of crustaceans that they represent. Unfortunately, the music, while upbeat, got quite repetitive if you were playing for a long stretch of time and sounded like royalty-free music that you have heard online. The other thing that was very repetitive was the announcer of the match. I had selected Crabstopher as the voice, and he was constantly saying the same three phrases. I just wanted him to shut up by the end!
Fight Crab 2 is an interesting game, and one that I feel is definitely more fun in small doses. Playing a few rounds with a friend, trying to pick the silliest weapons to use against each other — like a tricycle or a dumbbell — makes it ridiculous and silly. Unfortunately, even with the new controls, it still feels slow and a bit clunky, so it’s not the best fighting game, but the silly humour definitely adds to the fun if you want something unique.