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Thunder Ray Review for PlayStation 4

I do like a good boxing video game now and then, they seem to not be as common these days. The last boxing game I reviewed was for “Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions” (you can check out my review of that HERE), and that game, even as a big Rocky fan, was just alright. So here comes this game, seemingly out of nowhere by Purple Tree Studios called “Thunder Ray,” a retro arcade boxing game that quickly shows off its clear inspiration, that of “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!” which came out back on the original Nintendo. That was a game I have major nostalgia for and I quickly became eager to give “Thunder Ray” a go. So, was this the boxing game that quenched my thirst for the genre? Yes and no, perhaps more correctly, it left me salivating for more.

Thunder Ray Review for PlayStation 4

The basic gist is, you play as the renowned fighter Thunder Ray, and there are several very unique fighters out to finally take you down. The writing is really silly, but only because it takes itself very seriously, which makes it even better. There was this Grindhouse vibe I got from the whole thing. The gameplay consists of Thunder Ray being at the bottom screen looking up at your opponent. There are controls to dodge in several directions, as well as to hit your opponent either high or low. It’s all rather straightforward, there is even a super meter you can work to build up so you can unleash an ultimate attack upon your foe. There are only eight opponents in the game however, but all are very cool and unique to play. Their names are Javi Rico, Back Breaker, Millenium Cobra, Glam Witch, Lord Worw, Mr. Pega, Evil Rico, and finally Master Xiglaz. Each of these fighters play very differently and have their own ways of sort of cheating with their unique powers. For example, Glam Witch has magical powers and uses a protective bubble to keep her safe that you must break through before doing any damage to her.

That’s all well and good, but what takes this all up an extra notch, is it’s amazing 2D hand drawn animation that gives this game such great style. The cutscenes are also very well done, it felt like I was watching a hyper-stylized anime. The biggest downside to this awesome little arcade game is really just that, it’s very little. You can beat the entire game in under a half hour. This game has so much going for it that as soon as it really finds its rhythm, it’s already over. Granted, the game does offer three different difficulty settings, Rookie, Contender, and Beast. Which do make the game much, much more challenging, but you are still limited to just these eight fighters. I almost wish there were some training mini games, and even some practice sparring matches, or even some easier boxers before getting to each of these main eight. What this game does showcase though is the talent behind the studio and I hope whatever they do next is a much more thought-out game with all the awesome style of “Thunder Ray.”


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Related: Reviews by Nick Navarro

Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87