Daily Egyptian

‘Will Fight for Food’ comes up short of title

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Many children grow up idolizing wrestlers such as The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and dream about headlining the granddaddy of them all: WrestleMania.

Instead of delivering a rock bottom, this game hits it.

“Will Fight for Food: Super Actual Sellout: Game of the Hour” has a title as strange as the game itself, and, as the first title suggests, is a fighting game featuring a homeless man.

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The protagonist, Jared Dent, is a former pro-wrestler. Dent, under the mask of the Red Raptor, is the champion of a run-down wrestling company. He is booked in a seven-round tournament, and is supposed to relinquish the belt in the finale. Yes, in case you have not heard, pro-wrestling is pre-determined — not fake. After suffering a mysterious injury in the first match, Dent is sent to the hospital and vanishes from the company.

He then sets off on a quest for revenge and redemption, which is weird because he was already booked to lose anyway. So why he is so mad is a little confusing.

Dent is able to talk to anyone in the city, as long as his mask is pulled up. The dialogue trees are not something I expected in this game. I expected “Will Fight for Food” to be just a brawling game where I could choke slam and clothesline any jive turkeys that come between me and the title.

However, the dialogue system is more like a dumbed-down “Mass Effect.” The questions and answers do not matter as much as in “Mass Effect,” but do reveal lots of information.

Players learn little plot details about other wrestlers and the world they live in. These interactions lead to a lot of humor at first, but eventually the dialogue becomes weird and unusual just to be weird and unusual.

At least once talking becomes tiring, Dent can resort to beating up any character. Players may open up a can on anyone they choose, which will not take long because trying to talk to each person becomes unbearable.

Some jock wants help with something? Bam! Here is some sweet chin music, courtesy of my foot.  If a geek needs Dent’s help, he can just take him out to the woodshed. As fun as that sounds, the combat is as shallow as a kiddy pool.

Players are only allowed three moves of doom: a punch, kick and shoulder charge. All of the wrestling moves you might think a wrestling game would have are non-existent. There are no button combinations to do a piledriver or duplex, just mashing the Z, X and C keys for boring strikes. There are more than 1,000 wrestling holds and this game only gives you three.

It is frustrating because it is not like a wrestling-themed action game could not work. “Guacamelee” came out two years ago and packaged actual wrestling holds along with standard punches and kicks.

“Will Fight for Food” seems like a game given a wrestling aesthetic just to be weird and unconventional, instead of committing to the theme.

I wish the game could have made the dialogue more interesting, that way it could have gotten rid of the lame fighting. A decent, dialogue-based wrestling game, similar to the “Walking Dead” games, is much more appealing than what “Will Fight for Food” delivered.

Still, it is fairly enjoyable in short bursts. You will not want to marathon this game over a weekend. Commit 30 minutes to it when you can.

As a wrestling fan, I look forward to developers using the medium as way to tell a story, which is what wrestling is all about. But when there is no story for me to invest into a fake fight, where grown men grapple in their underwear, I have to give it the stink face.

“Will Fight for Food” is stuck at a two count and shy of its WrestleMania moment.

3 stars out of 5 

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