On the third day he rose again…to fight? Jesus stars in Fight of Gods, where he and other religious figures partake in immortal combat for reasons that are never fully explained. The core concept behind the game was intriguing enough for me to give it a try. Does Fight of Gods provide an otherworldly fighting game experience?
Besides Jesus, you can play as a number of different religious figures, such as Moses, Buddha, Anubis, Athena, Zeus, and more. Not sure he’s on the same tier as the others, but even Santa Claus is playable. Where you stand with regards to being offended by the concept or the use of these figures is going to be a personal matter, but I didn’t find anything here to be too offside. Most of the moves are standard fighting game fare, though Santa inexplicably takes a selfie with his opponent when he grabs them.
What becomes immediately clear is that the game’s production values are lacking. The characters are crudely designed and the overall look of the game would have been below par if it came out 10+ years ago on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Animations do look clunky, even if the developers’ hearts were in the right place. Its music, while not terrible, is largely generic orchestral fare that doesn’t make an impact one way or another. At the very least, the game moves at a steady frame rate.
The fighter is also sorely lacking in modes. There’s an arcade mode for solo players, but it’s nothing more than a standard ladder that caps off with the most non-descript final boss in a fighting game, who also happens to have an insanely high amount of health relative to the main roster. Facing off against him will force you careening into a controller-throwing difficulty spike. Your payoff for beating him? One generic ending that every character shares.
Besides that, you can play against a friend locally in versus, which is where the game provides most of its value. You can also brush up on your combos and tactics in training mode. That’s it.
Not having online play in a modern fighting game is a huge miss that cuts the replay value of this game considerably. Even at its discounted price, you can buy cheaper fighting games on the Nintendo Switch that do have online play, such as Pocket Rumble. This is going to be a deal-breaker for many, and I don’t blame you for being disappointed in the exclusion of online play.
If the presentation is sub-par and there’s no online play, is there anything to celebrate about this game other than its somewhat-risque concept? Actually, there is. Sort of. Underneath its ugly veneer is a fighter that at least has some thought put into its mechanics and combos. Using a combo system in the style of Marvel vs. Capcom, every character can stylishly juggle their opponents with successive attacks. Playing mostly as Jesus, I was impressed by how well all of his moves were designed together to ensure that you could use them in a myriad of ways to decimate your foes.
That said, the game’s clunky controls undermine the effort put into its combo system. I had issues with the game struggling to read my special move inputs with any sort of consistency. I can throw a Hadoken in Street Fighter 100% of the time, but I find that doing that exact same input in Fight of Gods fails between 20-25% of the time after some testing. My success rate is even lower with super moves, which can be really frustrating when missing a special move input can cost you the match.
Furthermore, there’s a lot of wonky stuff that occurs due to characters having wildly different hitbox sizes. Even standard chain combos won’t consistently land across the whole cast due to variances in height and width. Using Jesus again as an example, his standard standing chain combo does not fully connect on any characters shorter than him. On certain characters, such as Amaterasu and Athena, the final hit in his chain combo whiffs unless he’s at point-blank range. Other characters have weird inconsistencies with their attacks as well, greatly limiting your options. Not having reliable combos further undermines the one good thing this game has going for it.
Fight of Gods is an interesting idea with a cool combo system, but its heavily weighed down by its lack of production value. Poor presentation and no online play are more than enough to ward off prospective players. For those who really dig into the combat, the inconsistent controls and weird hitbox behaviours tarnish the experience. Unless you really must play as Jesus, or have an insatiable urge for a fighting game with trashy appeal, this one is better left alone.
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