One Finger Death Punch was a fantastic game. It was easily one of my favourite games of 2014. Silver Dollar Games can be proud of their achievement - it is the second best user-rated game on Steam. What could be improved in a sequel to this surprise smash hit?
Most of the limitations of One Finger Death Punch were technical. Now, we have to remember that the original game was retailed at only 5 euros, so demanding a complete AAA-style options menu is unrealistic. However, there are some basic requirements that should be met regardless of price – an area where One Finger Death Punch fell short on the PC.
The game was limited to 720p. Full screen mode merely stretched rather than actually resized, and when using windowed mode, changing the size of the window added black borders around the game.
Higher Resolutions for Improved Visual Experience
I’d like to see a sequel that is capable of at least 1080p, as is standard on the PC, with some support for higher resolutions that goes beyond attempting to stretch the image. Coupled with this, I’d like to see support for refresh rates above 60Hz.
Sound options too were very limited. It came down to either having music and voice on or off, with no sliders or option to change sound effects at all. There’s no reason why even the cheapest games should not have these options available, so this is something I’d absolutely like to see in a sequel.
Something that may take a bit more effort on Silver Dollar Games’ behalf is adding a colour blind mode. One Finger Death Punch makes quite heavy use of colours that people with colour blindness will not be able to see, which people complained made the game significantly less playable.
Single Player Improvements: What We'd Like
Most of my recommendations for single player improvements are going to be standard sequel fare. It would be nice to see some new weapon types, perhaps with something other than appearance to differentiate them. For example, perhaps some rarer weapons that reduced the number of clicks required to kill the stronger enemies. These could take the form of a big, two-handed claymore or traditional Katana. There could be additional fighting styles that change up some your character’s attacks, perhaps something a bit off-the-wall such as wrestling moves.
Silver Dollar Games could also think about adding in a different type of boss fight – an extremely long or challenging brawler boss could be something to change up the existing boss rounds – rather than relying on how the current system works, one or more multiclick enemies. Perhaps the boss fight could be combined with some of the other existing modes, such as the defender or object breaking rounds.
Another obvious improvement would be the inclusion of some new round modes, perhaps continuing to take inspiration from martial arts movies. There could be a ‘Matrix’ style round, where you need to achieve a certain combo score in order to slow down the attacks of your enemies. Make this a requirement to pass the level.
Adding a secondary mechanic to the thunderstorm and light sword rounds could improve their gameplay value - as essentially these two modes are the same thing but with different backgrounds and animations.
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Part of the charm of One Finger Death Punch was in the minimalist character, of the hilarity of the stick person Kung-Fu master. That being said, there are ways to keep that charm and allow the player to customise the appearance - outfits, head-ware and maybe weapon skins could be something that One Finger Death Punch Two (it needs a better name, too) could add.
The story mode was very basic. Again, it wasn’t the main focus of the game. A sequel gives the developers a chance to perhaps add some form of narration and storyline, with a better visual representation of your progress. Some slicker graphics and interface would make the game look more polished in this area. Silent cut scenes could be included, keeping the stick person aesthetic and charm of the original game. This could also let the campaign be split into different stages, and give them excuse to introduce differently themed environments – harking back to classics like Sonic the Hedgehog in this regard. This would also allow them to keep the current level of violence without falling foul of a harsher rating.
Multiplayer Options Would Go Along Way
One big feature that I’d perhaps like to see added over any other is the inclusion of some multiplayer capability. Leaderboards are all well and good, but it’s a sort of passive multiplayer mode that won’t appeal to everyone.
The possibility of having a cooperative or competitive mode where you and another player (or more, even) are fighting on different levels of height against the onrushing mobs would be great. Add in some mechanics that make it possible for you to join your partner on their level if they’re struggling, would make this mode engaging.
If at all possible, the inclusion of PvP would be a feature that could bring a whole new market to the game. This would need to be carefully planned to stop it from devolving into a mouse-breaking button-mashing mess - perhaps with an implementation similar to how the boss stages work currently. Technically this prove difficult, especially in relation to how responsive the netcode would have to be to ensure fairness for both players.
The mobile version of One Finger Death Punch had more issues than the PC version. The stamina system was the cause of a number of negative reviews - and removing it cost more than the entire game on Steam. It was a barrier to progress for people who didn’t want to pay and that’s a good way to annoy customers. Maybe the game should be sold rather than given away, and microtransactions offered, if desired, for the previously mentioned cosmetic items or for unlocking power ups.
Deserves a Sequel
One Finger Death Punch deserves a sequel. If the changes mentioned were included, I think it would be reasonable to price it a little higher, maybe at 10 euros-15. Given the success and the appreciation that One Finger Death Punch got on Steam, I don’t believe that the higher price for a more rounded and complete game would be a bar to success.
Oh, and it should be called Two Finger Death Punch. Or One Finger Death Punches.