2020 will no doubtably go down as one of the worst years I have ever lived through. As I sit here typing out this review I am unsure if I will need to evacuate later because of the several encroaching wildfires that are burning dangerously all around the west coast of the United States. It’s times like these that games like Fight Crab are a welcome shot of sheer silliness and glee that lets me escape from all the anxiety and uncertainty of the real world outside my window.
Fight Crab reminds me of some of the wacky games I would play at my local movie theater’s small arcade while I killed time waiting for the film to start. The premise is simple: take control of a nameless crab who scuttles out of the sea, determined to flip as many crabs as possible and be the crab champion of the world.
There are plenty of different crustaceans to control in the game, from snow crabs and giant spider crabs to lobsters and elbow crabs. Each one plays differently with unique stats and sizes. Each crab can also hold up to two weapons, one for each claw, wielding anything from rockets to pistols. The amount of sheer absurdity is what makes Fight Crab so enjoyable.
The controls are a little difficult to pick up at first, but after I played a couple practice rounds it was a bit easier. To move the crab you use the directional buttons and it will automatically move in the direction inputted. The joysticks control the crab’s individual pincers. Exclusive to the Switch version, players can instead use motion controls with the Joy-Cons for the same movement. There’s a lot going on and things to think about when playing the game but altogether it’s actually simple once you get the hang of it and it gets sillier and funnier with every new round.
In the arcade mode, you take control of a crab destined to become the very best crab flipper in all the land as it fights waves of crab gladiators in crab combat. There are 34 stages in the campaign, which will probably only take the player an hour or two to complete. Here, the player can level up their crab and unlock new weapons to equip in battle.
I had the most fun playing local split-screen multiplayer with my girlfriend and roommate sitting on the couch together, laughing our butts off at the ridiculousness of what was happening on screen. Because of how many crabs, weapons, and environmental objects are on the screen at the same time, I did experience a few framerate drops when playing local multiplayer. I didn’t experience any framerate issues when playing the campaign or even, surprisingly, the online multiplayer.
Fight Crab does have cross-play online multiplayer, which is great for me considering at the time of playing the Switch version was not yet released to the general public so I could only play with users on PC. Thankfully I didn’t have any trouble getting into online matches with other players and there were no technical difficulty issues, at least on my end.
Fight Crab not only plays like an early 2000s arcade game but it also looks like one too. There’s so many bright colors and wackiness going on. I wouldn’t be surprised if I played it back when I was in middle school when I used to pop quarters into the arcade games at my local Pizza Hut and movie theater. Of course that’s not the case but Fight Crab does take serious inspiration from classic 3D arcade fighting games of yesteryear.
The sets are amazing as well. Fighting as giant crabs in the city or normal sized crabs in a Chinese restaurant will always be fun. But you can even fight under the sea and ride a seal into battle or hold onto a fish and let it carry you around as you drop down onto your enemy.
Even the music sounds over the top. The game has a soundtrack that sounds like a Japanese Kaiju monster movie and Dragon Ball Z had a baby that was really into all things crustaceans. It’s insane and wild but I loved it. It definitely lent to the game’s crazy atmosphere and pumped me up in the battles.
Fight Crab is a huge, over the top crustacean brawler that doesn’t take itself seriously making it a great escape from all the craziness going on in the world right now. I’ve played a lot of games this year, like Animal Crossing, which have helped me forget about the real world for a while, but Fight Crab did something that not a lot of other games have made me do in a while, which is laugh. I haven’t laughed so consistently while playing a video game since last year’s Untitled Goose Game and, honestly, I think we all deserve a good laugh right now.
Fight Crab Review
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 9/109/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: EXCELLENT
Fight Crab is a fun and silly escape from the anxiety inducing year that is 2020. Do yourself a favor and pick it up, play with some friends, and have a crab flipping good time.