Okinawa Rush is a frantic, fast paced, almost nostalgic game following one simple motive. At first glance it feels like a classic side-scrolling arcade game. With smooth graphics and a niche appearance, but the controls stray from being anything like those in an arcade. Tasked with taking on the role of Hiro, Meilin or Shin, you are responsible for facing off against the Black Mantis Clan.
And so the story begins
From the moment you start this game the story is put out for you through a backstory animation. You know exactly what and who you are fighting for. Then you get thrown head first into the deep end. I will admit, it took me longer than I expected to understand the controls of Okinawa Rush. At first I just relied on a series of button mashing. Basically any combos I had picked up from Tekken. But after a few rounds and a few frustrating deaths followed by having to start over, I got the hang of what was most effective.
Combat tends to be fast and fluid, with each character having a multitude of moves. All of which lead to combos, juggles, anything you need to appear a smooth fighter really. There’s also an intuitive parrying system. And the depth to level design makes for some easy escapes in a tricky situation. For a game solely focussing on combat, it definitely meets the mark and has enough substance to keep players engaged. Even when the story is so basic, the combat really keeps it engaging. You can also take on these adventures with a companion, which makes it a lot easier.
Boss battles and button delays
A few times I definitely experienced a delay between pressing a button to either initiate a move or pick something up which, when you’re swamped with enemies, is far from ideal. As fluid as Okinawa Rush felt, there were definitely delays. Inputs took a few moments to really process and execute. Resulting in me quietly putting my controller down before attempting a level again. Death seems so imminent in this title, but luckily it doesn’t result in being sent back to the very beginning of a level. Plus – once all enemies are defeated that’s them gone for a little bit.
There are also several conveniently integrated boss battles to really put your skills to the test. Which are admittedly very challenging. I got overwhelmed when fighting a crowd of enemies, let alone a towering boss amongst the rest. Also, watch your step for projectiles and traps as they are very well hidden. Especially if you’re too busy memorising combos to watch your step… (I definitely don’t speak from experience…)
The soundtrack for this game is extremely reflective of the nostalgic appearance as well. It all wraps up into a perfect arcade game package. So playing on the Nintendo Switch is just an added extra. In some cases I definitely think Okinawa Rush would’ve been easier if there were a few buttons rather than a whole set of Joycons. It’s definitely a fun game, frustrating in parts, but fun. If you are searching for a fast paced game for a party or just a new adventure with some friends, then I definitely recommend it.