Punk Justice Delivers Some Good Uppercuts

Posted: May 7, 2009 in Sports

One of my favorite movies growing up was “The Warriors” which was about various factions of urban gangs each with their own unique theme and style. For example, the gang members near Yankee Stadium were dressed up in Yankee pinstripes and carried baseball bats. This is what I’m reminded of with Punk Justice, and I think many will find this surprisingly fun.

With a wholesome story behind it, Punk Justice is a bout a guy named Jed who is trying to keep the parks and streets safe from the gangs. Of course, if this means taking fists to cranium, then why not. Behind a heavy metalesque soundtrack, Punk Justice offers two modes: Campaign and Quick Fight. In Campaign mode, 4 parks need some Punk Justice with each housing 9 gang members. Each opponent has their own strengths and weaknesses and different ranks. Park 1 is the only unlocked park to start, and you’ll need to win some punk matches before you unlock the next one. There are also 4 fight types: Normal (first to KO their opponent), Timed (limited time to defeat an opponent), Endurance (defend for a period of time because you can actually punch back), and Double (combination of Endurance and Timed). In Quick Fight, you can select an opponent and the type of fight for a quick match. A Random option is included which will choose an opponent for you if you wish. If you want to Pause during a match, it’s not obvious, but just tap the top middle part of your screen. The tutorial is useful for providing the story backdrop, but there needs to be a way to the menu during a match.

In Campaign mode, each park shows icons representing the gang members. By tapping the specific icon, a brief snapshot is provided in the side box showing rank (1-5 stars), speed to power ratio bar, and offense to defense ratio bar. It is a clean and concise setup that provides all you need to know.

When you first start to play this game, you would assume it’s just about brute force and landing/dodging punches, but you would be wrong. It’s more about being strategic so you can build stamina in order to throw/dodge punches. Fighting is about using your brains, and Punk Justice forces you to do that. The controls are simple: you have four buttons—two on each side: one for punching and one for dodging. Don’t really need to know more that except for the stamina part. At the top of the gameplay screen are two sets of bars: one for Jed (you), and one for the opponent. The red bar monitors strength while the orange represents stamina. How do control stamina? Start by not throwing too many punches too fast because that will zap all your stamina. As you avoid taking and throwing punches, stamina gradually builds up.

When you win a match, you gain control of a piece of the park turf, but when you lose, you can also cease control of that turf. These are represented by the X’s or removal of one over the icons. The game is a lot more challenging than it looks because you know it, a gang member will have dusted you. In terms of the different strengths and weaknesses of each gang member, I have noticed the slight differences when it comes to speed and the rapidness of punches so you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

Punk Justice is about fighting, and the gameplay can be repetitious. What might be a consideration for a future update is the addition of female gang members who have to fight Jed’s girlfriend. That would solve the repetition for me.

Overall, Punk Justice is entertaining and offers plenty of challenge. For a game such as this, there is some depth in terms of the different opponents, and while the controls are easy to learn, you’ll still need to think with your noggin when it’s not getting punched.

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