Further Beyond Fighting breaks new ground as an Android game. It's the first effort I've seen at a Virtua Fighter or Tekken style game and I just pulled it down to give it a try about half an hour ago. I can't do a complete review with such limited play time, but a game of this magnitude deserves some instant coverage so here goes...
First, the game is HUGE by Android standards. Almost 100 MB. My poor, old Motorola Droid wouldn't have known what hit it had I tried to install this on it (yes, I know it would have told me it couldn't download it because it's too big). Actually, after checking it on my phone, it shows that it's just under 50 MB, but here's the kicker... no App2SD. That's right. I've got 500 MB of storage on my phone and this game alone wants to eat 10% of that. Enabling App2SD has to be the number one priority here for the next update.
But how does it play? Well, you've got 3 buttons to fire off your kicks and punches and a virtual joystick for movement (both left and right as well as side stepping). There are also several modes of play. My test run was on arcade mode as I'm really using my phone as more of a 'quick fix' for entertainment and not as an Xbox 360 replacement. The graphics are quite polygonal and remind me of the coarseness of Virtua Fighter on the old Sega Genesis 32X expansion. That's not bad... just don't expect the smoothness of a modern day Tekken where the characters are coming close to looking like real people. The game also has a nice musical accompaniment and plays appropriate hit sounds when you make foot to flesh contact with your opponent. Speaking of audio, the character's do their usual little verbal taunts and the voice acting is quite amusing. My character was from China, but she speaks like she's... well, not from China.
The game has some obvious issues with smoothness on my 1 GHz Epic 4G. I'd be curious to know if this plays smoother on a dual core device or if that's just how it is. There really isn't any slow down issue, though, which is good development. Remember... we're talking about a pretty ambitious game here in full 3D so I think the developers did a great job and made a smart decision to drop some frames of animation in favor of no slowdowns (much like the game emulator developers sometimes need to do). Yet, at the same time, I was surprised at the end of the round jiggle in my character's breasts (yes, I played as the hot red head)... so let me see if I understand. Jiggle comes before App2SD and, apparently, so does pink underware? Ok, I won't berate the App2SD issue anymore.
As my character fought I was able to beat up my first opponent with the usual kick... kick... kick... kick... kick... are you seeing a pattern? As the game progressed I had to vary it up a bit, but then... my third fight. Hey, wait, is that me? I'm fighting myself. Tekken is actually the console fighting game I have the most experience with and now that I think about it perhaps Tekken did that too.
FBF is a $4 game in the Android Market. If you're expecting a PSP (Playstation Portable) quality experience then you are sure to be disappointed. If you just want a fighter and you're willing to overlook some of the shortcoming then this may be the dream game for you. $4 is certainly worth it and it will be interesting to see if this genre advances in software or if hardware is the only savior for a game that requires this level of computing power. In any event, my kudos to the developers for delivering a quality fighting game that runs on my phone and my initial feeling isn't a 'go get it now', but is positive.