Another beatemup inspired by River City Ransom? Sure, let's see what Radical Heroes is all about. There's some guy by the name of Eyeclopse and he has Crimson City under his control. It's going to take two fists of justice to bring him down. I'm guessing that since this game is still in the Alpha stage only the first couple levels are playable. By the way, huge emphasis on the "alpha". What's there is entertaining, but it's obvious this game has a ways to go.
The controls are fairly standard. Punching, kicking, blocking, and jumping are all handled by separate buttons. Special moves can be performed using standard fighting game motions like down, up punch, quarter-circle forward kick, and so on. Each level takes place on a huge map, which is divided into squares. While you can follow the roads to move the game along, you can jump fences to find secrets like unlockable characters and specialty shops. Like RCR, purchases can be made, though it's not quite as in-depth. Basically while there are places to buy food, weapons, and new moves, there aren't any record stores, pharmacies, saunas, and the cashier at the burger place isn't handing out free smiles.
As you explore, enemies appear randomly, like a JRPG or something. The fighting mechanics are passable, though since everyone can move while punching, there's not enough sense of impact. Also, after a couple upgrades I was wiping the floor with every two-bit thug in no time. Using a flying knee to level several punks in a row is pretty satisfying. It's probably an issue of pacing. These levels are pretty huge and stopping to punch everyone would get old. There is also a lot of optional space to explore. One part of each level is locked away, requiring a yellow key-card to get through. In this side-area I found a shop that sells a rocket-pack.
The rocket-pack is really cool, too cool in fact. I doubt this handy item will make it to the beta, or it will be severely nerfed. Basically it allows the player to fly anywhere, and it carries over between levels (both of them). I can go exploring, skip checkpoints, and even walk on top of buildings. Enemies will also try to grab the player and drag them down while they're flying. It's a pretty neat touch. Also while I was shopping I grabbed a homing missile launcher. With it I fired so many missiles at the boss, he was lifted into the air, and then he fell into a river. This game can be really amusing.
As far as long-term appeal goes it's impossible for me to say. Personally, I'd rather this game place an emphasis on finding neat stuff, having more interesting content to explore, and creative ideas to experiment with. RCR wasn't a strict arcade beatemup, it was a sandbox brawler. It gave players the freedom to play the game their way. Whether it was mastering certain moves, building up stats to extreme levels, or simply trying to beat the game with as little shopping as possible. I'm hoping Radical Heroes expands more in that direction. Also since so many levels are being planned, I'd consider cutting a bit of the fat off of them, currently they're a bit too big.
Hopefully the final version drops the Obola/infowars banners. I'm not going to hate the message (not a fan of politics in general), but using a videogame as the medium? That's low.