LifeisXbox’s FIREGIRL: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX review | It’s been a long time since I played a game like FIREGIRL. Back in the 90’s I played a game called Rosco McQueen Firefighter Extreme. I adored that game. It had this high octane, pulse-pounding excitement about it, and as a kid, I loved every moment of it. Getting to carry out the excitement of being a firefighter was something that resonated with me. FIREGIRL is like that, except that I’ve now grown up and the fondness for firefighting has dwindled. That being said, that doesn’t stop FIREGIRL from being a good game. Created by Dejima and Published by Thunderful Publishing, FIREGIRL is a modern take on arcade games with its hybrid of 2D sprites and fully 3D backgrounds.
Most Memorable Moment
Smashing through the wall of a burning building in my fire truck was really cool. Starting each level that way was a great visual opening that always brought a smile to my face. Not only that but using the axe to deal physical damage to doors and floors was also pretty impressive.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The 2D Sprite Art Style | FIREGIRL has some of the cutest 2D sprites I have seen in a game to date. Not only the main character but enemies as well. Most of the game is 2D sprites but the building layout is full 3D as well as the firetruck levels. There is also a 3D fire Demon in one of the later levels that chases you along the rooftops. With the train levels, a good amount of the background is full 3D mixed with the 2D sprites and it creates a nice mix that you rarely see in video games. The general enemy types are all 2D sprites and they are well animated and work well. Dancing flames, fire bats, and environmental fire are all here and looking great!
- Running through burning buildings | There is something quite thrilling about running through a burning building and rescuing people from sudden death. I say sudden death because in FIREGIRL you are always against the clock. At the start of each level, you get 2 minutes on the clock and with each enemy you eliminate you gain another second. You can find additional time clocks hidden in the world to give you 30 seconds more. The objectives are always clear though so the time shouldn’t pose too much of a threat. Rescue the people and get out alive. Failing to do this however doesn’t result in a complete fail, but your money earned does drop thus reducing upgrade paths till later on in the game.
- The Controls | The controls for FIREGIRL are pretty simple and that’s a good thing. X swings your axe so you can smash down doors, debris, and other environmental hurdles. There are floor sections that can also be smashed if you jump first allowing you to access the floors below. Jumping works with the A button and also acts as your selection button. The left bumper looks up and left trigger looks down and the right trigger fires your hose. It’s all very simple and easy to remember making the gameplay work perfectly.
- Upgrades and Volunteers | During the course of your playthrough you will earn money from the city and your fans when you complete a level. The money can be used to hire volunteers who add value to your fire station. For example, hiring a cook will allow him to create meals for you that you can buy to increase your overall health. A mechanic increases your vehicle stats and adds time to the start of your missions because it allows you to arrive on the scene faster. There are many other volunteers to come across and rescuing them all will only help kit you out better at the start of the levels. This is good because they do get harder with more enemies being thrown at you. Across the street from your fire station is a surplus store that sells better equipment like hats and boots and a more powerful axe. All of these help with making the later levels easier.
- The Music & Audio | The music is very limited in FIREGIRL. The same track loops at the fire station before heading out. The same menu music plays during the loading sequences and the building sections and train sections also have the same looped track. I would have liked to have seen more music options or tracks that were randomly generated at the start of each level. The rest of the audio is okay with sound effects being largely ok. Water spray sounds effective enough and enemies give you audio feedback when you have hurt them or eliminated them. The rescue sections provide a nice commentator shout that says “RESCUE” when you save someone. It all fit’s with the aesthetic of the cutesy 2D world, with the later of the sound effects reminding me of those from Metal Slug.
- The Story | To my surprise there is a story being told here. I thought that FIREGIRL was more of an arcade game where you score points, level up, and repeat. The story isn’t great however and isn’t grounded in reality which is what I would have expected and wanted from a game like this. Essentially what we have here are fire monsters being unleashed upon the city. The FBI is brought in to investigate and they discover these fire tomes that essentially are spell books summoning monsters to destroy the world around them. I’ll save you the spoilers but I would have much preferred a simple run-of-the-mill fire rescue game that had me upgrade my character, fire truck, and other areas of the building. But that is a personal opinion that you and I can agree to disagree on.
What we Disliked
- Very Repetitive | The burning building levels are reused time and time again and the building style doesn’t change. After progressing through the story for the first few levels, you have basically seen it all. I am referring to the level layout though and not what you do in the levels. It would have been nice to see some changes to level variation. The same goes for the train levels also. It’s the same speeding train with the same backgrounds over and over again. The only thing that changes are the people that you rescue.
How long to beat the story | 5-6 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 11 hours +
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.