PC, MAC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBox One
Freedom Finger is a music driven, side-scrolling shooter featuring music by Aesop Rock, Red Fang, Com Truise, and more! Classic shmup gameplay blended with melee combat! You’re flying a spaceship shaped like a giant hand, so use it! Punch, grab, and shoot enemies to smithereens!
Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s arcades were plentiful, but home video game consoles not so much. I was lucky enough to be someone who grew up with both. I was an avid patron to most of the arcades around town and when consoles hit the home market I was someone who was able to acquire them, and yes my Atari 2600 made me the most popular kid in the neighborhood for a while. I had friends in the neighborhood coming over to play with other friends that I didn’t even know and we’d play all day and stay up all night, it was almost like we were taking work shifts and I wasn’t even old enough to get a job yet.
Now I am older. I never stopped playing video games. I still love them. I have been through most every console to be sold in America. One of my favorite home consoles is the SEGA Genesis and a favorite game of mine on the Genesis is a shooter known as Gaiares. Shooters are my favorite! Out of any type of video game the shooter has always kept me wanting more. The cool ships, the abundance of weapons and power-up pickups, and even the speed and having the brain power to not get lost in the spray of bullets, missiles, lasers and anything coming your way. All this makes me love this genre of video games.
Freedom Finger pretty much has all of this. When I first saw the game trailer for Freedom Finger I thought okay it looks like an episode of Rick & Morty, and even though I love Rick & Morty I wasn’t sure if I would be into a shooter that had the look and the antics of the series, but I was wrong. Way wrong!
I watched the trailer a couple more times, read the game reviews, and read up on the game in general. After all my research I decided that this was the game for me, and that I had to have it, and so I picked it up. Freedom Finger came out in 2019, but it was just released on the XBox One in March 2020. From what I gathered since 2019 it’s available on PC, MAC, Nintendo Switch and PS4, and I guess the port to XBox One was it’s finale, unless it’s going to any handheld consoles which I am unaware of, although the Nintendo Switch I suppose is considered both handheld and sedentary.
*MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
The plot of Freedom Finger involves a rookie fighter pilot only known as Gamma Ray who is sent into space on a rescue mission in a ship named the Freedom Finger (and yes it’s flying hand with a middle finger waving) by his commander known as Major Cigar. The story line is pure comedy as you battle Chinese and Russian “terrorists” across the galaxy. As you play the game in between levels the story choices become your own while in conversation with Major Cigar, and his colleague Mission Control who he hates because Major Cigar is all about war and Mission Control is the logical mind who tries to keep you on the side of what’s “right” but is Major Cigar right or wrong? It really depends on your moral decision, just remember this is a shooter and somehow you’re always gonna end up in a battle, but who you think is the angel and the devil in this story is up to you.
Other characters in the game include Kang, and the Comrade.
The two things that stand out for me in this game are the music soundtrack, all done by great bands and the songs have great timing according to level and whats going on. So for example when the game begins to move faster and more enemies are on the screen the soundtrack will progress to a faster heavier song. Honestly if you’re in to rock and metal, and “underground” bands the soundtrack alone is amazing! The soundtrack is listed below.
Aesop Rock – Rat Skull
Aesop Rock – Snowmobile
Aesop Rock – Twice Fried
Aesop Rock – Frozen Caveman
Red Fang – Prehistoric Dog
Male Gaze – Smog Dawn
True Widow – Night Witches
The Radio Dept. – Bad Reputation
Ezee Tiger – Tiger Bounce
Ezee Tiger – Pizza Show
Ezee Tiger – Private Dancer
The Mall – Harboring Hosts
Drab Majesty – The Foyer
Drab Majesty – Pragmagick
Drab Majesty – Unknown to the I
Drab Majesty – Hallow
Drab Majesty – Careless
Male Gaze – The Shining Path
Com Truise – BASF Ace
Com Truise – Norkuy
Tobacco – Dipsmack
Tobacco – Father Sister Berzerker
White Fence/Ty Segall – Time
White Fence – Make Them Dinner at Our Shoes
White Fence – Mr. Adams
White Fence – Pink Gorilla
White Fence – Chairs in the Dark (live)
Makeup and Vanity Set – Homecoming
Metz – Acetate
Metz – The Swimmer
Metz – Nervous System
Power Trip – Murderer’s Row
John Maus – Believer
Male Gaze – Reno
Cleaners From Venus – Blue Wave
Danimal Cannon – Moonlight Sonata
Vektroid – We Need To Talk
Something else I really like about Freedom Finger is the gameplay. It’s simple, your typical shooter type of gameplay including fire/attack button, punch button (yes I said punch), and grab (yes you can grab stuff). I guess most shooters would have other buttons such as “shield”, “missiles” and “special weapon” or “bomb” or something of the sort. In the beginning of this review I mentioned the SEGA Genesis games Gaiares. Reason being, remember the grab button I mentioned? Yeah, so one of the coolest things about the game Gaiares is that you have this weapon known as the TOZ. It’s like an OPTION weapon in the games R-Type or Life-Force (no not the 1985 sci-fi/horror film starring Patrick Stewart) or any other Konami shooter game that used fuzzy glowing balls as an extra weapon that chases down the enemies, blocks their weapons or homes in on them. Only the TOZ is bigger and it big secret is that it attaches itself to the bad guys and steals whatever weapon they are using, which means the weapon is now yours to use against them.
I gotta also say that something different that Freedom Finger has is in-game cheats, this is something we haven’t seen since the days of the PS2 and before. I think it’s a cool idea, but each cheat will cost you, especially on the XBox One, if you use too many cheats it will not let you get achievements. So that is another decision that is up to the player. Play the game right and get your achievements, or use some cheats and breeze through it and get none.
In Freedom Finger you can do the same thing by grabbing the bad guy and literally using it (the bad guy) as the weapon against it’s cohorts. I think in the game description it mentions that you can use any bad guy as a weapon, but from what I noticed some of the bad guys can’t be used you just end up grabbing like flotsam or something and then you can throw it back at them such as if you were to throw a rock and do damage.
That part I wasn’t too keen on because some of the levels have some cool looking ships that I think would make for some cool weapons. I’d say like maybe 90% of bad guys are usable as a weapon though. In the end I have to say that the game is fun, fast, has an awesome soundtrack and is more than worthy of purchase. I’m leaving you the game trailer below. Now get out there and fingerblast the bad guys!
Rick & Morty meet R-Type
Freedom Finger is one of the best shooters I have played in a long time. The art is straight out of an episode of Rick & Morty, and maybe some of the outlandish things that happen in the game also. This game is fun, funny, fast and worth your money!