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Pulling No Punches

BrainDead Broccoli, QUByte Interactive
Aug 10, 2022 - PC, Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Life
7 / 10
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nindie Spotlight
6.8 / 10
Hey Poor Player
4 / 5
Nintendo Blast
8 / 10
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Pulling No Punches Trailers

Pulling No Punches - Launch Trailer (minor spoilers) thumbnail

Pulling No Punches - Launch Trailer (minor spoilers)

Pulling No Punches - Gameplay Trailer thumbnail

Pulling No Punches - Gameplay Trailer

Pulling No Punches Screenshots

Critic Reviews for Pulling No Punches

There’s something weirdly wonderful about Pulling No Punches, though. Its four chapters comprise just over an hour end-to-end, but there’s so much to see that one can’t help but be absorbed by it. Whether the awesome character designs, the blazing f-bombs, the untranslated onomatopoeia of its fisticuffs, or the divisive theme itself, Pulling No Punches is not only a competent scrolling beat 'em up, but has a power of intrigue like few others. Frankly, we’re not sure Nintendo’s board of approval paid much attention to it, and in a world littered with a host of sanitised indie retro-themed games, its daring, politicised demeanour is a breath of fresh air.

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Punhos de Repúdio is a simple beat 'em up and has a short campaign, offering beautiful hand-drawn arts and fluid animations. The game mechanics, while simple, are really fun, highlighted by the importance of using defense at the right timing, unlike most games in the genre, which focus entirely on offense. The Brazilian game is a satire that doesn't mince its efforts with gore content and improper language but, if that doesn't bother you — and you don't feel offended by it —, it will give you a mechanically fun brawler game and a funny portrait of a fictional but familiar environment like the current Brazilian society.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Pulling No Punches is a very hard sell unless you fall into its specific target audience: fed-up Brazilians who had to deal with a stupidly stressful couple of years during the pandemic. If you fall into this niche demographic, this is the catharsis you’ve been waiting for. If not, you can still have fun with its good controls and decent art style, but the in-game jokes and overall premise will mean nothing to you.

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While it absolutely punches a bit beyond its budget-priced class, and has a fresh feel, the very political leaning it has could be troublesome

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Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from Pulling No Punches. I’ve played a lot of beat ’em ups, and in recent years very few have made an impression. But this one absolutely did. While the game’s themes and the narrative’s brash nature may offend some, I find the game a breath of fresh air. It combines a unique visual style with dynamic combat, amazing bosses, and plenty of reasons to keep playing, especially with a group of friends. If this is the first project from BrainDead Broccoli, I’m eager to see what their encore presentation might be.

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Pulling no Punches may not be an outstanding title in its genre, and it may not be releasing on Switch at the most relevant moment for the message it wants to share, but that doesn't make it less important to share it. After all, we're a little over a month from the announcement of the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency; that is, we aren't even close to be rid of the consequences of that nightmare, especially those in the long term.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review