"The Ripping Friends" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2002 by THQ. It is a side scrolling fighting game based on an animated cartoon series of the same name. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
The Ripping Friends are a group of four brothers that attempt to defend RIPCOT, or "Really Impressive Prototype City Of (Next) Tuesday", from an invasion of the undead. In this title, the players assume the role of one of the four brothers and compete in a simple side scrolling fighting release which is spread over seven stages. All characters on screen are hostile towards the player's presence so determining who is an enemy is quite the easy task. In terms of gameplay difficulty I found there to be none. Each of the enemies showcase a distinct lack of artificial intelligence and willfully allowed me to pummel them into submission without much retaliation. It is likely that this game was geared towards children as the animated series is as challenge and character development are not present. The game also sports a flaw in its control system. I found that when trying to move diagonally, my character would often move in linear motions; instead of moving diagonally to the lower right I would appear to move down, right, down, right. While this does not really hinder gameplay experience it is noticeable as a visual error.
The graphics are presented from a side scrolling perspective which focuses on the selected character. The visual styling of the game is definitely something which appeals to me. Both the characters, enemies and the stages which they find themselves in are drawn in a very comic book fashion which almost bears resemblance to "Comix Zone" (Megadrive - 1995). The animations are often smooth but I did notice some periods of slow down when many enemies occupied the display. The soundtrack is filled with more upbeat and lively musical scores and an assortment of "scratch" sound effects to denote physical contact.
Overall, The Ripping Friends is a game which I would be hesitant about recommending to prospective buyers. It is an exceptionally easy title to complete and shows some visual faults. It is likely that fans of the animated series are the only ones who would enjoy this release.