Retro Review: FusionFall Retro

BY JOHN CARTER JR

In April 2020, The Fusionfall Retro and Legacy Team received a DMCA takedown request from Cartoon Network. The concepts that made up the FusionFall Universe project started as early as 2015 with FusionFall Retro being announced to the public in December of 2016. 

The project grew a following surrounding the long believed dead game but in August 2017 the Retro Team released a demo and in August 2018 the team released a sneak peak including the “Future” portion of the game. Finally, in September 2018 they released the “Past” content allowing for the complete original FusionFall to be playable once again – nearly half a decade after the original shut down of the game in 2013. 

The FusionFall Universe was a passion project developed by unpaid fans who wanted to share the Fusion Invasion with players once more and the community they spawned still lives on today. Now that the game has been gone for two years and nearly ten years have passed since the original we look back at what made Retro so special.     

FusionFall was a Cartoon Network Crossover project that featured the Cartoon Network world being invaded by an Alien Hive mind called Lord Fuse that threatened to take over. The only thing standing in the way of that desolated apocalyptic future was the player, with Cartoon Network favorites such as Ben Tennyson, Dexter, Double Dee and Mojo Jojo playing alongside. 

The main gameplay surrounds killing monsters, completing missions, and collecting Nanos. Nanos were small versions of favorite Cartoon Network characters who helped the player fight the villainous fusion counterparts to those same characters. The game made players feel like they were fighting alongside these characters, all of which still retained their cartoony core but had enough level of seriousness to make the player’s role feel significant. 

Players were a part of this world, its story, and saving it all. The dialogue and storylines made this possible, as well as including the original voices of all the characters. The game was certainly ambitious for its time and even today.  

FusionFall Retro was on another level. With a community of fans who had been long nostalgic for the feelings elicited when playing in the FusionFall Universe, the excitement surrounding the launch of Retro was intense. Retro allowed fans to be able to take a time machine back to have a chance to save the Cartoon Network once again, both figuratively and in the game itself. 

While the gameplay hadn’t changed much, the game was expanded upon by the developers, with the introduction of new enemies, equipment, and nanos with even more content planned before its inevitable shut down. Nano Belladonna, Computress and Runty Missions, the Ice King Invasion, The Out of the Omnitrix Update, and pre-time squad expansion missions were some of the updates that had fans growing in the hype.

While FusionFall is a PC game from the 2010s that certainly has its issues graphically and otherwise, the developers worked hard to improve some of the original’s issues. They tried to bring this segment of the past to modern gamers and made every update worthwhile to come back to. It could be said that the FusionFall Retro team did more for the community and game than the originals ever could. They made FusionFall Retro like a shared experience amongst its community from the perspective of simple Cartoon Network fans to our own player characters fighting the war against the fuse. 

The time was now and the heroes were us, and that is an experience many will take with them forever. From the FusionFall Universe forums to the pavement of the Peach Creek Commons to developer streams to the doorsteps of foster’s home to nano prediction videos to Dexlabs to reveal trailers or posts to Lord Fuse’s Lair the community and developers were enjoying the wild ride of it all.

While fans weren’t able to get all the anticipated updates including the Nano Johnny Bravo and Flapjack updates or Time Squad Expansion, the time spent in FusionFall was a sweet and nostalgic opportunity. I remember the original game shutting down before I was able to make it far into the game’s story, I was so jealous of the other kids who I knew who got Nanos that were later in the game. 

When Retro was released I had the chance to take that trip back and attempt to finish something I never thought I would ever be able to again. While I wasn’t able to finish it again, I was still able to find a community of excited fans, share and interact with our ideas, and enjoy a wonderful experience that was FusionFall. I even got that Grim nano I was so jealous of when I was a kid.

I give FusionFall Retro 10 out of 10 taros for giving us an unforgettable experience, (I guess 10 taros isn’t much though…:) ).

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