Review – Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint

As iconic and influential as the movie Oldboy was, it shocks me to realize the movie did not influence games at all, twenty years after its initial release. The only exception to case was that one segment in Sifu where the camera changes to a side-scrolling perspective, turning the game into a 2D beat ’em up, clearly inspired by Oldboy‘s iconic corridor scene. Besides that short segment, however, there was nothing else. Well, until now, that is. It took a small development team to fill in this shocking gap with the release of the oddly named Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint.

Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint vengeance

I think our protagonist needs a Snickers.

Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint is, in essence, a linear, side-scrolling beat ’em up where the objective is pretty simple: go right, and beat the living **** out of anything and anyone that crosses your path with extremely gory prejudice. The combat is limited to two punches, a grab and a dodge mechanic, but there are enough combos and environmental interactions to keep you busy for a while. In between fights, a noir story extremely similar to Oldboy is showcased via small animations and walls of text. The plot wasn’t exactly interesting, but it did add a bit of depth to what would have otherwise been something as limited in scope as old-school Karateka.

Without a doubt, what’s most impressive about Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint is its presentation. Namely how it managed to combine minimalist environments set in just a third of the screen’s real estate with surprisingly detailed (and, as previously mentioned, very gory) combat animations. Add in the atmospheric soundtrack, which wasn’t exactly as intense as I had hoped, but was still pretty good. Again, the main drive of the game is its violence, so you’ll mostly be listening to punches and people screaming in pain. Oh, and the occasionally loud-as-hell gong smash. Love that thing.

Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint bosses

There’s the occasional boss battle, but they didn’t captivate me as much as I thought they would.

Sadly, Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint looks cooler than it actually plays. There are two problems with its overall gameplay loop. The first one is the fact that it’s really sluggish. This might be a martial arts game, but despite the Oldboy influences, it’s nowhere near as fast-paced as that movie’s action cutscenes. With the exception of your admittedly decent and quick dash mechanics, your character moves around like a loaded truck. Sure, he hits as hard as a truck as well, but there is a slight amount of delay after pressing a button. You are too slow to move, whereas everyone else acts as if they were on fast forward.

The other main issue is Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint‘s sheer repetitiveness. Sure, beating a goon to death is fun and all, but that’s all you do in the game: walk to the right and punch people. The novelty wears off quickly, since the plot is nowhere near as interesting to captivate you, and the boss battles, whilst a change of pace, weren’t exactly that engaging. After a while, Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint started to bore me. I then decided to play the game in smaller bursts to avoid saturation.

Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint finishers

You can choke a man to death and then shove him on a meat hook. DOOM Eternal looks tamer by the minute.

Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint is a clear example of style over substance. As cool as the game looks and plays at first, there’s not a lot of level or gameplay variety to keep you entertaining for a long period of time. All you do is sluggishly move to the right and beat the hell out of some goons at a time. As interesting as its nods to Oldboy can be, that movie was fast-paced, captivating and stylish all throughout. This game, on the other hand, is just stylish at best. It misses out on the other very crucial aspects.


Graphics: 7.0

Stylish in its combination of minimalist environments and surprisingly detailed (and gory) combat animations, though quite repetitive.

Gameplay: 6.0

There are lots of combos to pull off, and it’s really visceral. Sadly, it is also sluggish, to an annoying degree.

Sound: 7.5

I expected a more intense soundtrack, but what’s here isn’t inherently bad. I do appreciate the loudness of the gong which is played in occasion.

Fun Factor: 6.0

It’s a clear example of style over substance. Beating the living hell out of a goon is really fun at first, but the sluggish combat and sheer repetitiveness bring the game down a handful of notches.

Final Verdict: 6.5


Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint was provided by the publisher.