I have such fond, fond memories of the original (Yes I meant to say fond twice ☺) with many an hour spent in the local café, games arcade or shopping centre (mall for you Americans) button bashing this 80’s classic !!! (1987 to be precise) Generating many hybrid versions due to its immediate success – Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe to name but a few, you could say it was inspired by the 70’s classic movie “The Warriors”.
The arcade version of this game was re-released on many home computers, games consoles and handhelds throughout the 80’s and 90’s etc… XBLA a few years ago, 2007 to be precise… even iOS has a version !!!
The 2012 iteration comes along to coincide with its 25yr anniversary available on XBLA (800ms / $10 ) and PSN (£6.50 / $10 or Free to PS+ subs).
The plot or game objective is one of the purest and simplistic you will ever come across…. Rescue your girlfriend from a bunch of thugs by fighting your way through a whole host of gangs and environments utilising what you can along the way.
The fighting / gameplay mechanic is as you would expect, rather linear with your basic punch & kick moves. However in DD these can be enhanced further with flying kicks, elbows etc… with the additional feat of grabbing and throwing enemies.
Elements of the scenery continue to be destructible or interactive by being punched or kicked to be broken, with some releasing items such as food, weapons, and in this version money which can be used to buy various upgrades / power ups for your character fireballs, whirlwinds, etc…
In the 2012 version, the graphics and animation have had a total overhaul, redone in HD & 3D polygons. It is very colourful, with the scenery being, as the title says, heavily neon lighting based.
Each level brings it own unique enemies, level design, obstacles, backdrops (some you won’t expect), together with the usual enemies encountered throughout.
The soundtrack itself is worthy of a mention, very retro / 80’s classic rock based (composed by Jake Kaufman). You quickly find yourself turning up the volume (wondering if these are on itunes? are they ? ). Even the classic DD rhythm is still in there, bringing a wry smile to your face while finding yourself reminiscing slightly!!
The end of each level brings something I thought I would never see….. Think a Bill and Ted like guitar rift, and yes, this is redone by the characters themselves!!! This made me smile a lot… and I couldn’t resist emulating this classic air guitar rift in person (yes I did really).
This is your classic remake / re-release of a gaming legend which spawned an entire generation of beat’em ups and rightly or wrongly helped to develop many of the games we see today…
So to the scores…
Not as easy as you think
Still has the awkard jumps
Falling off ledges
2D fighting issues (proximity to you)
Anyone who enjoyed the original really should own this, not only to make you feel that bit younger, but also if you don’t have the old console to play it on!
8 out of 10 looks great, character power ups could be its downfall, however still a must for fans of the genre as a whole..
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written by: DSUVZ