(MAME) Vendetta / Crime Fighters 2

Produced by: Konami
Platforms: Arcade
Year: 1991
Genre: Beat ‘em up

Vendetta Title Screen

The Years between the ’80s and the ’90s were very prolific for arcade
games and in particular for the beat ‘em up genre. Inspired from the so
called b-movies of the time and by rock music, a lot of games dealed
with street turfs kidnapping gorgeus girls, evil mobs corrupting
society, and random exscuses to let the player kick some butts around
Konami’s Vendetta is no exception, the plot is very basic (if not
virtually non-existant): two gangs, the cobra and the dead end gang are
rivaling each other and one day the guys from the dead end gang kidnaps a
chick linked to the cobras. So choose your favourite gang member (all
of them which are lookalikes to famous actors or wrestler: we have an
Hulk Hogan clone, a Van Damme’s double, a Mike Tyson lookalike and a
white version of Mr T) and go kick some asses.

Our opponents…let’s vanquish them!

This game however shines in the beat em up genre, it shines under two
of the main factors for a successful video game: playability and fun.
While the generic beat em up of the era sent to you waves and waves of
stupid and mindless gang members, awaiting just to be slaughtered by the
player, Vendetta takes another route. A very interesting one, indeed.
Vendetta puts the strategy in front of numbers. Even the generic leather
guy can kick your ass badly if you don’t pay attention to him. So the
player in order to survive must develop a personal strategy, since all
of the characters plays differently (for example, Mr T clone has the
best throw of the game and can kick the opponents who are lying on the
ground very fast but has a terrible special move; on the contrary Mike
Tyson’s special is awesome but his throw sucks and so on). Also the game
provides a lot of weapons to the player and every character deals them
differently. The weapons are scattered around a very big range: we have
all from the classic switch blade knife, to a deadly chain, passing
through beer bottles and bricks (!). The situations present are also
pretty varied: we range from the classic gang turf, to a moving truck
and a ship.

Character selection screen

Thanks to it’s design, focused on strategy, the game is hard but not
impossible to beat with few coins. The game respects the player and
his/hers skills and isn’t a money sink like many arcade games of the
Despite playing with only two buttons, Vendetta presents a great variety
of moves for each characters: punches, kicks, throws, back-kicks,
headbutts, special and others.

Some action

The game also has a very “bad” side to it: for example, you can kick
mercilessly opponents who are lying in the ground, when the enemies are
hurt you see them suffer, writhe and vomit in pain and other nice
touches like this. This, added to the generous doses of black humor that
are present in the game, for me, makes the game very fun and satysfing
to play.
The opponents are clearly designes after the b-movies of the time: we
have the generic leather rocker, mexican wrestlers, a menacing guy in a
black trench, a masked punk that could have been in the Mad Max movies
and so on. If you like that kind of aestetichs (and i do), it’s
definitevely a plus.

Fighting a mid-boss

If you like beat em up games, you have at least to try Vendetta.
In Japan it’s named “Crime Fighters 2? but actually isn’t even remotely
linked to the first Crime Fighters game. The only link between the two
titles are some bad guys that appear in a different form in Crime
Fighters, but it’s a bit weak to me to call Vendetta a sequel to Crime
Thumbs up, Konami!

Damned punks…

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