Why This Game?
In the comments of the last Arcade smash fest I reviewed, veteran commenter Slumdog Hundredaire suggested I look at the Asian release of the game Vendetta. After not being able to find a working ROM of that release, I settled for the American version because America kicks ass!
After doing about as much research as I could be bothered with (i.e. Wikipedia), I found that the Asian version adds a fetishized enemy who dry humps the character and will also lick him.
If this enemy is knocked down, the player can return the favor.
While that may be good for a chuckle, the American version retains the whip carrying dominatrix.
Some of the other characters look to be straight out of an abandoned Mad Max style film combined with my teenage sex fantasy journal (available soon on Amazon).
What The Hell Are You?
Released in 1991 by Konami, this game seems to be a few years behind. Final Fight released in 1989 and was technically superior to this game in every way. Even the NES port of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game came out in 1990 and, while not as graphically powerful, destroys this game in terms of gameplay and replay-ability.
While playing Vendetta, I couldn’t help but feel like I was playing a Genesis game due to the smaller than usual arcade sprites.
The story of the game is pretty standard. The team’s ho has been kidnapped, so the player has to take up arms as one of the four members of the gang in order to beat the shit out of a city full of thugs to get her back.
The character options are Blood, the black guy; Hawk, a terrible Hulk Hogan ripoff; Boomer, who apparently is the embodiment of Marital Arts themselves; and Sledge, aka Mr. T.
Each character has their own special move which is activated by pressing the punch and kick buttons in unison. Other than that, the gameplay is pretty straightforward and unexciting.
There are weapons that can be picked up to smash in the skulls of opponents; the only drawback is they are a little too plentiful and when trying to swing a barb-wired wrapped baseball bat, my character will think I want him to pick up the knife instead.
The most unique aspect of the gameplay is being able to kick an enemy when they are down. This allows the player to be as vicious as they want, especially those who want to breath smoke.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work all the time, and the location detection to get it to work can be spotty.
Even with the ability to hit enemies when they are down, this game is hard. It doesn’t matter so much when playing via MAME, but I couldn’t imagine dumping quarter after quarter into this in a standard arcade machine.
Granted, I probably didn’t try as hard because in order to continue I just had to press a button rather than dump currency into the pocket of some unscrupulous arcade owner.
Thankfully, the game can be completed in about half an hour, less if you want to forgo the “final level” that feels tacked on to siphon more money from players’ pockets.
As previously mentioned, the game tried to add some raunchy humor to differentiate it from the pack.
The Village Person might not have made it into the US Version of the game, but there are some funny parts that sill made it across the ocean.
When a player gets hit squaw in the nuts, they’ll double over in pain. A lot of the humor made me think of the game NARC which also made me wish I was just playing that game, instead.
Overall, this game is fairly mediocre with not enough raunch to make it truly memorable, leaving it lost in a sea of superior beat-‘em-ups.
By the time this game arrived in arcades, this style of game was on the outs anyway as Street Fighter II was preparing to transform arcades into battlefields of one-on-one fighting games.
It’s worth playing on a Pi or through MAME if you love old school beat-‘em-ups and have played all the others into the ground, but if you see this machine in the wild, pass it up for something else.
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If you have a game in mind that is flying under the radar, hit me up in the comments section below. Who knows, your game could be featured in a future episode of Raspberry Request or you can just get drunk and watch midget porn. I think we know everyone’s preference.