Crime Fighter 2 (aka Vendetta) by Konami is such a gem of a game that any fans of side scrolling beat-em up who have never come across it before should really be in for a treat.
I happened to come across this monster of a cab way way back in the early nineties whilst on a weekend trip with mates to the east coast. After the four of us had just completed X-men – The arcade game and hungry for more, I took a stroll around the arcade hall whilst a couple of them went off to locate a Final Fight cabinet.
Pretty much from the off, I knew that Crime Fighters 2 was going to be good and it wasn’t long before all four of us had joined in and stacks of coins were being pumped into the credit slot.
Released in 1991, Crime Fighter 2 is a side scrolling beat-em-up and is the follow-up to Crime Fighters (who’d have guessed!) which was release a few years early and despite the original not being the very popular the sequel really shines as a fantastic example of a genre which would soon be fazed out by the might of Street Fighter II type vs. fisty-cuffs.
The basic plot pretty much follows the rules of all classic beat-em up involving some damsel being kidnapped, shot or looked at in a funny way by a gang of thugs that are up to no good. As a result, best friend/husband/boyfriend or bloke that collect baseball bats and a few of his mates decide that this simply isn’t cricket and sets off in hot pursuit to teach them a lesson.
A choice of four heroes are on offer, each with their own set of standard and super moves carried out by pressing punch+kick buttons simultaneously.
Both Boomer & Blood are easily the best characters on offer. Boomer’s spinning jump kick will get you out of trouble spots & when thugs are on the floor, Blood’s rapid punches should mean they stay there.
Hawk, is akin to Hagger from Final Fight, a bit slow but powerful and his elbow drop will inflict twice as much damage. Sledge is another powerful character but his bizarre flying head butt requires more timing that the other characters…wicked hair do though!
As well as a good variety of moves, including the ability to punch or kick bad guys when they down on the floor (well, they started it!) there’s also a good collection of weapons to pick up which are either from your fallen opponents or hidden inside various crates. They range from the good ol fashion baseball bats, knifes & biker chains through to bottles, a brick and..ahem a metal bucket 🙂 It’s also nice to see the inclusion of a shotgun which certainly comes in handy on later stages. Other objects can be picked up or destroyed to form additional weaponry…or just for fun.
Bike vs shotgun!
In total there are five stages which you will need to proceed though and some are broken in to mini stages. Sadly there’s no subway station (a must for all beat-em up games) but despite this, include sections on the back of a moving truck, on a large crane lift and the colorful red light district which is home to shady pimps and frisky dogs :-O
I need a stick.
Enemies are both memorable and varied including plenty of cannon fodder to practice your moves before taking on some of the end of level bosses. These are are some of the best on any beat em up and requires a little more tactic than simply wading in arms thrashing.
The first end of level boss, Buzzsaw. Wait until his blade gets stuck and then smack him about a bit.
Graphically, Crime Fighters 2 is top not stuff with beautifully drawn backdrops full of subtle little details that really makes the game field stand out. Character animation is also very impressive and nice to see animation frames specific to each weapon being used, something that is sadly missing on many beat-em ups.
Up ‘n’ over.
Who’s beating who?
What makes Crime Fighter 2 stand out the most though are the many humorous moments found throughout the game which is something that continues on from the original Crime Fighter game.
Take for example, a mistimed kick (or perfectly timed, depending on your point of view!) between the legs sees one enemy/character hopping around in tears. The metal ‘clang’ sound effect that plays when foot meets, well you get the idea 🙂 Another would see enemies smashed against walls after being hit with a bat and slowly sliding down to the floor like a scene from Road Runner cartoons. Then of course, there’s the ‘bucket’ shot and…oh and did I mention those frisky dogs 🙂
Darth Vader impressions.
If you’re bored of Final Fighter or Streets of Rage…you MUST play Crime Fighter 2, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.