Friday, 24 July 2015

Arcade Fighting Games #4

Violence Fight (1989)
By: Taito Genre: Fighting Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 918,620
Also Available For: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC (all as part of compilations)

Quarrelling is a subject that comes up all too infrequently in the world of video games. As far as fighting games are concerned, relations between combatants have usually already moved far beyond the stage where quarrelling might have an impact, but the fighters in this Taito release are competing for that very reason. As the poorly-translated story tells us, Violence Fight takes place in the 1950's and features "Mafia, reckless drivers, and general businessmen", all of whom are vying for not only a substantial wad of cash, but also the prestigious title of "No.1 Quarreller"! If that doesn't whet your appetite and get you fired up to kick all manner of arses, I fear nothing will, and that's a shame as there is a new fighter on the block called 'Bat' who, along with his manager, 'Blinks', apparently "seek for the money eagerly". Better get ready to help them.

Pow! Take that, Lick Joe! And don't lick me please...
You don't have to play through the game as Bat though - he is but one of four selectable characters hailing from different parts of the U.S. Bat Blue is a street-fighting champion from Cali, Ben Smith is a marine from Nevada specialising in boxing, Lick Joe is a pro-wrestler from Oklahoma, and Lee Chen is a martial artist from Florida. Once you have selected one of these formidable 'quarrellers' you must defeat the other three followed by two tough boss fighters, Ron Max, a stock farmer from Texas, and Tony Won, a gangster from New York. Each fighter's repertoire of moves is performed using three buttons - punch, kick, and jump - and each also has their own enclosed arena. Nothing unusual there of course, but here the occupants can move around in all eight directions rather than just left-to-right, so it plays a little differently to most one-on-one brawlers.

Bat gives Ben a mighty boot right in the kisser...
Fights are decided over a 'best-of-three' rounds and there are a total of six opponents - the three other selectable characters, the two boss fighters, and finally a mirror match, and that means the end-of-game battle is against yourself! The offensive moves needed to win these bouts are quite limited in number though. Besides the basic punches and kicks (and jumping varieties of both), you can perform throws, duck incoming attacks (or attempt to), and each character also has a special punch and kick attack performed by pressing the relevant button in conjunction with the jump button. Some stages also have the odd item that you can pick up and throw at your opponent (such as barrels) but that is about the extent of your offensive options, and that was a bit disappointing to be honest. Still, it shouldn't matter as long as everything else is tip-top, right?

Ooof! Lee Chen takes to the air, somewhat effectively!
Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mess. This is mainly down to the fighting mechanics which are somewhat shoddy to say the least. The simple controls aren't particularly responsive, the collision-detection is a bit hit 'n' miss (pun intended!), and the difficulty is unbalanced as well - the first two opponents are easy but the third is suddenly about a million times harder, and the bonus rounds (where you face a tiger) are ridiculous - you can only hit it when it jumps as it's too low otherwise! The graphics are quite poor too, especially the animation, and the music is so anonymous I wasn't even sure there was music at some points. I guess it can be reasonable fun in short bursts, particularly against a friend (partly due to the unintentional humour), but it's all rather clunky and there are so many better examples around. I like Taito a lot but this must be one of their poorest titles. And what the hell does 'Dogoon' mean?

RKS Score: 4/10

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