You know when sh!t is about to get real is when you view the opening cut scene where there are four thugs kidnapping your girlfriend in front of, and I presume, your garage. However this is no ordinary kidnapping as one of them gives your girlfriend a whopping gut punch, knocking her down and if this wasn’t bad enough, another thug, dressed in yellow armour armed with a goddamn submachine gun looks on from a distance. Well I guess that’s pretty normal back in the 80s so out comes you, martial arts master Billy, all decked out with scrumptious blond locks and striking blue eyes, endeavour to save your girlfriend from this horrendous kidnapping, or you can team up in coop mode where the other, equally handsome chap Jimmy, all decked out with delightful brunette hair with piecing green eyes.
However calling them Billy and Jimmy is almost an insult to the nth proportion so it’s best to call them by their tag names, Spike (Jimmy) and Hammer (Billy). Remember not to mess around with these guys as both are naturally martial arts masters with equally rippling muscles. So the game play can be coined as beat ’em up where you will be facing a number of opponents in pure melee combat – you know, numero uno. So you wind up doing various of ‘martial arts’ like head butting, flying kick, kneeing in the face, upper cuts and the ever so powerful, elbow. Also you can use crates, oil drums or boulders to throw at your enemies. Yes, saving your girlfriend is very serious business.
The manoeuvres are easy to perform as you’ll be using an eight way joystick and three buttons being punch, kick and jump. Combine two buttons to perform a cool strike like for instance, jump and kick to do the reverse jump kick or the massively OP elbow, just press the punch and jump buttons. There are also weapons you can use once ‘disarm’ your opponents. And when I mean disarm, all you have to do is the beat the living crap out of them and they will drop the weapon that they are carrying. So the weapons you can use is the whip (crap), bomb (crap), baseball bat (crap) and knife (that one is awesome). However, once you pick up either the whip or baseball bat, you cannot drop them at all – it’s like they are super glued your hand to it unless you get beat the living crap out of you; only then you can drop it.
Yet under coop, you get another manoeuvre to your arsenal which is holding your opponent – other words, doing a full nelson on them. Doing that stops the enemy on their track or if this happens to you, just press the jump button repeatedly until you escape. Yet, under coop, you can have one of you hold the enemy and the other to punch the living daylights out of them. However some can easily break the hold so to do this effectively, just wait until they are about half strength or less. Yet to gauge their strength, there are no bars to tell you this however you can guess by how quickly they raise up after a knock down. The slower, the closer to death (or knocked out as I think no one truly die).
Visually the game is quite impressive to look at. All the animations are smooth, the backdrops are reasonably detailed and it’s not racist at all as there are both dark / light coloured people, save only the woman (Linda) as she’s white. Even the boss (that tall black dude) looks like Mr T with his Mohawk and your girlfriend, Marian, has two obligatory panty shot and to gain access to the second one, you need to duke it out with your coop buddy at the end. The musical scores are quite reasonable as well as it plays out like a typical action movie flick – lots of fast paced synthesised music that surely makes living in the 80s very proud indeed. Only criticism here is that the main guys, Hammer and Spike, when they die, the sound they make is a pathetic joke – seriously I’m surprised it’s not R rated because of this.
It does take long to finish this game, maybe fifteen minutes or so. Subdivided into four levels being the city slum, factory, the woods and the gang’s hideout, the woods is certainly the longest and the hideout, the shortest. Also there’s a timer that count down extremely slow therefore you really don’t have to worry about it. Not a difficult game overall, even on expert if you are using the elbow however you will have issues, especially when fighting the big dudes, if you opt not to use it. But with all said and done, it’s a great game to play, even if you are not a fan of this genre (like me). Nothing is more satisfying than repeatedly kneeing someone in the head and then throw them over the cliff for an instant kill. Heck, saving your girlfriend is serious business.