The Punisher


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Ok, I'll apologize now. If you a Punisher fan, I'm sorry. I know nothing about him. I've seen the feature film and played this game...that's it. So no, I have no idea how well this treats the source material, sorry. Getting on with things though, The Punisher is certainly one of Capcom's better entries into the popular arcade genre known as the beat-em-up, just don't go in expecting anything new.

Selecting either the Punisher himself or Nick Fury, players go up against the Kingpin and his moronic groupies in an attempt to save New York. Both characters are pretty much identical in power and speed, only their combos are different. In addition to the standard jump kicks and punches, your also given grenades. By jumping in the air and pressing jump/attack buttons at the same time, you'll launch a slew of grenades down upon the unfortunate souls who are below you.

Unlike most other beat-em-ups, you'll spend quite a bit of time in this one using weapons. Ever want to stick a lance through someone's face? How about beating someone down with a bag of unused cement? Oh, and can't forget Uzi's, handguns, and M-16's. They play a big role. There's even a targeting system included here, but most of the time it's pretty useless. Just look in the proper direction and go for it.

Visually, there's nothing to really complain about (something I generally do very well), but there's nothing to really look at either. Kingpin himself is a major league sprite, bigger than even a lot of the background objects (most of which are destructible). The style of the game is very similar to nearly every Capcom brawler of the era, though there are a few nice comic book styled words (SHABAM! being a personal favorite) when beating down opponents, but that's as close to a comic as you'll get. Music and sound effects are standard filler, but it's loud enough to grab your attention.

One of the only major issues with this one is the fact that only 2-players can join in. Most beat-em-ups by this time were at a 3-player minimum. Konami really cornered this market with the Simpsons, TMNT, Crime Fighters, Vendetta, etc. It's not an issue that will affect everybody, but it's gotta be a disappointment to fans of the genre.

Is there any reason to play The Punisher over any other same-era beat-em-ups. No, not really. There's certainly enough reason to play it if you do so choose, but don't expect to be blown away by any amount of originality. I'm sure fans of the comic will eat this one up, everyone else will enjoy this brief excursion into the world of brawlers.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:30 PM