Riot Zone

Turbo Duo

Review by Matt Paprocki

Hudson Soft


Graphics: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

It's sad to realize that with the death of the beat-em-up, an entire generation of kids won't know how to do it right. Their girlfriends will get kidnapped and they'll just call the police. At least the previous generation knows that you throw on a white sleeveless muscle shirt, pair of blue jeans, and some sneakers then immediately begin marching down the street beating down those responsible. Of course, it's games like Riot Zone that are responsible for the downfall.

Tony and Hawk (seriously) begin their quest to conquer the ever-so-evil Dragon Zone organization/gang. Of course, there has to be a reason. Seems that Hawk's girlfriend has been kidnapped (surprise!) and they need to conquer countless members in various dilapidated locales using only their fists and maybe their feet occasionally.

The problem with Riot Zone is that it doesn't really try. The developers have seen what other companies have done and just copied it. Actually, they didn't even do that well. So many aspects that are almost standard in the genre haven't even been included. Riot Zone fails to have any weapons of any kind. It doesn't even have red oil drums to destroy in order to find power-ups. They just magically pop out of enemies. Everyone knows the oil drums make much more sense.

Most troubling is a complete lack of mutli-player gameplay. Considering two characters are selectable, why can't two players fight alongside each other? Otherwise, the hit detection here is more than accurate and the boss A.I. is like it always has been in the genre (cheap). Every enemy has a ridiculous name (Thin Liz and Jim Bob are a two of the highlights) and hardly any of the lesser gang members manage to land a blow.

It's obvious from the start that the graphics are an attempt to mimic those of Final Fight. Hawk is a shoe-in for Cody, though his walking animation looks a bit awkward. Actually, most of the animation is bad, mostly because there isn't any. Backgrounds are really hurt by the color limitations of the console and there is little here that a standard hu-card couldn't handle. Some noticeable flicker makes itself known as well.

Most of the music here is grating guitar rock, though the boss theme isn't too bad. Voice samples, especially Hawk's "Twister," are terrible. Every punch provides a decent "thwack" when it connects, but there is little else that impresses.

There is little doubt in anyone's mind that the Duo could have handled a decent port of Final Fight. Instead, we get this. You'll have a hard time finding another game that struggles so hard just be average. There is just nothing here that isn't done better elsewhere by better games and by better developers.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 09:30 AM