Review by PC Kwajalein



Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 10

Overall: 9

Today’s society is filled with clueless people that will tell you violent video games have a negative effect on peoples’ minds, and that violence is the ultimate result. To them, I say, “What are your credentials, and how in Sam Hill did you get’em?” I’ve played many violent games yet I remain a normal, law abiding citizen. In fact, one of the most violent games I ever played was an arcade favorite of mine titled Vendetta. If violence were really a result of playing violent video games (such as Vendetta), I’d puncture my boss’s lung with a crowbar and write this review with his blood. But yet, I remain civilized. And now, onto the review.

Vendetta is a Konami beat’em up arcade game. As you know, Konami was skilled at producing cabinets that supported four or more players for simultaneous gameplay, so Vendetta belongs in the same family as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, X-Men, Crime Fighters, and Bucky O’ Hare.

The story of Vendetta is one of revenge, as it takes place in the slums of a metropolis known as Dead End City. Judging by the name of this city, I’d say it’s not a destination for those with dreams of raising a family and having a safe, productive future. A gang known as the Cobras has been going at it with the rival Dead End Gang. Faust, leader of the Dead End Gang, has decided to expand his gang’s territory. Of course the new territory he’s after belongs to the Cobras. So, Faust’s gang not only muscles the Cobras out of their territory, they kidnap Kate, the female member of the Cobras, as well. Now Cobra members Blood (ex-prize fighter), Hawk (ex-pro wrestler), Boomer (martial arts expert), and Sledge (ex-military convict) have to get their turf back, but they have to get Kate back as well (group sex without her wouldn’t be the same). Before they can battle Faust and save Kate, the Cobras must go up against the boss members of the Dead End Gang such as Buzz Saw Bravado, the Missing Link, the Rude Brothers, and Cruel Kurt. The Cobras aren’t about to let this slide because with any gang, it’s all about respect! Oh yeah, did you notice how all the Cobras have experience in some kind of fighting background? I’m not complaining about it. I think it’s great to reinforce the tough guy image of the main characters, but there’s a part of me that would’ve liked to see one of them as laid-off Enron employee or a disgruntled pastry baker that had enough of equally distributing the blueberries among his muffins. But what Konami already has is good too.

Vendetta looks great! As a Konami game, you know that the developers put a lot of thought and work into their product. All the characters are drawn to a high degree of detail and animation. The four selectable Cobra members each come with their own unique style and appearance. A couple of the members resemble real life tough guys. Hawk favors Hulk Hogan, but unlike Hogan, Hawk doesn’t star in substandard B-movies that feature speedboats. Even the generic thugs you beat to a pulp are done nicely since they vary in size, clothing and animation. From knife wielding maniacs to psychopathic Raiders fans (same thing huh?), the thugs are varied and look great. The boss characters, as expected, are very unique as they are larger and more detailed. They also have some wonderful animations as they attack you with buzz saws, ship anchors, and automatic weapons. The stage designs are also excellent. Brawling from stage to stage allows for the views to change. One minute you’re trading punches with a goon in a dimly lit warehouse. The next minute you’re duking it out with Buzz Saw Bravado on the back of a flatbed truck, speeding over a tress bridge during a thunderstorm. It’s all so very good I tell you. As you hunt for Faust, you take the fighting into construction sites, grocery stores, casinos, the Dead End City docks, and condemned high rises. Every stage has a great amount of detail that makes the gameplay more engaging. We’ve got a remarkable job done here by Konami.

Audibly, the game is just as excellent as the graphics. Dramatic intro music sets the pace for the entire story. The stages feature more ‘tough guy’ music as you progress through them. During the actual gameplay, the sounds are very numerous and very accurate. Glass shatters, crates break open, and drum cans roll over the concrete. Somewhat humorous are the groans and screams of your foes. For instance, should some gullible wander into the flames of a Molotov cocktail, he’ll scream in burning pain. I’m not a sadistic person, but somehow the painful screams of someone receiving second degree burns over twenty percent of their body has always appealed to me. Anyways, the bosses will be more than happy to talk a little trash to you now and then. Phrases such as, “No way am I gonna get beat by you,” and, “Hey punk, let’s rumble,” are just a few of the lively conversations you’ll have with the bosses you’ll be fighting. I can’t prove it, but I’m almost certain that the Missing Link says, “Fuck you!” after picking you up by your head and knocking you eight feet into the air. Again, I’m not sure if that’s what he says, but if he does… … sweet!

And now for the meat of the experience; the gameplay. The Cobra members each have their own different styles. For example, Blood excels at punches, while Boomer is good with kicks. Hawk has the best grapple moves, and Sledge has a slight combination of the others. The best part of the game is the fact that there are so many different ways and weapons to do away with your foes. In one scene, if you knock a thug towards the edge of the bridge, he’ll hang on so he won’t fall into the river. To get rid of him completely, you can simply go over to the edge and stomp on his fingers and let gravity take care of the rest. Weapons are plentiful throughout the game. They’re either carried by thugs, hidden in crates, or just laying around. These weapons are knives, bats, bottles, crates, tires, drum cans, dynamite, chains, whips, bricks, sawed off shotguns, and the most wicked of them all… a potted cactus. Don’t laugh; a neck full of cactus needles will haunt you forever. The animations are great too. Cracking a bat over the head of your enemies makes them fly into the wall at the top of the screen and slide to the ground in a heap before writhing in agony. You can do this anywhere. The rush you get when you take a bat and knock a baddie into shelves of Raisin Bran and Quaker oatmeal is like no other. You’d be surprised at what a sack of powdered cement can do. Toss it at your enemies and watch them cough and gag. With them incapacitated for a moment, you are free to beat the living hell out of them. Konami even put a little humor into the game. Some thugs are so busy flirting with hookers, they don’t notice you until you lodge your fist into their eye sockets. Not only did you black his eye, you blemished his manhood in front of a woman that'll tell all of her friends. Remember the psycho Raiders fan with the spiked shoulder pads? (see pic) He’s scared of cats. Listen to him scream as he fearfully hops up and down at the sight of a stray cat running around onscreen. Also, you can toss buckets onto a thug’s head. He’ll walk around aimlessly until you kick him in the groin. The boss fights are challenging, especially Faust who chickens out and grabs an Uzi. There’s only two buttons (punch and kick) but the moves are all easy to pull off. There’s so much to write about, but you’ll just have to play Vendetta to see it.


Graphics: 9- Excellent use of detail, color, and animation. It all enhances the gameplay.Sound & Music: Good stuff. Vast amount of sounds can be heard, as well as catchy music too.

Sound & Music: 9- Good stuff. Vast amount of sounds can be heard and recognized, as well as catchy music too.

Gameplay: 10- Stellar. The gameplay features so many weapons, tactics, and combinations that the gameplay remains fresh throughout. A few laughable gimmicks here and there are an added and most welcome bonus to the brutal fisticuffs taking place.

Overall: 9- This game is one of Konami’s best multi-player cabinet games. With up to four people playing this becomes a very enjoyable team effort. Another smash-mouth achievement by Konami!



Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:35 PM