Vigilante Turbografx-16
Review by Kevin Oleniacz NEC Arcade
Graphics: 7 Sound: 5 Gameplay: 4 Overall: 4

Since NEC claimed their Turbografx was a 16-bit system, I believed Vigilante would favorably compete with the early 16-bit carts Streets of Rage (Genesis) and Final Fight (SNES). After my initial play session, expectations sharply plummeted to earth.

The premise is a familiar one: Your girlfriend has been kidnapped and it's up to you to rescue her by battling through five stages set in the city. To obtain your goal, rely on a very limited arsenal of moves consisting of generic kicks, punches, and a sweep kick. Only one weapon is at your disposal, a chain (nunchaku). Using this slightly increases your effectiveness but decreases victims' point values. A majority of the enemies are brainless clones who simply run right into your fists or feet. Allow one to get by and he'll quickly drain your strength; not by a flying kick, a dramatic spinning combo, or even a simple punch, but merely by grasping your fighter. Only a handful of these ruffians wield weapons or ride motorcycles.

Right off the bat one notices the absence of a highly valued feature essential to a top-notch fighting game: dual player interaction. The backgrounds are sharp and well-defined: they reange from a junkyard to city streets. Regretfully, this is the highlight of an otherwise drab programming effort. Your character cannot interact with the background, while certain enemies can (i.e. hopping onto fences and car rooftops). Restricted movement is another drawback, as only jumping and horizontal travel is allowed. 3-D effects are not incorporated into the action. Limited effects, scratchy laughs and music, and undesireable "ugh"'s cover the audio spectrum.

After checking out Double Dragon on the 7800, I anticipated a great deal more from this contemporary endeavor. The absence of a multiplayer option, limited moves and enemies, and very short, unvaried levels just won't cut it in this modern era of ultra-cool characters sporting theatrical attacks. Want to interact with a state-of-the-art fighting game? Take my advice. Purchase a SNES or a Genesis. NEC's Turbografx-16 falls flat on its face with regard to games of this genre.

TIP: You must face a crony before tackling the first boss. Knock him out with a few quick jabs. Employing some swift basic kicks, pin the boss at the edge of the screen and finish him off.


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Last updated: Thursday, December 04, 2003 01:20 PM