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Released: 1991

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Matthew 'Keith' Bridge

The hero gang, called The Cobras, numbers five members: Blood (former prizefighter, with a passing resemblance to Mike Tyson), Hawk (former professional wrestler, with passing resemblance to Hulk Hogan), Boomer (a martial artist, possibly similar to Jean-Claude Van Damme), Sledge (a military ex-convict with passing resemblance to Mr. T), and Kate, the damsel in distress, described as Hawk's protegee and wearing a blue shirt similar to his.

One day, Kate is kidnapped by the Dead End Gang under the leadership of Faust. The four men go save her, fighting through the waves of enemies that are sent against them.

As with most beat-em-ups, the game featured primarily side-scrolling action, with the score dependent merely on number of opponents eliminated, regardless of strength-a faceless drone and an end boss would both score as one. This characteristic was present in most arcade beat 'em ups by Konami. Also standard are various weapons that can be found, whether from a fallen enemy, hidden in the environment, or lying out in the open. Weapons include maces, chains, whips, Molotov cocktails, and even a short shotgun that could eliminate almost all foes in one hit.

The game featured two differences in gameplay. One was that an enemy who had been knocked down could be subjected to further abuse; this feature also appeared in an X-Men beat-'em-up. This would be done with the kick button (see below), although the actual manoeuvre used was a punch, an elbow drop, a short kick/stomp, or a quick kneedrop, depending on the individual fighter.

The other difference was that instead of the conventional 'attack' and 'jump' buttons, this game used 'punch' and 'kick'. The only aerial manoeuvre was the special punch-plus-kick (P+K) manoeuvre, and only when the joystick was pointed forward.

As was the case with Capcom's Final Fight game, and Sega's own Streets of Rage 3, Vendetta was censored when released outside of the Asian market to remove a homosexual character who dresses in leather and grabs hold of the playable character, proceeding to dry hump and lick him. The character would continue if a character is down.

An absolute classic! On Par with Final Fight