Format reviewed: Arcade
Submitted by: Mark Bartholomew
Technically the third and final instalment in Konami's ace "Crime Fighters" trilogy, Violent Storm hit the arcades in 1993 in a whirlwind of colour, superb cartoony graphics and bone crunching…….violence!
The game was a simple side scrolling beat 'em up a' la Final Fight, but with lots of neat little touches and homages to famous films (Stage 4 boss, Doyle, is clearly a man/Power Loader from Aliens hybrid whereas Stage 2 boss, Joe, is clearly the Hunchback of Notre Dame with an attitude problem and a giant pair of electric shears!!), plus the ability to play side by side by side with 2 friends, it was quickly snapped up by fighting fans looking for another slice of mayhem.
The plot essentially revolved around the absurd notion that WWIII is over and done with, yet vicious street gangs still roam looking to cause havoc. Enter Wade, Doyle and Kyle, who after witnessing the motorcycling freak, Red Freddy, kidnapping their best friend Sheena, decide that justice must be served swiftly and of the head-kicking variety.
The standard player layout (one all rounder, one speedy but weak, one slow bruiser) meant that you were familiar from the get go, but whichever character you chose there were a plethora of special hidden moves that you could discover amongst the usual array of punches, kicks and jump attacks. Add to that various weapons, a varied selection of levels and some tricky bosses and you've got a fun recipe for blowing off some steam. The game's attacks all felt suitably weighty too.
Special mention must go to the raucous rock/metal soundtrack and sampled speech. Did help to get the pulses racing as you pumped more 10p's into the coin slot, determined to finish the game!
Getting through the game was tricky given the cheap tactics of some of the later bosses, plus the final boss was a sure fire credit muncher of the highest calibre. Frustrating indeed!!
Overall though, this is well worth checking out on MAME (older versions only though, the ROM doesn't appear to work with the latest??) and a more than fitting end to a worthwhile trilogy. In fact, it's so good, it may just make you believe that the godawful Final Fight 2 even existed. Oh no, wait………