Night Slashers (Arcade) review
"I’m a beat-‘em-up enthusiast. "
I’m a beat-‘em-up enthusiast.
I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be. You pick them up and you play them, and they’re action-packed. There is no plot to plod through. There is a clear enemy, sometimes a MacGuffin, some rundown settings plagued with evil, and a couple physical maneuvers to uncork upon the faces of hapless henchmen and villainous bosses. They’re pure, cathartic, not overly long, and their nature lends them an accessibility that allows them to be revisited frequently. Fire it up and go to work.
Capcom is the beat-em-‘up authority, having produced the most irreplaceable in Final Fight, perhaps the purest and best in Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, and maybe the most action packed in The Punisher. I recommend Captain Commando, Dungeons and Dragons: Shadows of Mystara, The King of Dragons, and Alien vs. Predator, too; Capcom is the Scorsese of beat-‘em-ups.
And Data East is responsible for, uh…Bad Dudes. It’s not real competitive between the two companies.
Data East also created Night Slashers, clearly their best beat-em-‘up and undoubtedly capable of cracking a connoisseur’s Top 10 list, if it weren’t for the game’s unbelievable obscurity. It’s depressing that this one isn’t more well-known—its grotesquerie is topped only by Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, and its action only by the Capcom holy trinity.
Night Slashers lies somewhere between C&D, Castlevania and Resident Evil. It replaces the futuristic dinosaurs and poachers of C&D with a plot where zombies and the undead are terrorizing the cities. The combat isn’t quite as clean, and the plot isn’t quite as hilarious and over-the-top—it’s like a more reserved version of the Capcom classic. As reserved as vampire hunters and vomit-hurling zombies and knife-wielding maniacs and mad scientists can be. But the parallels are so obvious as to be unavoidable.
A beat-em-‘up enthusiast can tell you one of the potentially coolest parts of a brawler is the character profile screens that pop up when the game is allowed to run on its own for a moment. The wacky characters and their silly dossiers are one of the most endearing elements of the genre.
What did Cadillacs and Dinosaurs have? Hilariously goofy/bad-ass protagonists! What does Night Slashers have?
Community review by dogma (October 06, 2006)
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