Violence Fight (Arcade) review
"I was trying to think up a good intro for this. You know, something that had to do with the story, maybe a little descriptive scene. Unfortunately, no words can quite describe the plot of Violence Fight, so here it is, taken directly from the game itself: "
I was trying to think up a good intro for this. You know, something that had to do with the story, maybe a little descriptive scene. Unfortunately, no words can quite describe the plot of Violence Fight, so here it is, taken directly from the game itself:
“In the early part of the 1950’s in the USA, a game called “Violence Fight” was in vogue among Mafia, reckless drivers, and general businessmen. The “Violence Fight” was the game to struggle for “No. 1 Quarreler” with fighters who were gathered from all parts of the USA speaking boastingly of their strength. And of course a lot of winning money as well as the honor were given to the “winner”. Here in a downtown in L.A., a young fighter named “Bat” and his manager “Blinks” seek for the winning money eagerly. As a matter of fact, can Bad take the No. 1 place of the USA?”
…Right. The Mafia I can understand, but reckless drivers? Do they have to get pulled over a set number of times before being admitted to the club? Oh, and by the way, those aren’t typos; “Bat” really does want a shot at the “No. 1 place of the USA.” Wow. How inspirational.
But before our misnamed hero gets to claim his prize money, he’ll have to fight his way through a rogue’s gallery of brawlers “gathered from all parts of the USA,” each with their own horribly written background. “Bat” is in fact Bad Blue, last year’s champ and heavily favored to win this competition. He’s the mockery of 1980’s jock machismo, a Levi-clad warrior who looks like the bastard lovechild Final Fight’s Cody and Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club. Then there’s Ben Smith, who despite shafted with role of Generic Black Dude, is “very agile and can make impressive jumps.” You’ll probably want to spend more time with Lee Chen, a Steven Seagal wannabe and Miami native who “went over to the main land of China in his child age for learning assassination ken(hands).”
Oh, and we can’t forget the final playable fighter: Lick Joe. That’s right. Lick Joe. Forget all the other cliched character designs and hilariously awful biographies; Lick steals the show effortlessly. With his calf-high boots, quadruple chin and spandex shirt and pants stretching over his epic beer gut, he truly is the manliest fat guy you’ll ever face. But wait, it gets even better! As an ex-wrestler, Licky’s “profession was revoked because he killed 13 wrestlers during play-ing.” Not only is Lick Joe a badass, he’s a psychotic badass! Yeah, he’s definitely a shoe-in for “No. 1 Quarreler.”
With the cast of fighters established (along with a couple more that remain hidden until the final rounds), you’ll get to choose one of the stalwart heroes and help them along their quest for glory. Each character comes equipped with a special attack or two, but executing them usually involves mashing the buttons randomly and praying for a miracle. Since the computer randomly decides to either counter all your moves or let itself be beaten to a pulp, you’ll be in for quite a guessing game. You’ll be much better off spamming the slow-paced punches and kicks (jump attacks are utterly useless thanks to some shoddy hit detection) anyway; once you’ve managed to get your foe backed into a corner, all you’ll really have to do is keep punting them in the nuts to whittle down their health points. Even if it is ridiculously easy, it’s still mind-numbingly boring.
The fact that there are only two or three animation frames doesn’t help much, either. Lick Joe can’t possibly stop waddling, throw a lard-ridden fist, then follow it up with a boot to the gut in the space of a second. But he can. The same goes with the other characters; even if they are aggravatingly slower than the average arcade fighter, the meager animations make them look superhuman. The game tries to distract you by pasting cartoon sound effect bubbles above the fighters when your fighter performs his attacks. Not the usual BAM! or SMACK!, mind you. A random hit will produce a BOGOON!, a DAGON!, or something equally stupid. When the fight ends, you’ll be treated to a badly drawn image of your trainer, who will encourage you with words like, “CAMON BOY”, “KILL YOU”, or the ever so random “SAMMY YOU!”
Way to keep up the spirits, coach.
Considering where you’re fighting, you’ll need all the inspiration you can get. Since the “Violence Fight” tournaments are part of the criminal underground, you’ll never get the chance to step inside an actual boxing ring. Instead, you’ll get to smash your foes through the wooden crates down by the docks, balance precariously along a thick pipeline, and even get down and dirty inside a barn. Even if the levels are dull, they do have a certain charm to them; you’ll get to see the New York City skyline (which looks mysteriously overbuilt, considering that the game takes place in the 50s), use boxes as blunt objects, and even endure a hail of broken bottles and garbage from the jeering crowds in the background. While it may not be pretty, it could have been worse.
That doesn’t mean that Violence Fight is a good game. In fact, it’s arguably the worst arcade fighter out there, perhaps second only to Midway’s ill fated Pit-Fighter. Not surprisingly, both games share similar qualities; the characters are laughable at best, the controls are slow and unresponsive, the animation quality is pathetic, the hit detection and AI are poorly implemented, and there’s a translation that puts it on par with Zero Wing in terms of sheer crappiness. If there’s some sort of special philosophy behind Violence Fight, then I’ve missed it. I’m still trying to figure out what “BOGOON!” really means.
Community review by disco (August 20, 2007)
Disco is a San Francisco Bay Area native, whose gaming repertoire spans nearly three decades and hundreds of titles. He loves fighting games, traveling the world, learning new things, writing, photography, and tea. Not necessarily in that order.
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