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Baraduke 2 (Arcade) artwork

Baraduke 2 (Arcade) review


"It's never been much of a secret that most arcade titles were intentionally hard as hell, all in the name of profit. Thus, the given nickname by arcade dwellers: quarter munchers. Baraduke, by Namco, was one such game from the 1980s. The object in this title is to go from one floor to the next, which you do by destroying purple aliens, the Octy. It's actually much harder than it sounds, due to the random and chaotic nature of the game. Basically, everything, from every corner of the screen, is o..."



It's never been much of a secret that most arcade titles were intentionally hard as hell, all in the name of profit. Thus, the given nickname by arcade dwellers: quarter munchers. Baraduke, by Namco, was one such game from the 1980s. The object in this title is to go from one floor to the next, which you do by destroying purple aliens, the Octy. It's actually much harder than it sounds, due to the random and chaotic nature of the game. Basically, everything, from every corner of the screen, is out to get your character. Enemies fly out from the left and right sides, Mutant Hair Brushes™ crawl out of the ceiling and drop down, and even the Octy get in on the act, releasing zombified jellyfish and bullets at the same time.

The madness doesn't end there, either, as you'll encounter armed robots moving erratically, bullets that materialize out of thin air, and, if you're not careful, be assaulted by Pac-Man's butt-ugly, evil clones that charge out of containers left behind by the defeated Octy. To help combat all this, Namco graciously gave players the ability to move all around the screen with a jetpack, a health bar, and a couple lives, but the game is still damn hard at times. You don't even have an option to continue; once you lose, you get sent back to the title screen, where you restart your journey through 48 floors.

Surprisingly, at least to me, Baraduke had a sequel that came out a few years later. The overall game structure remained intact, delivering the same, vicious play style from the original. Some small modifications have been made, only two of which are worth mentioning. The first is the added ability to continue from the last stage you were killed in. How awesome is that? A modification that makes completing the game less frustrating. Now here's the second change: you only have a single life and no health bar...

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm crazy, but this is just taking the whole quarter munching aspect to unflattering heights, especially in a tough game like Baraduke 2.

The level of randomness isn't as out of control as it was in the first title, but it's still present, and with the whole one-life deal going on now, it's more annoying. You can go through an entire early stage, dodging an onslaught of foes and bullets, without much of a problem, but then a Mutant Hair Brush™ falls on your head. You barely even see it coming, since it appeared off screen, already falling. One absurd moment that I went through happened when I was fighting a boss that was shooting pink lasers. A second after I defeated the giant, blue-balled cyclops, a row of pink lasers suddenly came towards me. This has never happened in previous plays. Thankfully, I escaped, but it would have really sucked if I died like that, right after killing the boss. You'll get plenty of cheap moments like those, especially since it seems, in my experiences, the game is programmed to get harder if you haven't died for a long period. Baraduke 2, mostly in the later parts, is also a game that requires you to know the layout of specific stages, because one wrong turn (some have alternative paths) or decision will result in death.

I really have a hard time imagining that anybody had wonderful moments playing this title when it was released in the arcades. All I can picture is a bunch of shocked gamers, after getting hit once, in the second stage no less, being forced to put in another coin to continue. They likely walked away in anger, though. It's sad how different Baraduke 2 could have been if it just had a health bar and lives.

This is what happens when a company gets too greedy.

Rating: 2/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (March 28, 2010)

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