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Sunday, 12 August 2012


     This arcade ripper is one of my most fondly remembered SNES games. Pretty much everything in the game seems perfect and while the urban setting (neatly designed by the best Capcom has to offer, no less) brings back memories from a past lived through, it's always fun to remember what life pleasures used to be like back then.  It is still as perfect a getaway from the travails of everyday life as ever.
     The denizens of a crime ridden urban centre have elected a new mayor. No ordinary mayor mind you. The new political leader is none other than Mike Haggar, a professional wrestler. Not only that, he also turns out to be an honest man, unable to be bought off by the thugs. Being the loving father that he is, the crooks kidnap his daughter -Jessica- to get some leverage on him. The gang that happens to meddle in his life is the most fearsome of them all- Mad Gear. Now it's up to Haggar and his friend Guy (Cody in the western version) to fight their way through the hordes of evil minions to rescue Jessica and put a dent in the goon population.

     With violence heavy in the air, the duo makes their way in this classic arcade game, reminiscent of 80's culture. The game pulls no punches with the gang-related motif: rundown buildings serving as hideouts, tough walks through the outskirts and not so well meaning evil doers everywhere. The city has been, after all, taken over by Mad Gear and crime is rife throughout the hostage city. The themes featured are dense and typical of a parlous urban environment. As soon as the game starts off, heroes and foes alike are quickly embroiled in a slapdash scuffle that will not leave anything unscathed. Barrels, billboards, crates, chandeliers are smashed to pieces as a side effect of such a wolfish engagement. Fortunately, breaking objects strewn across the stage reveals food items that can be picked up and used to replenish some of the player character's health. These include spinach, beer, whiskey, hamburger, sushi, pizza and a whole chicken. The latter can replenish the character's whole energy, which makes gobbling it up right off the bat a careless strategy. Since it always restores energy in full, it's best to fight while staying around it, saving it for later use when the protagonist is REALLY running short on health.

     After going through six stages chock a block with punch-throwing and general bashing out, the quest comes to a climax when it's time to face off the true villain behind all. Although a handicapped man (wheelchair-bound) he can still pack quite a punch with his impressive strength. He also wields a mean bow that shoots powerful sharp-tipped arrows with dead accuracy.