Vigilante & Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Dueling Beat ‘Em Ups

 

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Vigilante is a 2D beat ’em up where you can’t walk up and down, only left and right. The version I’m talking about lives on the ill-fated Turbografx 16 console, and it’s not even the best brawler on the system. Splatterhouse is. Vigilante is the spiritual successor, no, it’s the sequel to the NES launch title Kung Fu. Both games were developed by Irem, The gameplay of the two are similar, and that isn’t great for a 16-bit game.

The most creative part of the game is the story: we play as a dude who must rescue a woman from some skinheads. If you know anything about the beat ’em up genre then you know I’m being sarcastic: it’s not an interesting plot. Kudos to the game for using skinheads as the enemies. That must have been edgy as hell, what other video game have skinheads in them. The game is also on the Master System, and does not include skinheads.

The stock Turbografx controller has a turbo switch. So, using it isn’t cheating, it’s necessary. To make it through this game you will have to slide that switch to max. Then pick up the nunchucks, and hold down the punch button. Careful, you will lose the weapon after getting hit once, then it’s back to kicks and punches and the horrible jumping strikes that are done by pressing up on the d-pad. Turtles 2 The Arcade Game has the best jump kick; Vigilante has the worst.

The graphics are good and the character designs are fun and detailed a bit. The main character does have one eyeball, and Eddie Van Halen wrist bands! In the game the enemies fly off screen when defeated as if a gust of wind hit them. You will not get any sense of enjoyment when you hit a skinhead with your nunchuk. There is no feeling of impact. As all early era beat ‘em ups are, Vigilante is hard. If the enemies touch you your life bar will quickly diminish. It’s annoying. There is no 2 player co-op, leaving nothing to come back to the game for. Take the power into your own hands and avoid this one; knowing how uncommon the Turbografx is, it won’t be difficult.

 

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I don’t know much about the Power Rangers. I remember it was a a show on a channel called YTV, and that my younger brother would watch it every day. I must have been too old or cool to get into it; I recall thinking it was stupid and lame. I still don’t get what the big deal is, or was. Maybe it’s that they turn into big robots. I’ve never really cared about big robots.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is a beat ’em up that’s on the Super Nintendo. Like Vigilante we can move left and right; there’s no up and down. The game isn’t in the style of Final Fight as most brawlers of the time were. Instead Power Rangers plays like, again, Kung Fu.

Basic beat ’em up moves are used in this one, but there’s also a grab and a toss move, which comes in handy. Like in Double Dragon there are platforming portions. Platforming is always brutal in the genre, and this one is not any different. Although, it’s not that frustrating. All of a sudden you will have to hang off stuff. The game expects you to figure it out on the fly. Then you have to bounce off walls like Super Mario. I started to miss the punching and the kicking.

It’s the third stage where the game strays from its beat ‘em up roots and evolves into an action adventure game. The brawling returns later in stage five. To mess with your head the game becomes a tournament fighter for the next two stages. Finally, the game ends with a dance party. The variety of gameplay is very confusing for a beat ‘em up.

Billy, the guy wearing the coveralls, throws one of the most ridiculous punches in gaming history: he puts his hand on his head and pushes it down as if he’s being forced to do an inappropriate act on himself. When his head gets as low as it can go he pops a jab.

The game has good speed to it and it doesn’t get boring. There’s enough beat ‘em up action to warrant entry into the genre. Plus that punch will forever amuse anyone who plays this game.

If you want to play a game that does what these games do but better, than play Ninja Warriors

 

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