Retro: VC Weekly #160

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

If you're a fan of Beat-em-ups then this release may satisfy a sudden urge to play such a title. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Brawl Brothers

Points: 800
Publisher: Jaleco
Developer: Jaleco
Released: 1993
System: SNES

While it may seem like Capcom and Sega effectively own the Beat-Em-Up genre thanks largely to huge success with Final Fight plus Streets of Rage respectively, there are other developers that have dabbled in the genre with varying degrees of success including Jaleco who are famed for creating Rival Turf which effectively precedes this title. Along with The Peace Keepers the three games make up the Rushing Beat trilogy in Japan however by the time they reached Western shores they were retitled to what you see today; but how exactly does this title stack up against its predecessor? Reasonably well actually...

Retaining the same main characters from Rival Turf in the form of the newly renamed Hack and Slash � formerly known as Jack Flack plus Oozie Nelson respectively � plus adding in three more characters named Kazan, Lord J and Wendy means you now have five decidedly different characters to choose from. While they all have the same basic combos available to them each one has their own unique set of moves so it's best to try them all out and then pick whichever you prefer; be warned though because depending on which two characters you use � the other becomes a reserve � you'll have to fight cloned versions of the remaining three however upon beating them you'll then have them at your disposal, the reserve character system works to a degree but being that you can only switch out upon continuing rather than after each life it's of limited use.

Stages are sparse in number which is unfortunate being that most of them seem somewhat similar and almost all of them play out in the same way which basically means you fight your way in one direction occasionally having to figure out which door to take then when you arrive at the end of a stage you're faced with a simplistic boss battle before moving onto the next area then rinse and repeat. You'd think that a game being based upon beating bodies to a bloody pulp would have the actual fighting mechanic well-programmed but unfortunately enemies aren't that easy to hit and rely on you being on the right plain plus directly in front of them otherwise your hits simply will not register; this was a problem with the prequel and it's still a problem here which is sad to see indeed.

In addition to being able to hold an array of weapons you can also 'carry' food items if your health happens to be full which would be beneficial if you had some sort of mini-inventory but sadly you don't so this 'feature' seems wasted being that you can't do much which holding said item other than get hit. Fortunately the visuals are vastly improved upon and look reasonably decent even if they're not on par with Streets of Rage and the same can be said for the music; a collection of decent enough tunes which do the job but are in no way either iconic or even vaguely memorable, the sound effects are notable but again aren't one of the games stronger selling points.

So better than Rival Turf this may be but it's still not a decent enough game to recommend getting over the true greats of the genre which remain unbeaten and so basically I would only advise getting this if you happen to be really into beat-em-ups and have played everything else that the Virtual Console has to offer. Really there isn't a great deal to see here that you won't have already seen before in a similar game, it's entertaining for a short while if you can play it with someone else but on your own your time and points would be better spent elsewhere.

Verdict : A sedate side-scrolling scrapper.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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