Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance
There has always been a place for fighting games in the heart of the console gamer. Capcoms most recent release, Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance is a very poor attempt when you think back to the great 'beat-em-up' titles of the past. It was always my assumption that fighting games gave players the chance to vent their frustration whilst systematically working through the various levels. Somewhere along the way, Capcom have missed this vital point. To have released this game in the year 2005 is an insult to all game designers, producers and game players alike.
The storyline is as follows: five dodgy gangster types end up getting framed for murder and become the targets of the Zanetti family. The aim of the game is to fight through villains, police officers and the Zanetti gang with a view to clearing your characters name. You are also promised that the city in which the game is set can be explored thoroughly. At the opening screen you pick one of these five characters. As I found it doesn't matter at all which as the storyline is almost exactly the same for each. Before I actually started playing I encountered the first of many irritants within the game, loading screens. I have never played a game that involves so much time waiting for the loading to complete. Every time anything happens you are confronted with this annoyance. There is no explanation for this as hardly anything in the game could challenge the system to anywhere near its' potential.
If the game was any good the loading time might have been ignored. This unfortunately is not the case. The fighting within the game is terribly dull, which surprised me with a 'fighting' game. You can punch, kick and block. That's it. You can get some new moves as you progress but I wouldn't bother. The graphics are horrendously generic and mind numbing. The visual department obviously felt that the fighting aspect of the game would distract gamers from the poor design (See Above).
Throughout the game you will begin tearing your hair out with all the faults but the dialogue must be the worst of the worst. I felt that the bad language was pointless. Don't get me wrong, I like a good cuss like the next guy but there wasn't any need for it within this harmless, lifeless game. When games do use bad language it normally fits with the storyline. Beat Down just inserts it to try and persuade mature gamers to buy it. You're not fooling anyone Capcom; no one will buy this effort. The music is dire and the voice actors seem to have been employed from the School of Idiocy.
Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance is possibly the worst game I have ever encountered and I was there when The Jackie Chan Adventures came out. This game will only cause frustration, not rid you of it. There are plenty of far superior alternatives available and I would opt for one of those instead. Either that or wait two weeks and Beat Down will be in a bargain bin near you. Very bad.
3 out of 10