Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Retro Review

Two Crude Dudes, Sega Megadrive
Two Crude Dudes (aka Crude Buster), developed by Data East, is a Japanese side scrolling beat em up coin-op conversion that held its tongue so firmly in its cheek, I could see it almost poking through its creatine induced jaw.
With New York in a ruinous post apocalyptic state and the year 2010AD, a violent gang with the moniker Big Valley have seized control and over the next two decades dominate the streets. That is until a fragile Government secretly call upon the manly Biff and Spike to expunge every enemy and restore the city to its former glory.
The absolute joy and distinguishing feature of Two Crude Dudes lies in the ability to rip things out of the ground and hurl them at the onrushing stream of enemies. The environment became my armoury and I launched rocks, traffic lights and burnt out cars at everything from long haired moustachioed punks to miniature purple gremlin santa lookalikeys. If the screen was barren and I had harvested all possible street furniture, I could choose to pick up the onrushing enemy and fling them into oblivion. However my absolute favourite was plucking enemies clean out of the air whilst they were in mid-jump. This consistently brought a gigantic grin to my own non creatine induced jaw as I was safe in the knowledge that if this clean up job failed this spiky orange haired punk could easily moonlight in the NBA or any Olympic throwing discipline.
In a neat and satisfying level design, each of the six 2D side scrolling levels often had dual floors on the same screen. This enabled me and my co-op partner to maintain different areas of the screen, not clutter up each other’s fight arenas and clear enemies that were incoming from all levels. There is also huge benefit in not being in the throwing line of friendly fire as this ate small portions of my life bar on the several occasions that Tracey wanted to introduce my face to a bonnet of a car.
The title screen theme music The Lifeline of New York and in game cue Kids in Battle captured the knowing spirit perfectly and aurally had a distant relationship to the soundtrack of Toe Jam and Earl. With detailed 16 bit graphics and Roy Lichtenstein/60s Batman TV series Krak and Wham fight bubbles being revealed after every hit, the inventive enemy (turquoise rabid hounds who affix themselves to your nipple to bouncing mint green commanders that poop out radioactive discharge) and end of level bosses ensured that Two Crude Dudes understood its identity and what it wanted gamers to experience.
However, I was perplexed briefly at the end of my playing experience because it took less than two hours to complete. This is a game that retailed for £40 nearly 25 years ago and although has fun co-op possibilities did not last longer than the average film. I took a quick look back at our review of Streets of Rage and that too was finished off in 90 minutes and it helped me frame an internal question around value, length and joy within games.
If a game provides delight, satisfaction and delivers a great memory and personal experience for the player then it doesn’t matter if it’s played in an arcade for 50p and lasts for two minutes, bought from ebay for three figures and is an ultra rare game for the NES which will be played to death or is a downloaded from PSN like Journey, completed in two hours and never loaded up again. The great memory has been made and because of that I’ll talk about Two Crude Dudes with friends and reference it in the future knowing it has added another piece of 1990s goodness to my personal cultural diet.

No comments:

Post a Comment