Title: Punisher, The
Rom Player: Kawaks
Reviewer: RaNkeri

Synopsis: As I stated in my “Punisher review for Sega Genesis”, this game is one of the greatest ever made in my very humble opinion… You can only imagine the amount of excitement and girly screams when I found an arcade version of this great beat ‘em up game.

So why bother writing another review, when I could just copy and paste my other review? There are plenty of reasons, but the simplest one would be that the arcade version is at least 100 times better than the Genesis version! Saying such words about my childhood favourite game really breaks my heart, but it’s true, compared to the arcade version, the Genesis one sucks ass real bad.

So yeah, I haven’t really followed the Punisher comic itself, mostly because of the lack of Marvel comics in Finland, but the plot is basic stuff: Frank Castle’s, an ex-lieutenant of USMC, is having a nice picnic in a park with his family, when they happen to prove a brutal mob killing. The goons decide not to leave any witnesses, so they slay the helpless Castle family. Somehow, Frank survives and declares a war against all criminals. He changes his name into Punisher and starts his hunt. I don’t know how it was in the comics, but in the game you can also play as Nick Fury, who is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In the game, player one plays as Punisher and player two as Nick Fury, there are no real differences between these two. Both of them are equally strong and equally fast, and the only noticeable difference between these two is the special move. When you press A and B at the same time, Punisher performs a sweep kick, while Nick Fury swings his whip. Both of them also let out an extremely cheesy war cry. You can also perform a special attack when you’re holding an enemy. This time, your character will grab the opponent’s legs and use him as a weapon for few seconds duration.

The game play of this game is awesome. It runs smoothly and you won’t have any major problems with it, although, sometimes it’s annoyingly tricky to perform a grenade special attack.

The game is visually extremely beautiful. The backgrounds look great and the characters look Marvel-ish. Background music sound great, and some of the tunes are so great that they get stuck into your head. Sound effects are also very well done. Every time when you kill an enemy, or get killed, the person screams from pain. Also, when you use a weapon, or your fists, you can hear the hits as they land on your poor opponent’s face or body. And of course, since it’s a game by Marvel and Capcom, you can also “see” the effects, which reminds a lot from the 60s Batman show and Marvel comics.

The game contains also a lot of weapons that can be picked up and used against your opponents. For example, you can pick up knives, guns, flamethrowers, axes, swords and also car tires, sandbags and spears, which cannot be found from the Genesis version. And yes, the famous lead pipe is also in the game! You can also pick up grenades, which can be used as special attacks. You just need to press A and B at the same time when your character is in mid-air. This special attack is extremely powerful since it harms almost everyone who are on the screen (it won’t hurt your ally), so don’t expect that you could find grenades easily! This move also won’t decrease your energy unlike the other special moves, so it’s advisable to spare them for boss fights.

The weapons can only be used for limited time. For example, you can attack with a sword five times. After that your character will toss it away. One cool thing is that when using a baseball bat, the bat will crack into pieces after you’ve reached its limit, which didn’t happen in Genesis version. Other things that can only be seen in arcade versions are that when holding an enemy while having a knife, your character will slit the opponent’s throat, causing heavy damage!! Also, when you throw away a weapon with a blade in mid-air, it will get stuck to floor!

This game is also highly addicting and definitely one of the greatest beat ‘em up games ever made!

So, what are you still waiting for? Go get this game and enjoy from non-stop ass kicking action!!

Best Cheats: It's an arcade game, so there really aren't any cheats, but you can find a nice guide for basic moves and such from www.gamefaqs.com

Game Play: 10
Graphics: 10
Music/Sound: 10
Originality: 6
Overall Rating: 10

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