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Title: Bad Street Brawler
Rom Player: NESticle
Reviewer: Ken

Synopsis: In its ground state, the existence of criminalistic endeavor seems controllable at best; while crimes are committed on a daily basis, our national, state, local police forces and investigative units are generally working their hardest to defend our beloved country, if not enabling themselves to test all thirty-two flavors of Dunkin Donuts during their quests. However, at times, rampant, sudden attacks can occur; like the very outbreaks that randomly burst onto the faces of acne-ridden adolescents, crime can explode onto the scene with reckless abandon, catching the criminal neutralization forces genuinely off-guard. It is at dangerous times like these that our nation needs a Bad Street Brawler.

Perhaps you were not aware, but a Bad Street Brawler is actually a *good* thing; perhaps this particular brawler should have been referred to as a GOOD Street Brawler -- he's supposed to be doing good for the streets, I do believe. Taking care of the out-of-control crime; helping friendly old ladies cross the street; recycling cans and bottles; tripping midgets with viciously relentless kicks and crushing them with well-placed forearms..?

This Brawler is the mysterious Duke Davis -- a former punk rocker, turned famous martial arts vigilante. Why did Duke stop rocking all punk-like? And who exactly is the ''measuring stick'' by which all popular martial arts vigilantes are compared to one another? I know not. However, I do know that I am safe as long as DUKE DAVIS is patrolling the streets, giving the boot and fist to common house pets.

That's correct. Among the ruffians getting hostile in the once-safe parks and on the formerly innocent streets are LARGE clans of SMALL people; midgets, all bald for extremely aerodynamic capabilities, will attack you in never-ending quantities. They'll glide through the air, propelling themselves fearlessly into the skies with their ball and chain weapons, only to land opposite of you to lay the proverbial smack down. You'll have to punch them right in the head, kick them in the kneecaps, and do whatever else it takes to eliminate those devastatingly powerful little foes.

Accompanying these midgets is an entire nations' worth of pitbulls. Equally devastating and with much sharper teeth, they can perform mechanical digestion in half the time; don't let them bite into you. You must kick and punch them as well, because you know no better; you're a brawler. Frighteningly enough, this is just the first stage! Your adventure as a street brawler (who is bad) is only just beginning. You are the ultimate defender of freedom, and without you, midgets and pitbulls would rain bloody terror down onto urban areas of the common people, defenseless against all creatures under the height of three feet.

Duke, while capable of physically dominating the midgets, only has the capacity to know three ''martial arts'' techniques at a time; these moves change by stage, as Duke is given a new set of moves at the beginning of every new level, such as Duke sticking his hand out innocently as dogs and the like just run right into it, knocking themselves unconscious. He also has a variety of kicks, while classified in-game as ''roundhouse,'' ''high,'' and the like, all certainly share the same results: pain for the opposition. One move each is assigned to the A and B buttons, and a third can be pulled off by combining the two for one explosive maneuver. Duke means business, kids.

It's important for Duke to be healthy at all times; at the bottom of the screen is Duke's health, as well as a display for the enemy health whenever one is on screen or in battle. They generally have much less health, unless they're a gorilla, because Duke is just that tough. Make sure you grab powerups whenever they're released onscreen by the mysterious wandering fellow who pops in to help you on your journey from time to time.

Unfortunately, Duke's surroundings aren't very impressive; generally ugly backgrounds hugely detract from the seriousness of this game. Trees in the park are far less than detailed; there is a single fence behind duke and streetlights along the park walk, but that's it. No trash cans to stuff those pesky midgets into, or any interactive background details. Shameful, I must say. The rest of the stages are equally unsatisfactory, in much the same fashion.

Bad Street Brawler is taken to new, unexplored lows by the audio featured in the game; the background stage themes are uneven, uninspiring, and from this reviewers view, unwanted; mute 'em. They have no bread-and-butter consistency that really puts me in the midget-beating frame of mind. And the sound of our protector hitting things in the head? A ''ding!'' tone. Dear, sweet lord. Add in the static-depressive noises of the midgets using their ball-and-chains as propellers, and you've got an all-around disappointment on your hands.

Our friend Duke tries his best to rid the world of pesky wrongdoers in his adventure, Bad Street Brawler, but ultimately fails; an uninspired side-scrolling beat-'em-up that loses in every aspect. Instead of protecting the world and bringing overall happiness, Duke himself goes on a reign of terror, developing an uncontrollable need to pound on the ever-growing midgets population. He clearly invades midget and dog hangouts like parks, and proceeds to punch all incomers in the head. It's a tough world out there, and Duke is in way too deep.

Best Cheats: Nothing Entered

Game Play: 2
Graphics: 3
Music/Sound: 2
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 3

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