Genre: Beat-‘Em-Up Developer: Data East Publisher: Data East Players: 1-2 Released: 1991
Long before it disappeared from the game industry, Data East was a prolific publisher that had a presence on both Nintendo and Sega’s hardware. It offered many games to the Genesis library, and among the best of them was Two Crude Dudes. An arcade port, the Genny version manages to maintain all the fun and humor of the original, without losing much of its game play in the transition to console.
Ten years after a nuclear mistake leveled New York City, the survivors are hard at work rebuilding. An organization known as “Big Valley” wants to take over and use the Big Apple as a strike point to conquer the nation. As either Biff or Spike (I’m not kidding), the best mercenaries in the business, you must stop Big Valley from carrying out their evil plan through six stages of fun & mayhem. Yeah, I know, the story is about as original as a pop diva showing some cleavage, but who cares? It’s all about kicking butt and this title does that in spades.
You and a pal can play together (you’ll have to decide amongst yourselves who gets to be Biff) and get three continues each. If you play alone, you can add another three credits by pressing start on controller two just before you die. The game isn’t really all that difficult but playing with a friend does reduce the challenge somewhat. The two player game suffers from some slowdown and flicker, so that may turn some gamers away. The single-player mode is nice and clean though.
The Two Crude Dudes possess plenty of moves to help them retake the city. Control is easy and intuitive, as an arcade game should be. You punch (or kick if you crouch) with the B button, jump with the C button, and pick up items or enemies by pressing A. That’s where all the fun is. Biff & Spike can pick up poles, rocks, I-beams, cars, and every enemy that comes their way. This comes in handy when you’re facing multiple foes. Picking up a baddie and hurling him at his buddies is an effective and powerful way of clearing the screen. It’s cool to hoist a car and wait for foes to come at you, then watch them be swatted away when you toss that sucker right at ’em. The “bam!” and “whack” effects when they’re hit is neat too.
Compared to the arcade, The Genesis rev holds up quite nicely. Sprites are large and move well. You may find the characters a bit stiff, but they were that way in the arcade as well from what I recall (anyone who can confirm this please let me know). The game is colorful enough but doesn’t suffer from “SNES envy” (Pink pants on bad guys… Remember Final Fight?). Parallax is used in certain stages and looks great. The coin-op’s charm made it through the porting process virtually intact.
Well, not exactly. The music in Two Crude Dudes does its job well enough, but there’s nothing that really catches the ear (track five was nice though). It’s not bad really, but you won’t be scouring for an OST. The effects sound a bit too low for my taste, with the exception of your enemies’ death grunt. The “oh” your character makes when he dies also sounds clear and loud compared to all the other sounds in the game. It’s weird to kick a foe and barely hear it but then have him grunt so fiercely!
The bosses are outrageous and can sometimes be a pain in the proverbial ass if you’re not prepared. They all have a pattern that’s easy to memorize, however, so you won’t be wracking your brains for too long. I particularly loved the level one boss, who’s a dead ringer for Paul Stanley, complete with platform shoes!
Clearing an area takes you to a bonus stage where you can refill your energy by hitting a soda machine. You only have 30 seconds but it’s enough to keep you from dying too soon in the next stage. The Power Cola machines also appear in some stages and blow up after you’ve released a certain number of cans to drink.
Two Crude Dudes is great fun alone and a blast with a pal. Another Genesis game that can be had for less than $10, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Although a bit on the short side, there’s enough butt-kicking to go around for quite a while.
SCORE: 8 out of 10