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Arcade Archives Crime Fighters
  opened by paleface at 21:01:17 09/17/22  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS4; cat=Beat_em_up; reg=NA]

Had my settings wrong* so this is a NO MIC recording of me thinking you can hear my usual muttering as I go through the Options, then slog single-player through the modern emulation of a 1989 arcade beat-em-up in Arcade Archives Crime Fighters on PS4--2P International cabinet mode--avoiding the key at the final boss to get the "good" ending, and credit-feeding through the ensuing boss rush!
Maybe it's just as well my mic wasn't captured here since it was pretty much all me complaining about how awful the hurt boxes are and how hard it is to hit anything, and why is the game so long oh please just let it end!
The follow-up, Vendetta, is also in Arcade Archives. Guess I'll try next; hopefully it's a little less agonizing!
Tortuously long beat-em-up whose horrendous hurt boxes make hitting anything a chore. Bosses on the other hand may deck you three or four more times as you struggle to your feet after an initial knock-down.
Skip the key the rotund real boss tosses out -- get it and he machine-guns you for the "bad" ending, according to Wikipedia -- and instead just beat his defenseless self to a pulp (the game also has you do this to near-dead enemies, who just bumble helplessly around you instead of attacking) to get the sexist "good" ending, followed by the bosses lining up on the high score screen for a group rush at you in which you lose the rest of your quarters.
I played the 2P, International cabinet version, which apparently loops endlessly. The 4P cab versions, per Wikipedia, manage player health like Gauntlet. The 2P Japan version has a third button, Back-Kick, that lets you sucker-hit rank-and-file enemies a la Double Dragon's elbow.
There's a tiny border around my cropped 4:3 recording screen because I forgot that Arcade Archives' default screen scaling is set to slightly under full screen size.
* Have now finally got my mic set as Default for my OBS recording software in Windows 11's "Volume mixer" panel ( ), so this no-mic boondoggle shouldn't happen again! ... Unless I just forget to plug it in. = P
  paleface 01:41:25 09/18/22
Crime Fighters might be kind of interesting to play for score (each KO = 1 pt, I think–same with Vendetta / Crime Fighters 2). The first stage and 1/3rd of Crime Fighters, at least–up until the first guy with a gun–are even rather decent, once you learn a few tricks, like walking behind the topless sign so it doesn’t cartoonishly squish you, and waiting for the first boss to start spinning his mace when far away, waiting–and not breaking your horizontal plane with him–until he stops, out of breath, punching him, backing off, and repeating. I guess we’ll see how I feel about it once I last long enough to reach the first gun guy. (This is the INT version; in the 2P JP version, I could blindside all the small fry with the additional Back-Kick button, and if I got the first pistol, run up the score real fast because in the JP version, the guns have unlimited ammo. … I really dislike Back-Kick though. But that WOULD be quite a variant for a score attack if the non-cheap version got old.)
Never actually tried playing a beat-em-up for score. Crime Fighters is horrible to credit feed through though. ; )
  paleface 01:50:08 09/18/22
The music is decent.
  paleface 12:53:59 01/15/23
   lists three games in the "series": Crime Fighters, Crime Fighters 2 / Vendetta, and Violent Storm. Haven't played Violent Storm, but aside from having the same buttons and being able to kick downed opponents, Crime Fighters and Crime Fighters 2 / Vendetta don't feel particularly similar; going by the credits listed on, the games all had different dev teams, too:
  paleface 19:59:52 01/15/23
Ah, except that Masahiro Inoue
although having strictly creative credit only in Crime Fighters among those three, does have credits in all of them: "Software designer" in Crime Fighters (1989), "Special Thanks" in Crime Fighters 2 / Vendetta (1991), and "Producer" in Violent Storm (1993).
According to that site and MobyGames,188301/ , among other genres, Inoue also has credits in the following other beat-em-ups
1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Special Thanks
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time - Special Thanks
1991 The Simpsons - Special Thanks
1993 Metamorphic Force - Executive Producer
1993 Gaiapolis - Special Thanks
and fighting games
1993 Martial Champion - Salamander (voice)
1995 Dragoon Might - Producer
Oh, and, according to MobyGames,
1993 Monster Maulers - Producer
Monster Maulers is a fighting vs bosses thing, or maybe you could call it a boss rush fighter, or monster fighter--like Capcom's Red Earth / Warzard (that's how it's spelled in the menu for Capcom Fighting Collection -- see entry 1437) three years later (1996). So kind of a fighting game / beat-em-up hybrid, in a way.
Those were all with Konami's arcade division.
  paleface 22:54:59 01/15/23

After my first play-through, I didn't like the game, and felt the two-hour play-through was a horrible slog. But something prevented me from deleting it; I had a feeling that maybe there was fun to be had here somehow. After this second play-through, I think it's probably, in terms of gameplay, the most technically advanced beat-em-up I've ever played; its depth and challenge are pretty much unsurpassed. In short: it's REALLY good! = o
The first impression of Crime Fighters isn't great: tiny, weirdly colored sprites, pale backgrounds, fairly limited, non-flashy moves, unrelenting mobs of enemies, and really bad hit detection.
On the second play-through, though, I realize that the hit detection isn't bad: it's extremely precise! You have to AIM in this game.
Each enemy type has a different attack pattern; different combinations of enemies create unique challenges--the game will often throw mobs of five or six (or more!) enemies at you, but even a two-enemy combo can be extremely challenging, depending on how their attacks overlap; they are all very good at double-teaming you! A play-through is nearly two hours long, but the ever-unfolding new enemies and enemy combinations mean there's a new challenge every step of the way.
Not to mention the many bosses! Each has their own attack patterns, AND each can be hit most effectively by a certain pattern of movement and attack by you the player. Hit detection and timing is VERY tight, and you probably WILL get hit plenty--but you feel that maybe you could've avoided taking that last hit if you'd only launched your last attack a pixel closer in, or a fraction of a second later.
Some of the boss patterns are pretty unique, too; for instance, one of them can hammer you with extremely rapid-fire, fairly short-range punches--so you may think you want to keep your distance, but in fact its at extremely short range where you can hit him and he can't hit you, so you have to stay right on TOP of him, matching his quick footwork; if he manages to dodge back a step ahead of you, you're in for a barrage of hits!
But I came to realize that it isn't just the bosses who challenge you to find a fresh attack pattern to counter their moves: against even the weakest rank-and-file enemies, if you switch up punches and kicks to match their movements and hit reactions, you can take them down in a single extended combination of hits, instead of taking several knock-downs to KO them: the game lets you invent intuitive custom combos crafted to each character, on the fly! I've never found an attack system this in-depth and natural in any other beat-em-up; it was fairly mind-blowing when I found it, near the end of the two hour run. Now I want to play through all over again!!
And I don't think any beat-em-up has a mass onslaught quite like the boss rush of the (I think) "good" ending in Crime Fighters. ^ _^
What a game. What a game. It looks like some barely-NES-level discount board at first, but it might actually be the best.
(At least in Two-Player, International cabinet mode. I haven't tried the health-constantly-ticking-down-Gauntlet-style, probably friendly-fire-heavy four-player cabinet mode , and only briefly tried the cheap back-kick, unlimited-gun-ammo attacks of the JP cabinet modes.)
· Arcade Archives Vendetta (PS4)

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