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B.Rap Boys
  opened by paleface at 00:49:18 11/11/04  
  last modified by paleface at 01:09:27 11/11/04  
  paleface [sys=PCB; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=NA]
Awesome side-scrolling isometric three-player beat-em-up from Kaneko has two remarkable things: a solid rap/hip-hop soundtrack and attack control handled by just one button, but which never feels limited or confusing.
The cab in which we played this had only one coin slot, and the coin slots are hardwires to the character, so we could only play as Player 1. It was fun, and I can only imagine how much more fun it would be multiplayer.
The whole game has an unusual style. The sprites have this rough chubby look to them, with squat frames and sometimes seemingly careless lines, but they still project a very solid, heavy image. And then of course everyone is some kind of punk, and rap beats keep time to the action as you beat the stuffing out of them.
You have just two buttons, Jump and Attack, but amazingly it feels like you have a whole Double-Dragon caliber arsenal at your fingertips. I'm not sure how they worked that out, but basically when you get up to someone and press the Attack button, your dude always seems to throw out just the kind of attack you wanted, whether it be a punch, kick, kick flurry, throw, or whatever. It just feels really nice, effortless, and intuitive. You can also pick up weapons the baddies drop, pipes and bats and things, and you can do pretty good damage with these though I always got disarmed in pretty short order.
There's also a big emphasis on vehicular combat here, with stage sections that have your rapster rampaging downhill on a bicycle, zooming along on a skateboard, or even fighting a boss in a giant mechanized robo-suit. No matter what you're driving, though, the single-button attack system still feels right, and your punk will lash out in the most effective way possible--whacking people with the front tire of the bike, for instance.
The thugs you face don't take this sitting down, and can pose a pretty tough challenge for one man, either when a bunch of little dudes team up or a big nasty dude comes along. One later stage I didn't like too much because a single hit would knock you to your death off a wooden platform, but otherwise the game felt mostly fair despite the stiff odds, thanks in large part I suppose to the nice control.
Between stages, Player 1 guy broke out in a bare-chested vest and rollerskate look. Because he's just that rad.

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