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Nintendo DS Video Game Review: Tokyo Beat Down

For those who enjoy challenging Japanese beat ’em up video games, “Tokyo Beat Down” is reminiscent to games like “Renegade” with an ’80s flair.

TITLE: Tokyo Beat Down (野獣刑事 東京同時多発テロを鎮圧せよ!)

DEVELOPER: SUCCESS/TAMSOFT

PUBLISHED BY: ATLUS

CONSOLE: Nintendo DS

RATING: T for TEEN – Alcohol reference, Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence

The sweet satisfaction of classic coin-op beat ’em ups returns with the Beast Cops! With an ever-growing threat of violence, crime, and terrorism, these cops will do whatever it takes, inflict as much damage as necessary to restore peace and security to the streets of Tokyo.

  • Beat ’em up that lets you shoot ’em up – When fisticuffs aren’t enough, add guns to deliver a whole new brand of justice to the mean streets of Tokyo. Pick up a variety of weapons, ranging from handguns to rocket launchers, for intense action on each level.
  • 70’s cop shows have nothing on this – Outrageous style, over-the-top substance, and no holds barred hardboiled police action mix with madcap humor and sharply-written dialogue. Dishing out justice to the seamy underbelly of Tokyo has never been this satisfying.
  • Multiple characters & endings – This sordid tale of Tokyo’s criminal set unfolds through the eyes of three different cops with unique play styles. Story branches lead to multiple endings that determine whether you’ll get your shot to beat down the ultimate crime boss.

Ah! I’ve been wanting a video game similar to what I enjoyed back in the early ’90s such as the popular coin-op arcade games such as “Renegade”, “Streets of Rage” “Final Fight”, “Double Dragon” and several others that I grew up playing at the arcade or old school consoles.

But then I heard Atlus was releasing SUCCESS’s Nintendo DS game “Yajuu Deka” stateside! Granted, I knew nothing about this game but having wanted a beat ’em up game, I was hooked by the artwork. It reminded me of Ryoichi Ikegami’s work on his ’80s manga series “Crying Freeman” mashed with old school “Miami Vice”.

“Tokyo Beat Down” is a game about the “Beast Cops” of Yaesu Station. World famous as police officers who take on the baddest of the bad in Japan.

The Beast Cops are:

* for playable characters

* Captain Takeshi Bando – Responsible for the Beast Cops and keeps them in line. Although his tactics can be a bit excessive. An offensive character.

* Sr. Patrol Officer Lewis Cannon – The hotheaded, reckless cop who enjoys kicking butt. A well-balanced character who keeps telling bad jokes.

* Patrol Officer Rika Hyodo – Not scared of getting into Cannon’s face if he is out of line. A tough, agile character with a bad mouth.

Sergeant Hiro Suzuki – An all-purpose officer known to give good advice and when the going gets tough, he can get you from point A to point B.

Chief Eiji Watanabe – The head chief who dresses up in cool duds. Older gentleman who reminisces of the old days.

Patrol Officer Shin Koga – The rookie cop who goes by the book and doesn’t like Lewis’s fight first talk later. Shin believes in communicating.

Officer Madoka – Keeps the file room organized.

Inspector Jean Saburo – An elitist sent from the main office to work at Yaesu Station.

GAMEPLAY:

In “Tokyo Beat Down”, you play and start off with the character of Agent Lewis Canon. Fighting goes from right to left, similar to “Final Fight” and yo get hoards of enemies coming at you. Some punch and other shoot guns. Meanwhile, your job is to take them out. Fortunately, there are crates, garbage cans and vending machines that you can break and pick up an item for energy.

During the course of the game, you get to play with three different characters and depending on how you play the game, you can get three multiple endings.

CONTROLS:

The controls are straight forward. Control pad to move your character in a direction. B to jump, Y to punch and X to kick. R to guard and L to break out your gun (note: bullets are limited). The “A” button is used to communicate with others. Using a combination of buttons such as Y+B allows you to throw, pressing on a direction twice and quickly allows you to dash and R+Y or R+X allows you to do special attacks. Although, special attacks use up some health.

GRAPHICS:

Graphics are like Playstation 1 style graphics. Not the prettiest looking game but fortunately, the art work of the still-art of the characters are pretty cool to look at with the ’80s style of art

AUDIO:

So far, the background music I’ve heard is a bit jazzy and a bit of funk and most of the noise from the characters are grunts and clicks and gunshots.

So, far I’m really digging the game and its artwork. For those looking for innovation, you’re not going to see anything new. It’s more or less along the lines of beat ’em up games like Taito’s 1986 game “Renegade” but in this case, you are part of a kick-butt police agency and you have hoards of enemies from street punks and people in camouflage all going at you at once and shooting you. Timing is very important in this game and also listening as a click is a precursor to bullets shooting at you. Although, you can’t see the bullets, you just have to time your movements and hope you dodge it.

As expected, the game gets pretty tough. In the beginning, I was flying through the game but when you have people surrounding you on both sides and shooting at you, it makes things quite challenging. Especially when you have a weapon and you hope that he can get it out in time but it’s not as quick as you hope, so you need to improvise. But I still have yet to beat the game and will follow up this review upon completion.

The negatives are quite a few in this game from repetitiveness, repetitive enemies with different color pallets for clothing, repetitive scenes and unresponsive special attacks plus a difficult and challenging game. It all comes down to your patience and learning which moves to beat the enemies but even then, the repetitiveness gets to become too tedious at times.

So, is this game worth it? For me, I love these type of games and it’s an Atlus game, so I’m going to pick up no matter what. Again, it’s not a pretty game but if you want pretty games, then you would be playing on an XBOX 360 or PS3. For the DS, it’s good. But another positive selling point for me was that Gamestop sells it for $14.99 and that’s pretty cheap for an Atlus game.

Overall Review: 75%

Pros:

+ A Japanese beat ’em up game for the DS

+ ’80s style characters inc. bad humor

+ The ability to learn more moves for your characters

+ Ability to play different characters

+ Cheap price

Cons:

– Repetitive enemies and repetitive stages

– Enemies all wear the same clothes but different colors

– Graphics and music are not that great

– Cheap bosses and enemies makes this game quite difficult at times

– Control issues and unresponsive moves