|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Success||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 31, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
After beating your way through a group of thugs, you'll be prompted to move to the right. Yes, this game has players ever-progressing toward the right side of the screen, making levels nothing but linear. After progressing through a few mundane segments, you'll be faced with more challenging boss battles. Regrettably, new ways of dispatching these enemies are not introduced. So, fighting these opponents is not any more interesting, just a bit more frustrating. All this button-mashing adds up to a lackluster gameplay experience that is more yawn-inducing than awe-inspiring.
Also, this game severely suffers from single-player-only gameplay, a narrow camera perspective, and poor graphics. For starters, arcade titles such as Double Dragon were so fun because you could play side-by-side with a buddy. Not being able to play via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, or at the very least, through local Nintendo DS Wireless Play is inexcusable. Although, even if multiplayer was included, it would have been thwarted by the restricted perspective. Players can only see about five to ten feet in font or behind them. Also, the game only allows you to run around in a very limited amount of space. Though there is a bit of depth, you're essentially confined to a single plane. Other than hopping on car hoods and taking a step or two up or down, there's nowhere to go in Tokyo Beat Down except to the right. Finally, the graphics are poor not only by Nintendo DS standards but also by beat-'em-ups. The blocky, blurry characters and their stiff animations have nothing on the pixelated sprites of the 8, 16, and 32 bit era. Fortunately, the 70s cop show vibe is nicely picked up on by the theme music. I just missed the wah-chicka-wah-chicka guitar riffs from similar, contemporary American series.
When all is said and done, Tokyo Beat Down is a charming tale that's probably not worth playing through. The dated gameplay and stiff controls just don't do the tongue-in-cheek storytelling justice. Most players will become quickly bored with this title, though there may be enough allure in the setting for genre veterans to suffer through the action.
CCC Editor / News Director