Review by Flyersfreak85

"Law & Order might be TOUGH, but they aren't Rick & Allen tough...thank god."

Introduction: Oh Jaleco, how I simply, undeniably, and with full on ambition, loathe you. Okay so, you know the drill: a little over a month ago I reviewed a Jaleco game that, for what it was worth, was a pretty good game in “Pro Sport Hockey”, which was exclusive to Super Nintendo. Now I am going to review a wretched piece of trash that Jaleco made (and that this point I am sure you are thinking to yourself, “Which one, exactly) and put in the arcades that should have been exorcised.

“64th Street: A Detective Story” is about as much a sacrilegious game as you could ever find out there when it comes to the side scroller genre. However, being that it was made by Jaleco and it attempted to be cute, all the while forgetting what timeline it was on and making some eyesore sights and ear bleeding sounds, that just made it all the more worse than it should have been. But, rather than ripping apart the game in the introduction, we'll balance the complaints and criticisms over the next few categories instead.

Gameplay: Boy I'll tell you what, if there has ever been a bigger “Final Fight” rip-off then this one, then I must have totally missed it. The problem is, they don't even get THAT right, they decide to make the fighting genre more flawed then a facelift gone wrong.

Let's start with the story, if you want to call it that: It's centered around two “detectives” named Rick and Allen (although the latter is about as much a detective as I am a brain surgeon). They are approached by a “rich man” who is never named, and he has a letter he presents to Rick and he begs the two of them to save his daughter from these criminals. According to the attract screen, Rick has tentatively figured out that the same goons who kidnapped this girl are the same ones running ads in the newspaper, asking criminals to join “Legacy”, a manufacturing company that is extremely shoddy. Now, common sense tells a “detective” to go to the newspaper company and ask who paid for these ads to be pressed, but apparently Rick and Allen think that is weak sauce and they just go beat everyone up they can find.

That's not even the biggest offense: one of the bigger problems with the game is the total storyline cluster that is brings on here. Let me explain: the game is supposed to take place in the “Prohibition Era”, sometime in the late 1920's or early 1930's. However, there are so many things pointing away from this, and judging from some of the enemies in the game, you would think Marty McFly came by with his time machine and dropped some schmucks from 1989 into the past.

It doesn't matter who good you are at OTHER beat-em-up games either, because you are going to get your butt kicked in this one. “64th Street” possesses some of the absolute cheapest bosses ever in a game placed in this genre, and even if you develop a pattern against ONE (like say, the big freaky Pirate with one leg who spins everywhere) then the game throws TWO different ones at you later on. In fact, it's SO much fun that you would think eating a brick is boring compared to this…or something.

Hit detection is also extremely goofy and you can whip out common enemies easily, OR, for no reason what so ever in the world, they can walk through your attack like you aren't even hitting them. This holds true especially for a big fat common enemy who likes to pick you up, hug you, and then pound his chest in a Donkey Kong kind of way.
Gameplay Grade: 2/10

Controls: For the most part, I will call them unresponsive, because they are, BUT you CAN pull off moves that would stump even the most stealth magicians. At the base, you have a punch button and jump button, and if you hit the two together, either Rick or Allen (or both) will do two different special (ED) moves, and they can even do moves together. Maybe they are a lot closer than just being “detective” partners…
Controls Grade: 4/10

Graphics: If I changed the title here to “eyesores” then it would work just as well, because seemingly everything in the game is downright UGLY. First of all, the game makes Rick, who already looks like the love child of Mike Haggar and Burt Reynolds, and Allen neo-graphically color challenged, and Allen wears a beret that NEVER comes off (maybe it's surgically stapled to his head.) Second of all, they wasted the colors on them, because the backgrounds are drab and devoid of much color at all. And third of all, the enemies are so totally, pathetically stupid looking: common enemies include a Glam-Rock star, a mechanic, a “boxer” with short women shorts on, an MC Hammer reject, a midget hobo-come-pirate, and the earlier mentioned big fat guys with suspenders on, one looking WAY too much like a certain hated German dictator. Oh but wait there is more: the background is TOTALLY interactive too. Which means that, if you throw an enemy into the background, not only will the wall/building siding/windows/doors show the damage, but they drop some items, anything from sushi to bread, a pen, a necklace, books, and of all god damn things, a CAT. Yeah, I think that's all I need to say…just yeah.
Graphics Grade: 3/10

Sound: If I changed the title to “this will cause ear bleeding and/or trauma” it would be just as well. To be fair, there is ONE really good stage song, which is the first level, it sounds like a detective show song. Anything after that, including the office song, the song that plays when you head out on the tracks, and the boss theme song is total GARBAGE. Listen to them with caution, because I guarantee you that you will put your foot through the cabinet if you have it, or the screen if you emulate it. The sound effects are a bloody joke: let's start with Rick, when he jumps and attacks he lets out the most God awful sound known to man. When Allen attacks, he sounds like he is mentally challenged, and pretty much all of the enemies make the same death groan when they die. Well, except for the “robots” you fight: when they die, they sound like your car not being able to start because the battery is dead.
Sound Grade: 3/10

Challenge: I don't think the challenge of the game comes from being able to beat it, but from not wanting to push the machine over in frustration, or wanting to throw your computer and controller out the freaking window. You can go stretches of the game where you can destroy everyone and everything that moves, then you come up against a boss that just totally flattens you like a pancake.
Challenge Grade: 7/10

Final Thoughts: I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all by the level of “quality” of this game. To be honest, I decided to download it and play it after ‘Hangedman” and “Will Smith” reviewed it, thinking that, for as good reviewers as they are, certainly it wasn't THAT bad. But, it was actually as bad as they said it was, if not a step below. I'll leave you with this: in a detective's world, it's better to be like Ice-T and Christopher Meloni, and do the SVU thing and ask the questions, not the Rick and Allen way and that's to just beat people up, but get pummeled more often then not.
Final Grade: 3/10


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 04/13/12

Game Release: 64th Street: A Detective Story (US, 12/31/91)


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