Review by Will Smith

"A Pathetic Final Fight Clone With One Innovative Feature."

I first remember hearing about 64th Street: A Detective Story while browsing through the Arcade section here on GameFAQs. After reading Hangedman's hilarious review of the game, I decided to play it for myself. It's actually worse than I expected.

Graphics: 2

64th Street has horrible graphics. I cannot lie. The only saving grace is that the character sprites are very large. I 'm not too sure if they are bigger than Final Fight's sprites, but they are rather impressive for a beat 'em up (they are about the size of a character sprite in a 2D fighting game). However, the sprites themselves have no detail. The faces on the enemies and protagonists alike are washed out and non descript. The characters do not display any facial expressions or interesting details. All the enemies are bland and emotionless. The only reason why the graphics receive a score of a 2 is because of the large sprite size and the detail in a few of the interactive backgrounds, specifically Stage 1's "street car/trolley" boss scenario and the final stage's fight in a blimp. When you throw an enemy into the background, it damages the surroundings in a way that is truly impressive. As you throw your opponent in the street car scenario, you can destroy seats and glass windows in the background. Throwing your opponent into the background in the blimp stage tears apart sections of the blimp and reveals your outside surroundings in a realistic fashion. These two instances are the sole saving grace of a game that is extremely ugly in terms of graphics.

Sound: 1

The background music is extremely annoying. It's a corny "detective" theme that keeps looping over and over. The sound effects are generic beat 'em up stuff, aka the same punches and groans that you've heard in a dozen other arcade side scrollers.

Controls: 1

The controls are best described as stiff and unforgiving. Moving your characters is like navigating a tank through quicksand. Rick and Allen (the two main heroes of the game) move extremely slow and have poor reaction times. It feels like actions take place half a second after you've pressed the button. Pulling off desperation moves is pretty inconsistent.

Gameplay: 2

Horrid. Playing through 64th Street is extremely frustrating since there is so little that your characters can do. Rick and Allen both posses extremely lame and awkward looking chain combos that are slow in execution. And they also posses a vitality consuming Desperation Move that is pitiful and ineffective. And that's it. They have no variety of moves, no hidden techniques, nothing. I will admit that there are at least two additional moves that each character can execute, but it seems to occur at random. Allen has a rushing shoulder charge and a reverse roundhouse kick (which, strangely enough, hits opponents that are standing in FRONT of him), and Rick has a gound roll that links into leaping flaming punch (somewhat like Ken's Fierce Shoryuken in Super Street Fighter II). Again, these extra moves occur at RANDOM.

The only innovative gameplay aspect that 64th Street introduces to the beat 'em up genre is the ability to throw your opponents into the interactive backgrounds. Throwing enemies into the background is a really cool effect that I wish was implemented into more established beat'em up's like Bare Knuckle III or Final Fight 2. Not only does the background throw look nice graphically (glass window panes, brick walls, and doors are destroyed when you throw opponents into the background), but you also gain power ups. If you thought Final Fight's power ups were strange, 64th Street has you picking up fountain pens, books, pipes, and of all things, CATS (?) for extra bonus points. Weird. One more thing about the background throw that I really like is that it instantly kills enemies in the second stage. The second stage takes place upon a loading dock, and by throwing opponents into the background they will fall into the water and instantly drown. Why waste your time battling legions of ugly looking thugs when you can just toss them in the water and watch them drown?

Before I forget, 64th Street's A.I. is extremely cheap. The minute you recover from an attack, the enemy will bowl you over with another invincible attack that you cannot avoid. Believe it or not, using a Desperation Attack will NOT save you from being assaulted. On top of this there is unbelievably poor hit detection.

Character Design: 1

I wish I could give it a zero. 64th Street supposedly takes place in 1939, yet all the enemies are dressed as if they are from 1989. Besides being completely absurd and totally inconsistent, it's just ridiculous to look at. Many of the enemies are Final Fight character design rip offs, including poor imitations of Axl, Bill Bull/Wong Who, Andore, Damnd, and Simmons. The bosses include a goofy crackhead pirate with one leg, and what appears to be a robot made out of recycled aluminum cans. Pathetic.

Replay Value: None

Overall: 1

64th Street is a piss poor rip off of the legendary Final Fight. I'm surprised that this game wasn't ported to the Super Nintendo at some point. If there is a reason why the beat 'em up genre was killed prematurely, it was because of companies like Jaleco that saturated the market with crap like this. If you come across this game in an arcade, put in only enough quarters to make it to the second stage, where you can drown hordes of bums with no abandon. Play it to throw enemies into the background. Then walk away and go play Final Fight or Bare Knuckle II to redeem yourself.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/04


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