Review by The Manx

"I almost went to war on this game"

I wanted to review Gaia Crusaders, but gamefaqs.com doesn't seem aware that the game exists (not that I blame them), so instead, here's my review on an equally obscure arcade beat 'em up game that starts with G.

Gang Wars is nothing you haven't seen before. Gang members have captured a young woman for no particular reason, and the only guys stupid...uh, brave enough to fight every single low life in the city to get her back are Mike, your typical biker boot-wearing vigilante and his buddy Jackie, your typical long-haired karate master vigilante.

The game that follows this premise is as generic as its plot, except for one thing. You start off by allocating attribute points for your character, selecting "speed type," "power type," "stamina type," or "standard type" where each of the other three attributes gets an even allocation of points. You can get extra points to allocate as you like between levels, but the only stat that ever seems to make a difference on playing the game is power.

Gang War also tries to set itself apart by having spoken lines, but they're just as pathetic as the actual gameplay that I'll get to in a minute. It sounds like the lines were written by the obligatory writers for whom English was a third language, and it sounds like the voice actors just woke up. "Yeah, alright, I'm up already. 'This is our territory, don't expect to come back alive!' Can I go back to sleep now?"

Anyway, now we get to playing the actual game. You've got three buttons, kick, punch and jump. Neither punch or kick really seems more effective than the other, you just keep mashing the button until the guy you're fighting goes down and his friends stand back and wait for their turn. Maybe two guys really are all we need to free our city from the tyrannical grip of these bozos.

Mike and Jackie can pick up weapons like blackjacks, beer bottles and machine guns, as well as things they can throw, like rocks, but they throw them like they have no clue that they should be throwing them at a gang member's head. It goes up, arcs for about a foot then comes back down. Yeah you could probably learn how to adjust to throwing like that, but why would you want to?

The graphics are boring and ugly and the game has five whole sound effects, mainly cosisting of this whizzing noise your guy makes when he throws a punch, the sound of a punch landing, the sound of a gang member screaming as he dies, and the same laugh repeating laugh used by every single low life you fight. The controls feel way too loose for a game like this.

Gang Wars manages to fail on every level. Even the touch with advancing your character has almost no visible effect on gameplay. All I can say is there's a good reason only one other guy has reviewed this game.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/04


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