Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Retro Monday-ish - Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja

Because of the two great beat-'em-ups hitting XBLA this week, Shank and Scott Pilgrim, I decided that if I do any posts this week they'll be themed around punching and kicking hordes of bad guys. This week's retro game, though decent, is one of the most memorable 80's arcade games for one reason and one reason only: "I'M BAD!" Yes, Bad Dudes vs DragonNinja, the game where you have to be a bad enough dude to save the president.

Bad Dudes was a side-scrolling brawler in an age where arcades and home consoles were flooded with games revolving around smacking everyone and everything in sight. When I look back on the game, I really wonder why it stuck out so much. Sure as heck wasn't your main characters, a duo of generic guys in black tank tops that looked like reject Van Damme stand-ins. Or the plot, which involved saving the president (and being a bad enough dude to do so). Maybe Karnov? Doubtful. I think it was just the fact that nearly every arcade and bowling alley in the country had the game, forcing it into the fond parts of your memory like Thundercats or hot babysitters.

Like Thundercats and hot babysitters, however, these things shouldn't be revisited. Thundercats really wasn't good, I guarantee you the babysitters aren't looking all that great 22 years later when you're nearly 30 yourself, and Bad Dudes plays like a generic quarter-suck from yesterdecade. For some odd reason, however, when I look back on this game I can't keep a smile away from my lips, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't think twice about popping a quarter or two into a machine if I passed one in some random bowling alley or gas station.

These days, playing the game involves either your usual PC witchcraft or, if you have a Wii, picking up the Data East Arcade Classics, which also has Magical Drop III, Heavy Barrel, Burgertime, Lock 'n' Chase, and then a bunch of other games that sadly weren't all that great. But for Bad Dudes and those named four, it might be worth the 20 or so you would spend to pick it up.

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