Developer: CTXM (the XBLA version of Bejeweled)
Publisher: Paramount Digital Entertainment
Available on: Xbox 360 (PlayStation 3 to be released later)
Four years ago, Rockstar Games—y’know, the “Grand Theft Auto” people—made a sprawling action/adventure game based on Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic movie “The Warriors.” They even got some of the original actors to reprise their roles.
So why are we having more fun with “Street Brawl,” a simpler, 2D, side-scrolling brawler? This game is so old school we half expected it to ask us to stick quarters in our consoles (which would void the warranty). That’s the charm of “Street Brawl,” which takes players back to an era when, well, “The Warriors” wasn't such an old movie.
Released to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, “Street Brawl”—available to download for $10 off the 360’s online store beginning Sept. 23, and available for the same amount on the PS3’s store later this year—is a brawler in the mold of “Double Dragon.” Moving from right to left, you get into a series of punch-outs with the film’s colorful gangs in city streets, subway stations, and even the subways themselves.
As you’d expect, you’ve got some fighting skills. Along with the usual punch and kick abilities, you can also grab opponents and punch or kick them while they struggle before you throw them into something. There are also a number of melee weapons to smack enemies with—including 2X4s, knives, and crowbars—as well as power-ups that will restore your health. Though we’re not really sure how the chicken found in a garbage can would actually make you healthier.
In keeping with the spirit of the film, the game doesn’t ask you to go it alone, as you can (and probably should) play with up to three friends, both offline and on. Granted, there isn't much interaction here—you can’t help a friend up if he’s knocked down, or punch a guy he’s grabbed—but it still makes it easier to handle an entire gang if you have a buddy helping out.
Besides story mode, “Street Brawl” also lets you and your friends beat the snot out of each other in “Versus” mode, and, once you beat the game, you can go back and take on the end-of-level enemies in rapid succession in “Boss” mode, though neither are as fun as the main story.
“Street Brawl” doesn’t have any real depth, you just run from one fist fight to another. Much like the similar “Watchmen: The End Is Nigh” earlier this year, you’ll probably get bored playing this over long sessions. But if you’re looking for some classic fighting action, “Street Brawl” is a fun romp. Especially since its price is pretty old school as well.
Bottom line: Why yes, Cyrus, we can dig it.