Monday, March 16, 2015

Nerdicus SNES Review #65: The Combatribes

Title : The Combatribes

Publisher : American Technos, Inc.

Developer : Technos Japan Corp.

Genre : Beat 'Em Up

Release Date : 1990

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $20 - $25

First bit of news...the GIVEAWAY IS OVER!!!! I will be selecting a winner this week, so stay tuned, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled because if you win, I'm going to need you to contact me! Thanks to everyone that entered, and good luck to all of you!

Not really sure what I'm looking at here in terms of the box art. Are they a dance troupe? Is that the guy from Dancing with Wolves or Last of the Mohicans in the background? What's with Kim Catrall over on the left? Are these guys not embarassed that they are battling roller skating teenagers and middle-aged motorcycle riders while donning leotards?

And, what the HELL is a COMBATRIBES..Is that COMBAT + TRIBES? Or is it a gang? Is that Guile!? And MC HAMMER!? AND....oh my that Steven Segal!?

Nope, it's just a crappy beat 'em up game for the Super Nintendo. The box art should have been self explanatory in this. Sure, the arcade was somewhat decent, but when you have games like FINAL FIGHT out there, you don't want to waste your time playing this. And this is actually somewhat surprising, given that this company brought us such classics as DOUBLE DRAGON and RIVER CITY RANSOM. Unfortunately, it looks as if the jump to the 16-bit consoles didn't work in their favor.

You certainly have your fair share of options for this game. 1 Player, 2 Player, A / B vs modes. Take your pick, but don't plan on having much fun with any of them. Go with the 1 player story mode (don't even ask about the story, I don't know I skipped it), or if you're with a friend and you plan on suffering together, do the 2 player. Versus mode is exactly what it sounds like. It's just like the mode from DOUBLE DRAGON where you can fight one on one with various characters from the game.

The game plays like a glorified Double Dragon, but only in terms of visuals. In fact, the gameplay just feels off. Controls are a bit stiff, and the area in which you are able to fight seems so damn small because the characters are too big for the screen. Sure, in Final Fight the characters are big, but at least the screen is zoomed out a bit so you could see more.

It's a standard beat 'em up, but you can only punch, kick, or deploy a special punch/kick combo. There are no weapons. NO..WEAPONS. What a bummer. I want to pick up a pipe and bash it over someone's head, but now I can't!

You'll traverse numerous levels, encountering much of the same enemies over and over again and battling overpowered bosses at the end of each stage. Have fun with them, because they move twice as fast as you do, and seem to connect with you even if they don't even have correct hit boxes. I swear, I was punching a boss in the face, and out of nowhere he sends me flying across the screen ripping away half my health.

The game is just not balanced. It's reminiscent of the torture I went through with Double Dragon in the NES, but the difficulty in that was about learning enemy patterns. Here, I just felt like I couldn't touch anything in the game without getting barraged with enemy fists. 

Visually, the game annoys the hell out of me. I hate the character designs since they look like bad cartoons, and the backgrounds are so disproportionate that it doesn't make sense half the time. Back to the characters, even their anatomy is messed up. Short little legs and arms, big heads, tiny feet. I don't know what they were going with here.

Only thing I can say I enjoyed about this game was the soundtrack. The score is actually quite well done, and really feels like it was ripped from the arcade. Nice upbeat, techno styled fighting music goes a long way.

Still, if you're looking for a good Beat 'Em Up, stick with Final Fight, or go back and play the classics on the NES if you want some good memories of this company. Shame on you COMBATRIBES. You failed me.

Final Score (out of 5):

Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!



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