Two Crude Dudes (Mega Drive) Review

It feels really odd reviewing this game so deep into this marathon because it feels very old fashioned compared to most of the games I’ve previously looked at. Much like fellow “dude titled” Data East game Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja, this game is entirely side-on with no moving up or down the screen and a lot of enemies die in a single hit. Does the ability to pick up a car and throw it overcome this though?! Let’s find out!

Background:

A Crude Dude “WHAMs” a not-so-Crude Man.

Two Crude Dudes started out life in the Arcades in 1991 as either “Two Crude” or “Crude Buster”, depending on whether you’re in the West or East. It was ported to the Mega Drive the following year, with obviously downgraded sprites and backgrounds, but most of the unique gameplay intact…

Gameplay:

Getting slapped across the face with the enemy’s long snake. That’s humiliation! (and an all-too-easy double entendre)

As mentioned this game is a bit of a throwback given it doesn’t even have the ability to move up and down the screen like even early entries in genre, including Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun in its own way. You can jump and punch, plus you can pick up pretty much anything and use it as a weapon, including as a projectile! This is literally the only thing about this game that stuck in my head from playing it as a child, I remembered picking up and throwing a traffic light, a car and my brother’s Player 2 character and throwing them all as a weapon, the latter making us break out into hysterics.

Throw in a boss or two and the ability to regenerate health by drinking cola cans from vending machines and that’s about it for this game. It’s fun, especially on multiplayer, but in general it does get boring far quicker than some examples of the genre (while others never get old!). Genre clichés? Well, it sort of has ninjas, at the very least fast-moving guys in wearing a Gi’s anyway, and a few overweight grunts (who don’t breathe fire!) but in general it doesn’t score highly on the enemy front. It does have a lift level though!

Graphics and Sound:

I just can’t quite figure out why these enemies have no necks. Must be a nuclear fallout thing?

Graphics are… alright. A bit flat with a dull colour palette (unfairly) compared to the Arcade originals. Still, they do the job well enough for a relatively early Mega Drive game.

Sound is good, in that tinny Mega Drive way. It’s got the kind of sound effects and background music you’d expect from a game called “Two Crude Dudes” anyway, though some of the background music sounds more 70s than 80s, to my ears…. (assuming they were going for an “Escape From New York” 80s punk aesthetic…)

Story:

Well… they knew what audience they were trying to capture, that’s for sure…

A group called “Big Valley” has levelled New York with a nuclear device and now controls the ruins. A duo of mercenaries have been hired by the US government to take down Big Valley, because the US army are… pansies, or something. To be fair to them though, they manage it!

Thoughts Then:

The scale here is so off… I mean, Mr. Crude Dude would barely fit in one of those tanks sitting down!

I never owned Two Crude Dudes but I did rent it out once or twice, as well as playing it around a friend’s house. It was fun to mess about on, I liked being able to pick up so many objects and the like, but at the end of the day, and as with many of the games of the time, it was no Streets of Rage II and in fact in single player it got old fast, which is why I never brought it, I guess…

Thoughts Now:

No matter which form a scrolling beat ’em up takes, it ALWAYS has to have a lift stage!

In the present day its old fashioned nature does stand out a lot more to me than it ever did. Probably because I’ve been playing so many of the more traditional Scrolling Beat ‘Em Ups with more freedom of movement this did seem like I went back in time a tad, like I’d missed it out and tried to fit it in. Overall there is some fun to be had here, but it won’t keep your attention for all that long…

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