The Peace Keepers (SNES) Review

It’s time to finish what in Japan is the Rushing Beat trilogy, but for us is three games that happen to feature a character that looks similar but has a different name to ones in other beat ‘em up games made by the same company. How does “The Peace Keepers” stack up the two games that came before it? What colossal localisation error ruins the game entirely?! Let’s find out!

Background:

You’d think they’d at least have put more effort into the health bars by now…

The Peace Keepers was first released in Japan as “Rushing Beat Syura” in December 1993, before the US got the game in March the following year. From what I can tell this never received a European release, which is a shame… I guess? Meaning the digital release of the game on the Wii Shop was the first PAL release, and the current version on the Switch Online service is a lot of people’s first time playing it in the UK… erm, legally, anyway…

Gameplay:

What’s a pleasant “side eff arrgh” I wonder?

The gameplay is still very much attack button, jump button, health-draining special move button and a grapple that can lead to grappled attacking or a throw, plus picking up health and offensive weapons is still a thing, though the latter seems a lot rarer. New to the game is the ability to block (though good luck doing it at the right time) and a named special move you can do that doesn’t cost you health. That’s about it!

Sadly the zero frames issue has returned from Rival Turf, each sprite seems to have just three or four different posses they can go into, meaning throwing people or getting powerbombed looks really awkward and crappy. Why this has happened after the previous game had improved the issue I have no idea. There are six playable characters, with two having to be unlocked (including Rival Turf’s Jack Flak / Brawl Brother’s Hack, who actually goes by his Japanese name of Rick Norton in this game!) but that unique system of fighting other characters as bosses is gone completely.

As for clichés? Well, despite the near-post-apocalyptic future setting meaning we face Mad Max style goons, robots and mutants, it does a better job than the previous entry. There are fat characters, but ones that do wrestling moves, so I guess that’s two for one, and they have a pair of ninjas as well. Still lacking in female characters beyond one playable one, so that’s still a big missing component, though it does, for the first time in Rushing Beat history, add a lift stage where you actually fight people as they drop in, so hooray for finally nailing the most common cliché of them all!

Graphics and Sound:

Surely if anything they should be called “Blades”?

Graphics, once again, look the same, very muted colours, not very detailed sprites. The cut-scene dialogue feature weird digitized photos of actual people for the characters, which just looks crap and out-of-place. Not good, after two previous games to get it right…

The worst thing about this game is that the English language version has NO BACKGROUND MUSIC. The localisation team removed it, meaning you fight with mild ambient sounds like dripping water or mind-numbing alarms and that’s it. I would love to hear their justification for this as the Japanese game has it, so it wasn’t a cartridge limitation issue… The sound effects (which are more noticeable than ever due to having no music over them) are the same cartoony stuff they’ve used previously, which his fine, but again, it’s the third game, put a bit of effort in!

Story:

Squash gets zapped… and covered in blue paint?

Set in the futuristic year of 2015, four years after what is referred to as “The Economic Wars”, major corporation Deutschland Moldavia owns a good portion of the world and is using its massive resources to experiment in everything from robots and cybernetics to mutants and super-powers. The six protagonists, Flynn (known as Dick in Japan), Echo (Elfin in Japan), Al (Kythring, I can see why they changed that one…), Prokop (Jimmy, can’t see why they changed that one!), Rick Norton and Orbot (Metal Frame in Japan) all join forces due to having various grudges with the global dominating megacorp. Against all odds, and with the help of several very similar looking rogue scientists, they do just that, defeating the super-powered head of DM known as Tybalt and presumably freeing the world from their tyranny. Or destabilizing the world and causing chaos, but hey-ho… It’ll probably be alright in the end?

Thoughts Then:

Wait, is this a desert, or Easter Island? Because it can’t be both…

I don’t remember much about my time with Peace Keepers back in the mid-2000s. It was fine, completely unmemorable but at least it didn’t have the maze-like sequences like the previous game, or they were less frustrating anyway. Funnily enough I don’t remember the complete lack of music, maybe me and my friend played a Japanese version ROM? *shrugs* who knows, but I apparently gave it a 3 back then, so there you go!

Thoughts Now:

If you’ve been searching for a picture of a woman hitting a huricanrana on a large frog, your search is over!

Peace Keepers was quite the depressing game to play. The combat was slow and badly animated like Rival Turf (but without that game’s nostalgia) and the complete absence of background music during the game sucks all the life out of it. While it’s not broken or anything like that, I can’t say I’ll ever touch it again…

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