Also Known As: Hissastsu Buraiken (Japanese title), Deadly Ruffian Fist (translated Japanese title)
Platform: Arcade
Other Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PSP, Xbox 360, PS3
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: 1987
Genre: Scrolling Brawler - Top-Down
Players: 1-2 (Co-op)

Avengers is a a fairly bad game, saved mostly by the fact that it's in an uncommon genre and it has some odd visual elements that merit seeing at least once in your life. As Ryu (P1) or Ko (P2), you must fight your way through Paradise City and beyond to destroy an evil crime gang who've set up shop and captured six of your town's women. Destroy Geshita and banish him from your city! Take the power into your own hands!

This is not a traditional scrolling brawler- it's viewed from a top-down perspective- and its oddness is made more obvious by the fact that it was released during that odd period between Double Dragon and Final Fight where no-one knew what the hell they were doing with the genre. Although you might think it's closer to the likes of Commando or Ikari Warriors with that perspective, it's actually a lot more like Kung-Fu Master (the most basic enemies even attack you the same way as KFM, by hugging you!) but with the addition of scarce weapons (the nunchakus ala Vigilante, and limited-use shurikens and grenades) and a crowd-control attack. Unfortunately, the perspective means there's no jumping, limiting your move-set... And since most of the weapons are useless and the punch/roundhouse kick are relatively ineffective, you've basically got one (1) viable attack, your kick. So much for variety. Making this worse is that there's not much enemy variety either- you'll mostly be fighting grabbers, and only the ninjas and sickle throwers stand out amongst the other enemies.

Really, the main problem is that beating people up doesn't feel satisfying- the sound effects are weak and lack the oomph of games like P.O.W. - Prisoners of War, and the majority of your fighting is spent waggling the joystick to get huggers off you. It's not exciting enough, damnit! In its favour, the game does keep the pace quick... Mostly because the stages are very, very short (made longer only by the hidden bonus rooms, which I'd bet most people will miss- I only realised it had them when the game hints in the home versions told me they were there!). It also has some fairly interesting bosses, even if they do have pretty rigid patterns. Honestly, though, the thing about Avengers is that it's visually so bizarre! The game throws together city streets, oriental scenes, even a cowboy town with little thought to how it meshes together, kicking rapidly with the Speed Up icon is completely hilarious, and some of the enemy designs look like they've been nicked from Fist of the North Star... Also, one of the secret rooms has a wizard in it. For no reason. The perspective leads to some pretty bizarre sprites too, giving the game this odd endearing element. It's so short that it gets away with this charm... But only barely.

Basically, the game's more playable than Crime Fighters, but hardly a sterling entry in any genre, let alone the under-used top-down brawler genre. It's viable for a handful of cheap laughs, at the very least, but no matter how endearing its odd graphics may be, the game itself has a dull, unsatisfying nature to it, which means that you'll only play it once. At least it's pretty easy to beat in one credit... The first loop, anyway.

For being too dull to summarise here, Avengers is awarded...

In a sentence, Avengers is...
Worth playing once, but only once!

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