Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Mattel Bad Street Brawler -Nintendo NES
Retro Gaming Review

 Nintendo NES console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewMattel Bad Street Brawler for Nintendo NES Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Bad Street Brawler
Manufacturer: Mattel
Platform: Nintendo NES
Release Date: 1989
Part #: NES-BV-USA
Rating: 1 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Mattel Bad Street Brawler Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Mattel Bad Street Brawler Screenshot:
Mattel Bad Street Brawler for Nintendo NES screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Over time the genre of side scrolling fighters took on a few standards that players came to expect. Streets of Rage is often cited as a prime example of said conventions. But Bad Street Brawlers pre-dates SOR and isn't about following rules. It's about kicking ass because you play as a former punk rocker and coolest marial arts vigilante in the world.

That's a lot to live up to and to be quite honest this game fades quickly from it's menacing start-up screen. The cover art is convincing and the startup screen has more than enough late-80s tough guy appeal, but when you get into the game, our hero opts for a yellow leotard look that really doesn't set the right tone in the mean streets.

Mattel Bad Street Brawler Story Arc

Crime is rampant on the streets and Duke Davis has had enough. He wants to restore freedom to his city and rid the streets of crime. Unfortunately, Duke's native city has gone to hell and is overrun with thugs. As a former punk rocker and marital arts practitioner, Duke decides to take a bite out of crime and return the streets to civility.

Holy shit! Check this out...
This awful game was ported to several systems including Amiga, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and NES. It is one of only two games designed specifically
for use with the Power Glove. Remember, this is a Mattel game and they made the Glove. Using the Power Glove gave the player access to moves that are only possible when used with the Power Glove.

What we don't see on the box cover or the gnarly start-up screen is that the tanktop he appears to be wearing is actually a cropped vest with matching shorts that make him look like a circus performer, not a rugged vigilante. As much as we respect his moxie, he seems destined for an ER visit.

In-game Duke's outfit degrades to more of a leotard looking garment. I'd say its reminiscent of Hulk Hogan, but that would be insulting to all Hulkamaniacs.

Mattel Bad Street Brawler Game Play

As we mentioned earlier, fighting games has some standard expectations... like some cool moves. Duke has 15 punching and kicking attacks that might aid him in decriminalizing the rough streets, but he only has access to THREE moves per stage. It gets better! You don't know which 3 he'll have - you just wait and see. Yikes, this guy is going to get pummeled!

It wasn't until I realized that this was a Power Glove game, that it occurred to me that there may be moves that require the Power Glove. I've read that this is the case. Oddly, the game manual makes no mention of the Glove. The only hint to it's Glove-savvy is on the box cover.

Stranger still is the game manual's visual depiction of Duke's moves, but doesn't give any indication of how to replicate them on he NES controller. But what about the Power Glove? The NES controller only has 2 buttons! The Power Glove is loaded with options. It seems as if this Mattel game was created to induce more sales of the Power Glove. If only Mattel had realized that everyone would want a Power Glove 20 years later :)

Once you master the 3 available moves and take to the mean streets, you may notice the control isn't too good with the NES controller. Even simple things like shifting direction show lag. Is it more responsive with the Glove? Who knows... this game isn't good enough to warrant that much research.

 Nintendo NES console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Mattel Bad Street Brawler

is the sort of game that looks awesome until you actually begin playing the game. It's weaknesses become very apparent. Poor control, silly moves and awful outfit.

Aside from being a Power Glove game, it's not too engaging.

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