To preface this Final vendetta review with some disclosure; I myself have been playing beat ’em up since I was a kid. Sometimes referred to as “belt scrollers”, these types of action games implemented fighting game style entries and allowed players to battle multiple weaker enemies while advancing to the end of a stage to fight a boss.
16-bit beat ’em ups generally followed this standard formula and the best ones either used imagination in the steps or had a trick to keep the game from getting tedious. There’s no getting around it; Final vendetta is in a genre subject to repetition. It’s up to the developers to find a balance to keep the gameplay varied.
How it works Final vendetta rate? Does he fall into the traps of games like Renegade? Or does it meet the standards of its namesakes; Vendetta and final fight? Find out in this Final vendetta exam!
Developer: Bitmap Office
Publisher: Numskull Games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch (revised)
Release date: June 17, 2022
The first thing players will notice is that Final vendetta has some really awesome sprite art and animation. From a character design perspective, the game looks generic and lacks personality, but the craftsmanship can’t be ignored; Final Vendetta has amazing backgrounds and smooth action.
The figures move with grace and softness that evoke memories of king of fighters. Sometimes it looks rotoscoped due to the way certain gestures are animated. Despite the highly detailed animation, the combat is very vivid and visceral.
The bland, simple character designs might have been a byproduct of having high-fidelity animation. It was perhaps a bit too much to expect a small team to have more striking character designs while pursuing the fluidity of some of the best 2D fighters. This is an understandable but disappointing compromise for Final Vendetta.
Anyone who has played streets of anger games will feel right at home with the way Final vendettacombat functions. There are three playable characters with different stats for different playstyles; Claire has light punches but is the fastest, Miller can take a lot of punches, gives a lot of pain but is the slowest, and Duke is balanced.
All characters share the same inputs for their special attacks which each have their own unique properties. Desperation attacks perform long-range sweeps across the screen that will knock opponents down, but at the cost of some player HP.
Gameplay is as satisfying as the classics that inspired Final Vendetta. Hitboxes are fair and damage balancing is perfect. The only problem is that the stun is extremely unfair and enemy AI can apparently read inputs at times.
There’s no doubt that 16-bit beat ’em ups could be very difficult. Final vendetta can sometimes get really cheap when fighting certain bosses or large groups of enemies. Blocking is almost useless as most bosses ignore defenses and basic goons can quickly surround the player.
Bosses are particularly fond of bending and breaking the rules; often getting an absurd amount of i-frames and having incredible reach. Worse still, bosses are able to stun a player to death and since Final vendetta uses an old fashioned life system, expect to lose all progress very quickly to start over from the very beginning.
It wouldn’t be so bad if players could select levels from previously completed stages, but Final vendetta really yearns for a pure old school experience. This seems misguided since the old beat ’em ups that inspired this game weren’t nearly as difficult. Even on the simplest setting, Final vendetta don’t throw punches.
Getting caught up in those endless beatings means giving up the ghost and letting the big, beefy guy do whatever he wants with you. This happens when the player character is closer to the edges of the screen and the boss can permanently lock you into a stun loop.
It might be one of the most outrageous beatings you’ve ever received, but at least the music is great. Final Vendetta has what can best be described as a Y2K-era English hip-hop flavor that is easily the most original aspect of the game. Going with this style helps make the game stand out more from its influences.
The music is imbued with this philosophy; euro-house electronica and street beats are probably the sounds the developers grew up with. Each area has a catchy theme that energizes brawls, like a siren calling for a bombing.
The best way to experiment Final vendetta is with a cooperative partner. This game is brutal on its own and getting in with someone friendly to watch your back is the only way to get through those rough streets. Even with kicks or punches to the back, some areas are flooded with too many punks for one person.
For its price, Final Vendetta can be a little steep, especially compared to the various beat ’em up compilations like the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle or the various SEGA collections that have all three streets of anger securities.
What you get with Final vendetta is a very traditional belt action game with the bare minimum for modes. It is very light with content and although the combat is excellent and the game provides a grueling challenge, it is still one of the best beat ’em ups due to its high skill ceiling.
Final vendetta is a very hardcore brawler for fans who long for the simplicity of two players taking on a massive gang of punks and bimbos. There are very few QOL features to make the game easy to access and the limited lifespans are sure to keep the tension high.
This may sometimes seem too derivative, but Final vendetta adherence to the past has its value in daring to come up with something that most developers are too afraid to do. It’s not the best, but you probably won’t find a spicier, more relentless beat ’em up than Final Vendetta.
Final Vendetta was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a copy provided by Numskull Games. You can find additional information on Niche Gamer’s Review/Ethics Policy here. Final Vendetta is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), Mac iOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch.