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US Gold Ltd
1989
Arcade: Gang beat-em-up
£8.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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46,47
Duncan MacDonald
Chris Bourne

Turf, eh? Funny old stuff dirty on one side, green the other. One lone piece of turf is not a lot of use, but bung thirty together and voila - an extremely small garden. And things go uphill from there - the more turf you add, the more spacious and luxurious your lawn becomes. Or there's the alternative method, by lying the sods (Oo-er) upside-down you can instantly transform the same area into a mud wrestling rink (or a worm sanctuary). Charge admission! Make loads of 'spondies'! No wonder the double-sided little floric slabs are such a valuable commodity - and no wonder that the Street Gang in this game are after yours. (It's not that kind of turf they're after and well you know it. Ed.)

Actually, Vigilante is another beat 'em up in the mould of Renegade, Target Renegade and Dragon Ninja. You know the format (unless you don't, in which case, erm, you don't) - it's a left/right, right/left scrolling kick and punch people until they're dead, but all the time they're trying to do exactly the same thing to you game.

The Street Gang (your enemies) are a bunch of skinheads who have kidnapped Madonna (the scamps), and are holding her hostage. You're out to get her back while your foes are out to capture your turf (Tell the truth this time. Ed.) your 'manor', your, eeerr, basically your territory. Um, apart from that there's not a load to tell you.

If you've seen Renegade, Target Renegade, or Dragon Ninja, then you'll know what's going to happen already. You fight through hordes and hordes of rather violent people until you reach the end of a level, whereupon you stumble upon a particularly nasty specimen who takes a lot more bashing to send to the stomping ground in the sky. This having been accomplished it's time to load in the next level where the foes are a mite different and so are the backdrops.

In the gameplay stakes, Vigilante offers nothing new. You have the standard fighting moves and can pick up weapons along the way. And in the graphics stakes it's a slight step back from the excellence of, say, Target Renegade. Not that they're bad, don't get me wrong - they're just not special in any way. The colour is a bit of an eyesore at times (most times in fact) as, for instance, when there's a strip of white and blue in the background you find everybody has white legs and blue torsos! Mind you, there is a 'turn off colour option'.

Erm, what can I say? I could say "boing", but it probably wouldn't help anyone. What I will say is that Vigilante is a little behind its time. Why didn't it come out a year ago, while there still a bit of room on the bandwagon? Still, if you absolutely love beat 'em ups to death, and have finished all the ones currently available then get this - but don't expect to be astonished by anything.

Pretty standard beat 'em up. You've probably seen it all before, so only buy if you're addicted to the genre and you've already got the better ones.

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