William takes a thorough look at Raging Justice! Does it hold up to his rose tinted standards, or is it a disappointing mashout? Let’s find out!
The 80’s and 90’s were simpler times amirite? The world seemed smaller, safer and we all left our doors unlocked and ate beans and mini sausages without worrying about our arteries clogging like a public toilet. Games were a more basic affair then. Didn’t even really need a storyline – just press some buttons and have a good time. 2D scrolling beat ’em ups ruled arcades in this time like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon. I never really played these games as a kid unless you count Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game. It was only as a teen that I discovered the simple joys of walking to the right and beating up every one who looked at me funny. So along comes Raging Justice to rekindle the flames of… justice I guess.
Basically, the outline is the same as it always is with Beat ’em ups – your job is to clean up the mean streets of the big city where it seems like criminals outnumber civilians 1000 to 1. Starting off, you get to pick your character from a selection of three, each with a more ridiculous name than the last… Starting off with RICK JUSTICE, a walking cop stereotype with sunglasses, five o’clock shadow and a savage right hook. Then we have NIKKI RAGE, an ex-soldier who seems to be more violent than ANY of the criminals she’s fighting. Lastly we have ASHLEY KING, he fills the place of plucky young foil to the 2 angry older characters and fights like an old school Street Fighter character. I obviously went for Rick Justice, because with a name like that, how could I not?
Starting it up, there’s not a lot that’s changed from the earliest days of the beat ’em up. MakinGames Ltd haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel here, they’ve just stuck some spinners on it and new tyres. You pick your hero and start your long walk to the right pausing every frame to start beating up some criminals who seem to ALL be bikers. Using a mixed bag of punches and kicks you basically smash an enemy’s face in until their health bar is gone, then move on to the next!
A nice little addition is the good cop/bad cop system. If you want to play the bad cop then grab a weapon and beat the ruffians in the street till death and show no mercy! Basically, take the role of The Punisher. You want to be the good cop? Then be nice in your rampage – don’t deal any more damage than you have to and on the larger enemies you’re given the option to arrest them, so slap the cuffs on and read them their rights! I played the game as a good cop, because even in games I find it hard to be the bad guy and honestly, it adds a new level of challenge since you deprive yourself of some of the more powerful kit and skills!
Even without this added spice of challenge Raging Justice is pretty nails! I had a hard time even on the medium difficulty. I won’t go far as far as to say that it’s pulling a Dark Souls but there’s definitely a sense of old school Nintendo hard. Enemies pile on the screen at an alarming rate sometimes and their health pools just get bigger as time goes on, so you’re always under pressure and one slip up will see half your health bar disappearing faster than pizza can be devoured in my house. This comes to a head in the Brawl mode, which is about as clear a title as you can get for game mode! In brawl, you just have to survive as long as possible while the baddies just keep on coming and after a while, your thumbs will surely be bleeding from the non-stop button mashing.
Using a fairly classic looking 2.5D style, Raging Justice is definitely a pretty game with a visual style very reminiscent of games from the early 90’s and that creepy retroscopic CGI that terrified me as a child! Character design is a feather in the cap too, with the heroes AND mobs looking awesome and unique to a degree. (Certain enemies obviously are just a palette swap of others but this is understandable when you think of just HOW many baddies there would have to be otherwise.)
Overall, Raging Justice doesn’t bring anything new to the table really – but doesn’t do anything wrong either. If you’re looking for a decent timesink for a few hours with enough nostalgia to keep your inner child grinning, then this is for you – but don’t expect it to last much longer than that, with very little to keep you playing post the main game. Maybe there would be more joy to be had if I’d played the game with a friend in co-op, but I wouldn’t know…since I don’t have friends.
I give Raging Justice a 6/10