Do you wake up each morning with a desire to beat the living hell out of street-roaming criminals? Don’t do it, we implore you. Prison isn’t worth it. While Final Fight and Streets of Rage may have been the violent video games that made you the addict to barbarism that you are today, take heart in the knowledge that your longing for combo-driven, body-piling antics hasn’t been totally forgotten.
Final Vendetta, from the UK’s Bitmap Bureau (Xeno Crisis) draws influence for its assault and battery from almost every scrolling beat-em-up ever made, cherry-picking the good stuff and reworking it into a whole new chapter of sidewalk vigilantism.
A phone rings, someone answers, someone’s been kidnapped. Sound familiar? Mike Haggar knows these plot points well. From there you have a choice of three characters: Miller, an overpowered wrestler-type; Claire, a nimble female who whips out punches at the detriment of slightly less clout; and Duke, a bad dude straight from the ’80s who cuts an even middle ground between the three.
Final Vendetta isn’t related to Konami’s Crime Fighters or its 1991 sequel, Vendetta (also known as Crime Fighters 2), despite some distinct similarities. While graphically attractive, it doesn’t capitalise much on current-gen hardware, wanting to appear as close to a ’90s gaming aesthetic as possible. At a glance, it’s similar-looking to 1993’s Zero Team (also on Switch, courtesy of Hamster) but with next-level, Neo Geo-grade animation. While there’s a danger that the added frames may foster imprecision, Bitmap Bureau has engaged the action in such a way that it remains taut, snappy and accurate.
There are some neat boss entrances, a car destruction bonus round, and some pretty backgrounds, with stage five’s club being a standout. But, if you hail from the UK, one can’t help but feel slightly let down by the lack of Anglo-centric detailing. Considering the game is set in London, we were hoping for more of the city’s defining visual hallmarks: drunken louts, broken escalators and betting shops full of old men. Yes, there’s a pub background with a dartboard; a train resembling the London Underground (specifically its wall maps and yellow-on-black Way Out signage) and Tower Bridge turns up as set dressing – although for some reason, it looks like a hails from 1913. Yet, apart from the red telephone booths that you get to gloriously pummel for point-related treasures, the game mostly feels US-based, and the gangs you encounter – with their colourful Marty McFly puffer vests and snowboard shades – don’t help the dissonance any.
This is a minor complaint, though. What’s important is that Final Vendetta plays really well, featuring carefully implemented elements from past games. All characters have a breakout move that can be enacted with no health loss as long as you allow your super bar to reach its peak: exactly the same format as found in Streets of Rage 3. Additionally, various tandem button presses allow you to back-attack and blast out heavy-duty special moves ad-infinitum.
Each character has a variation of double-tap special attacks that, combined with the super button, can be used to chain hits. Duke is especially good at this, as he can move from a dash into a flash kick, sending punks skyward for a spot of juggling. All characters have the Streets of Rage 3 dodge and grab repertoire, too, allowing you to get hold of an enemy and either fling them behind you, crack them one (quite literally with Miller’s backbreaker) or vault over them to turn them into a concrete pancake.
You can block, flying kick, kick-bounce, dodge, down-drop attack, and even kick floored enemies in the gut – a satisfying feature that recalls Konami’s aforementioned Vendetta. It’s an incredibly broad repertoire that borders on almost too much, but with practice can be applied in a smart, calculated assembly. And it feels great, too, to mix up with purpose; to throw a couple of knees to the gut and then hold forward to kick a dude across the screen before launching a fiery super into a nearing crowd.
The enemies are nicely balanced, your usual motley crew of big guys, small guys, swift girls, and those who dangerously windmill-kick on wake-up. Only two issues stand out with the combat negotiations. Firstly, with the basic standing-punch combo, you have to actually suspend your inputs momentarily to engage your double-tap moves; and secondly, despite twenty-four preset input configurations, none of them let you assign shoulder buttons. The latter has been done very much on purpose, however, since Bitmap Bureau wants you to master the game in the manner it intended.
The music is a solid mash-up of techno, breakbeats and funky jazz-inspired loops. The sound of Utah Saints, the ’90s dance act that helped with the game’s scoring, will be familiar to anyone that knows their work, and it’s a nice bonus to have them featured. The audio isn’t on the level of Streets of Rage, but it’s certainly in the same ballpark.
Final Vendetta’s crucial, opinion-dividing aspect, will be in the way its difficulty is arranged. Only Easy or Hard modes are initially available, but there are no continues for either. We completely respect a single-credit challenge, and applaud Bitmap Bureau for designing it this way; at the same time, not everyone will have the discipline required to topple it. One aspect that plays into this, is that, at only six stages, its longevity is expanded by the fact that if you don’t repeatedly attempt to clear it, you won’t be seeing the ending. The challenge has been beautifully constructed around this, and seeing as we cleared the game for the review, far from impossible.
You do take quite a hefty amount of damage from enemies, and it’s easy to get quickly ganged up on. These factors make getting through it with no continues genuine work, even on Easy, and it’s common to drop lives early on until you have a feel for your character’s advantages and approach each juncture pragmatically. It’s nicely structured, however, in that it requires more dedicated learning and on-the-fly skill than Streets of Rage, but is no way near as punishing as Final Fight. Instead, it sits somewhere in-between. It’s enjoyable to learn each section, the different types of threats, and figure out the best way to deal out licks without absorbing any in return. This is aided by various weaponry, including knives, swords, and a cricket bat with a good swing and tons of range.
A patch to fix a game-killing glitch is definitely on the cards, one we encountered twice while entering a boss fight. The letterboxing that introduces the scene failed to disappear, all health bars vanished, and half the buttons stopped responding entirely.
The biggest criticism, while being undeniably slick, is perhaps the lack of originality. There are a few traps to deal with later on – stuff that needs to be memorised lest you get swatted or squashed – but on the whole, one can’t help but feel there’s more that can be done with the genre. While its broad move-set is a plus, the lack of creativity elsewhere is a tad disappointing. It plays great, and a lot of thought has gone into its mechanics, but the backstreet, the train, the elevator, the wharf, the nightclub and the henchman’s manor are hardly unique, nor imbued with much in the way of invention.
Final Vendetta does an able job of using and enhancing tried and tested formulas of the past, and is great fun for either one or two players. Its brevity is ameliorated by its single-credit format; a bold but welcome move that makes learning to clear it rewarding for all the right reasons – but it’s a setup some may struggle with. There’s still room for experimentation in this genre with regard to original systems, and sadly Final Vendetta doesn’t really attempt any of that, instead opting for more traditional ’90s arcade fare – albeit with lots of variation in how you smack people around. If that’s enough to tickle your fancy, you’ll feel well-served by Bitmap Bureau’s stab, but others might feel like they’ve walked this street before.
Kanye West Joked About His Divorce From Kim Kardashian During A Surprise BET Awards Appearance And Said He Wanted To Declare Himself “Legally Dead” Following Their Messy Feud
The rapper took to the stage to honor Sean “Diddy” Combs at the BET Awards on Sunday, making reference to Kim for the first time since their public dispute earlier this year.Posted 13 minutes ago Kanye West looks to be making a return to the public eye. Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Sean Combs…
The rapper took to the stage to honor Sean “Diddy” Combs at the BET Awards on Sunday, making reference to Kim for the first time since their public dispute earlier this year.
Kanye West looks to be making a return to the public eye.
If you’re a fan of Ye’s, you’ll know that he recently took a step back from the limelight after his split from Kim Kardashian hit a major rough patch.
After filing for divorce fairly amicably back in February 2021, Kim and Ye’s breakup took a messy turn in November, around the time that things started getting serious between Kim and her current boyfriend, Pete Davidson.
Of course, in light of Kim’s budding romance with Pete, this made for quite the awkward situation, and as a result, Ye wound up taking his frustrations to social media.
Starting in February and posting regularly until mid-March, Ye harassed Kim and Pete on Instagram, sharing their private messages and even encouraging his fans to yell at them in public.
Ye’s constant posts sparked major concern among his followers, with many accusing the rapper of exhibiting abusive behavior toward Kim and Pete. And in March, his Instagram account was suspended for 24 hours after he violated the platform’s harassment policies.
Flash forward to today, and Ye is yet to make a full return to the public eye, having only been spotted on the occasional public outing.
Interestingly, reports in the aftermath of their feud claimed that the Yeezy founder was actively seeking “behavioral” treatment, in order “to be a better human and a better dad.”
Taking to the stage to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to his longtime friend Sean “Diddy” Combs, the Donda rapper — whose face was completely covered by a black mask, hat, and sunglasses — was met with loud applause from the crowd.
“How do we crown our kings? How do we appreciate our kings?” his speech began, before going on to praise Diddy’s work in the music industry.
“To see Puff in real life at the ‘Missing You’ video, just like me tapping free like a little kid — I just need to meet this man. This is my favorite artist,” he said, sounding noticeably upbeat.
“You see I’m saying ‘favorite artist,’” he clarified. “Everything — not specifically production, the drip. Back then there was so many rules to hip-hop, and he broke all of them.”
Reflecting on what he learned from Diddy in his own career, Ye even made reference to his failed marriage to Kim, sparking mixed reactions from the crowd.
“He inspired so many of my choices. So many of my life choices. My wife choices,” he said as the audience erupted into noise.
“And here we are,” he added with a laugh. “Thanks for that, Puff.”
What’s more, Ye also appeared to corroborate reports that he wanted to take “a year off” in the wake of his public feud with Kim, confirming in his speech that he recently took “a little hiatus.”
“I said, ‘I want to just declare myself legally dead for a year,’” he told the audience, seemingly referring to his absence since being banned from Instagram. “Nobody messin’ me. You know, I just want to be off the grid.”
But, despite his hopes of keeping a low profile, Ye seemed to suggest that the opportunity to honor Diddy was reason enough to return to the public eye.
“Puff is pretty persistent,” he explained. “Any of us in this room, if Puff ever need us, we need to jump and be there. This man has been through and survived a lot of stuff. Broke down a lot of doors so we could be standing. I know for me, that I could be here today.”
He finished the emotional speech by telling Diddy in the audience: “If I never told you, I love you. You’re my brother.”
So, in light of his absence from the spotlight, fans were certainly glad to see Ye sounding so positive, with this marking his first awards show appearance since he pulled out of Coachella in April and had his Grammys performance scrapped in the same month due to “concerning online behavior.”
The speech is also the first time that Ye has made reference to Kim since they came to blows on Instagram, and coincides with reports that the exes are currently working on rebuilding their relationship as co-parents.
In fact, just over a week ago, Kim gave her ex a rare shoutout too, praising him for being the “best dad” to their four kids in a sweet Father’s Day tribute.
Well, if Ye’s joke about their failed marriage is any indication, it seems like things might finally be looking a little more friendly between Kimye as they navigate the final stages of their split.
Your weekday morning guide to breaking news, cultural analysis, and everything in between
Thom Browne Spring 2023 Menswear
In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear…
In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear is back in the French capital with similar potency. His spring 2023 collection, suspended almost entirely from jock straps, is Browne’s updated meditation on “how far you can push it?”
“I thought the dresses were too much back then,” Browne began at a preview in his showroom, “but now feels like the time to do this. It’s about how much guys can look at and entertain.” Referring to the many visible cheeks on the catwalk, he pointedly added: “It’s not about shock value.”
If not shock, then what? There has been a lot of nudity this menswear season and in the past two years in general, but Browne’s stated intent is less about showing flesh than it is about finding a new form for men. You can see how he could get bored quick. This is his third catwalk in under a year—plus four pre-collections. “I have a good team” he demurred when asked how he creates with such voracity.
So the brief was brief this season: short, mini, kinky, gorgeous. Each of the looks was made in a unique French tweed, from the same maker of you-know-who’s tweeds, inspired by the couture ideology of the 1940s and 1950s. The show began with friends of the maison as couture clients—Anh Duong, Marisa Berenson, Farida Khelfa, and more—bolting in to the second floor of the Crillon to find their seats. From their vantage point they could ogle the guys—a nice swap—in their shorter-in-the-back kiltlets, sailor tops, cropped organza button downs, and luxurious tweed coats with gold bouillon. As with any Browne outing, the fabrics and silhouettes were as fine as can be.
After a mostly underwhelming season, at least according to the menswear editors I tallied, how far could this irreverent beauty really go, though? Several balked. Others chuckled. When a dancer emerged at the end of the show dressed in a codpiece with an anchor Prince Albert piercing, I exchanged a glance with a friend across the aisle and we both giggled. Last night was Pride in Paris. In Browne’s beloved USA, human rights are being revoked by the hour. It would be hard to picture a more gay and proud couture-worthy collection: the sailor, the cowboy, the surfer, the tennis pro; the stereotypes divorced from expected connotations, made in the artisanal gold standard of womenswear design, ass cracks gleaming and pert under those red, white and blue bars of gingham. Browne is gay and proud. Will his cis-het clientele be radicalized or scandalized? A voiceover that started the show spoke about the couture process of the ’50s, when women were swans and men were their benefactors. “Men have the very great pleasure of paying,” said the recording. Time to pay up, boys.
Ambush Resort 2023
“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family,…
“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family, not to mention that the Ambush office sits right in Shibuya, Yoon has plenty of material to mine. This pre-collection represented a down-tempo interlude in Ambush’s rhythm of show season spectacular, and was more observationaL. The collection was designed as an imagined curation of the clothes she sees on the kids who are flocking back to Shibuya today. “Things are opening up, the clubs: everything’s coming back in Tokyo. I’ve been feeling that.”
Tailoring, sportswear, footwear, nylon-spliced denim, and of course this brand’s core category of jewelry was all effectively designed to be defined less by the wearer’s gender identity than their aesthetic orientation and subcultural proclivity. The classics covered, from Ambush specific bodice tops and kimono coats to standards including bowling shirts and tracksuits, were adroitly but subtly remixed through tweaks in proportion, color, and fabrication. Pills and mushrooms came suspended from safety pin earrings and chains, supplies brought in for a big night ahead. This though was a collection built for street life: night life comes later.
Entertainment3 weeks ago
At Long Last, the First Portrait of Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor Is Here
Science3 weeks ago
Wow! International Space Station and Boeing Starliner captured in the same incredible image
Top News3 weeks ago
Shari Puorto Band performs at Beaver Creek, CO’s Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival, 2022
Top News2 weeks ago
Italy minister says nationalisation an option for Lukoil refinery
Technology3 weeks ago
Save over $650 off an unlimited lifetime subscription to Offcloud
Entertainment3 weeks ago
25 Of The Best Candid Royal Family Moments From The Platinum Jubilee
Science3 weeks ago
How to Change the Alarm Volume on iPhone
Sports3 weeks ago
Michael Bisping shares his take on the biggest UFC fight that failed to come to fruition: “That truly is the one that got away”