Also available on Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Zeebo, MS-DOS, and arcade
Bad Dudes is a love letter to the 1980s from itself. From the very first screen to the "You won" screen, it just screams 1980s 'tude, and just listen to the name - Bad Dudes. That's seriously the name of the game. Not only is this game stylish af, however, but it also asks the really important questions that we should all ask ourselves at some point - are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?
The basic premise of Bad Dudes is that a group of evil ninja (probably communists) called Dragon Ninja has kidnapped the president of the United States, and as a patriotic, freedom loving bad dude named either Blade or Striker, it's your job to introduce these bad hombres to your fists and your feet which you've probably named, Freedom, Truth, Justice, and The American Way. You punch, kick, and liberate your way through seven stages filled drug dealers, rapists, murders, and liberal professional protesters as you fight to free President Ronnie (even though he looks just like George H. W. Bush) and remind everyone in your way why democracy is the best.
In all seriousness, however, Bad Dudes is a mediocre beat em up for the platform. Beat em ups weren't exactly hard to find in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, and Bad Dudes does nothing to stand out from the crowd aside from being completely and utterly (and awesomely) ridiculous. The controls are okay, the hit detection is iffy, the sprite movement feels a bit jerky, and there's a lot of flicker. It's a fine, functional game, but nothing about the actual gameplay is very extraordinary. I've not played the original arcade game to compare, but I have a feeling that the translation from arcade to NES wasn't as smooth for Bad Dudes as it was for Double Dragon or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
One thing that DOES kick ass about the game is the weapons. I mean, there are only two - a pair of nunchuks and a dagger - but those two weapons are SUPER BAD. And by bad I mean good. The dagger doesn't have a lot of range, but you're stabbing people in the face, so who cares? The nunchuks are the best weapon, though, combining great range with devastating attack power. These aren't terribly uncommon drops, and you have them until you die, so it's not too terribly difficult to find a keep a weapon.
At the end of each stage is a "super warrior" boss, and these bosses can range from easy to cheese to cheap as hell. There's one boss with a bo staff who's just the cheapest little MFer and drives me INSANE. On the other hand, you've some Robocop looking dude who, if you can get him into a corner, you can jump kick into submission without taking any damage if you can get your timing right. The hardest part of the whole game is the last half of stage seven, though. That has you go through a boss rush, fighting all six of the previous stages' bosses and THEN fighting the game's final boss. It's not undoable, but you'll definitely need some repeat gameplay because learning the attack patterns of these bosses is an absolute must if you plan to survive long enough to make it to the final boss.
All in all, Bad Dudes is a pretty decent game. It's not amazing, and there are much better beat em ups on the system, but if you can find it for $5 or so, it's worth picking up just to say "I have a game called bad dudes, and I am definitely a bad enough dude to rescue the president" if nothing else. If you've got a friend who has it and will let you borrow it or if you are a punk ass bitch who uses an emulator on a PC, then it's definitely worth giving it a go, but don't expect a masterpiece.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.