Published on October 31st, 2009 | by Ian0
Review: Revenge of Mad John
Revenge of Mad John takes me back to the days of Pit Fighter on the Amiga and those walk and fight classics like double dragon or final fight. The story is simple, your girlfriend has been kidnapped and you have to go and get her. Between you and her, is an army of goons trying to beat you into a pulp. You fight your way through levels of repeated characters and various bosses to save your beloved.
I like this game for many reasons; firstly it has the retro appeal that takes men back to the aforementioned games; secondly the control method is quite novel in that you use the accelerometer to move around the level and use the tap and slide to do six types of move from a simple punch to a flying kick. Finally, I like this because it’s it feels like a true small scale retro games developer has created it with so much passion that it oozes from every pixel. But that said, the game is not without its problems.
I draw similarities to Pit Fighter because that too was poorly renders ‘photo realistic’ (in the loosest way) characters stuttering around with only a limited set of moves and more recently the ‘photo realistic’ style has been saved for movie tie ins where a badly rendered Bruce Willis jumps about a level trying to make a game out of one scene in a movie. That said, they have done extremely well considering the size of the screen and the file size of the game.
Similarly, I mentioned Double Dragon as the enemies do repeat pretty often, although, to their credit there are over 40 different characters to fight against. Sadly, you only realise that the end of level bad guy IS the end of level bad guy when he/she doesn’t fall down after two or three hits.
Also, I didn’t think the pencil line, hand drawn inter-cut scenes really went with the overall game. It’s almost like the interface and narrative elements were done by one person and the game by another. The start screen looks quite futuristic and uses icons instead of words (maybe to appeal to a large market), the narrative screen would have worked well as photos and fitted with the overall look of the game.
Finally, on the easy mode the game could be completed in around 30 mins of hardcore playing so when you do get the game start it on hard mode to increase the longevity of the game.
On the whole though, the game is a solid, playable and highly unique that will give you a smile whilst it nods its retro roots at you. The originality of the game means that you should get this game not only to try it out but to encourage the team behind it to follow it up with an equally original title. If you liked the classics like final fight, double dragon and pit fighter then this this the game for you.