Arcade Appreciation April #9 - Crude Buster
by, 17 Apr 2012 at 11:31 AM (368 Views)
New York is under attack by Mutants. Are you a crude enough dude to rescue New York?
Doesn't quite have the same ring to it doesn't it? Crude Buster was known as "Two Crude Dudes" here in the US, apparently since it may as well be a sequel to Bad Dudes. It's the future and the key to stopping "Big Valley" (such a silly name for a game, maybe they should be wearing sweaters around their necks and play badminton) is in a couple of guys who like to say "whatta day" alot. Sometimes you punch freaks, sometimes you pick them up and throw them, and other times you beat them up with pipes, signposts, and anything else you manage to rip outta the ground.
Crude Buster could be described as a beatemup in some ways, though if you rush in expecting to just pound everyone into bloody pulps you've already lost. The mechanics of this game are very much designed to be against the player. How this works is that while the dudes have health meters, they also don't have the much in the way of hit-stun invulnerability. Usually when you get hit in a game you reel back, get thrown a short distance, and so on. In this game however while a few attacks can knock you down most will simply drain your health. For example if a big muscled jerk decides to do a flying elbow drop and you can't get out of the way, every hit is going to connect and you'll go from full health to dead in about a second. This goes for an innumerable amount of attacks that many of the most basic of thugs are capable of. It's a little odd that the only health restoration comes from soda machines located in-between each stage.
Surviving in this game requires that you work around these twisted mechanics and know the game inside and out. That means which enemies are coming, how they behave, and the best tactic for getting rid of them without getting hit. Because with this game one hit may as well mean death. The bosses tend to have exploitable patterns, such as the second one where you can throw them onto the second floor and then use the mid-air grab to continue hurling them around. Basically getting the most out of this game requires strategies and playing extremely safe. Also the levels tend to be designed in ways where there are ways to defeat enemies with little trouble, either by taking advantage of their path-finding or through the copious amounts of objects that can be thrown around to kill everyone. If you don't figure these things out you're probably just going to wonder why you're even bothering to play the game as you mash the continue button almost as much as the attack button.
I don't know how much of this game's design was intentional but it does make for only one viable approach. Once you learn it the game becomes several times easier and honestly I'm not sure what to think about that. It's almost as if this game were actually a puzzler, where all those beatemups you may have mastered are not viable here. Instead you account for the enemy-type, what the layout of the stage is, and how to go about getting rid of everyone safely. Crude Buster is not something I can recommend for everyone but it has its merits.
Hmm. Looks like when April ends I'll probably just roll with "Arcade Appreciation" for a long while. There's really not much else for me on the review horizon.
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