Final Vendetta on Xbox is a classic 90s-style beat-em-up with limited appeal

Fans of old school beat-em-up video games will get a real kick out of this British-set brawler.

It’s just like the Sega Mega Drive classic Streets of Rage.

But you swap New York’s mean streets for the gritty side of London as UK developers at Numskull Games use their locality for a pixel-art all-out fighter.

So expect red phone boxes, Tube trains and battles in the local boozer.

The title looks proper retro when you turn it on for the first time.

It wouldn’t be out of place on a late 80s, early 90s console.

The artwork is blocky, the character animations awkward, the soundtrack simple but banging.

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It all fits that side-scrolling vibe that was so popular yesteryear.

And the theme is out of date too, on purpose of course. So expect very 2D, cliched heroes with names like Duke Sancho, far too many muscles and no backstory worth a damn.

Gameplay is tough.

It’s a button basher that you’ll instantly master – jump, punch, kick; but a game that can easily overwhelm once the baddie count on-screen goes wild.

There’s no hand holding here either like with modern games, die and you’re back to the beginning.

That’s refreshing in a weird way.

The gameplay is frantic and highly enjoyable as you bash your way through the levels to regular boss fights.

Co-op two player mode makes it even more wild.

90’s chart-topping electronic dance duo Utah Saints are behind the excellent backing music and it’s heavy electric pumping helps to crank up the pace of the game too.

You can tell this is a love letter to games of old.

And in that sense the developers have delivered a cracking little example of an aged genre.

Is it enough for today’s gamer?

We’ve all moved on a bit from these games generally and their appeal, while a flash of fun, lies in hours rather than days of gaming.

Beat-em-up fans will not be disappointed.

But more casual gamers will quickly get everything they can from Final Vendetta and move on.

Fun but a limited joy.

VERDICT 3/5

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