Final Vendetta Review

Gaming
8

Great

Final Vendetta

Developer: Bitmap Bureau
Publisher: Numskull Games
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch
Release Date: 17 June 2022
Price: $24.99 USD / $35.95 AUD – Available Here

Overview

Last month we saw the release of not one but two new beat ’em up games fresh from the oven and available on all current platforms. If you’re a fan of action games or have been following gaming news, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game probably popped up in your mind but what about this second “mystery” game? It’s Final Vendeettaa! – sorry about that – It launched only two days after Ninja Turtles and without much fanfare. Final Vendetta is a brawler with the premise of being as mechanically simple as possible that anyone can pick up and start enjoying instantly. Final Vendetta is also a passionate labor of love that pays homage to its much older predecessors.

Story

A notorious gang known only as “Syndic8” is on the uprise in the London underworld. Business was all well and good until they committed a grave mistake: they decided to kidnap Claire Sparks’ sister. Syndic8 demands that Claire and her hot-headed friends run a job for them. Now, Claire and especially her friends don’t take too well to receiving orders from criminals, so they decide to put an end to Syndic8 instead. Who can save Syndic8 from these blood-thirsty freaks?

Nonsense aside, I like the callback to Final Fight’s intro. It’s brief and simple but kinda nostalgic at the same time. As for the rest of the plot, there’s none, and that’s a good thing.

Gameplay

The main blueprint for Final Vendetta’s gameplay comes from the older Streets of Rage games. Final Vendetta mixes and matches elements from all three SoR games, but it also has a bit of DNA from a variety of other beat ’em ups. For example you can kick fallen foes similarly to Konami’s Vendetta, juggle your enemies to death which is implemented similarly to how it works on Sengoku 3, among other little touches that vary depending on your character of choice. 

The playable cast is composed of your typical martial artist superheroes of old. Claire Sparks is the nimble and technical fighter. “Duke” Sancho is the well-rounded street brawler. Miller Williams is the resident “slow” big guy with a focus on wrestling moves. Their play styles vary considerably. Regardless of who you choose, all three of them are fun to use.

Final Vendetta uses a four button layout like in old Neo Geo games. These buttons comprise your basic punch, a jump, a block button and a special button. The first three buttons are self-explanatory with the outlier here being the special button; it’s used in more situational moments like when grabbing a foe or when your character is running. There are also moves accessed by pressing a combination of two buttons, such as a launcher and a super move that hits in all directions. I’ll leave the rest for you to try for yourself, or you can simply watch the video above to have a good idea of your options in Final Vendetta.

There are five stages in total. All of them are relatively short. The enemies lack variety and are mostly palette swaps with a few different moves. Final Vendetta’s main draws for me are its tight controls and overall fast pace. It’s like actually going to the arcades, you insert a coin in your machine of choice and press start. No cutscene between phases. No unnecessary BS. Just gaming in its purest form. 

Four difficulty types are available in the game; casual is a walk in the park, while ultra will test your knowledge of the game, since there are only two lives and no prompts to warn you of incoming stage hazards. There are also extra modes that help prolong the game’s longevity such as boss rush and survival. These bonus modes are unlocked by beating the game on hard with certain characters and are very fun and challenging.  

If the gameplay sounds too derivative, it’s because it is. Final Vendetta is supposed to be a very light-hearted “culmination” of classic beat ‘em ups up to this point in time. Despite that, Final Vendetta is never boring. The varied difficult modes, characters and extra modes will keep you occupied for hours. Mastering a given character on its own is already fun enough; it’s not hard to do since there are no difficult inputs or super short windows to link attacks in a combo.

At the time of this publishing, a new patch was released. That means that along with overall fixes, the game received a lot of tweaks. The combo system was slightly revamped, and some exploits were removed. As a result, the game feels even better. It’s a real pity that the developers weren’t able to launch the game like this from the start.

Visuals

Final Vendetta looks like a Neo Geo beat ‘em up from the nineties. It’s especially similar to Sengoku 3, only less detailed. The stages look overly simple, but the character’s sprites are well rendered and animated.

Audio

The soundtrack in this game is amazing. It features some known people from the hip hop and electronic music scene, such as Featurecast, Krafty Kuts and Utah Saints. The music is upbeat, dancey and adds a lot to the old school vibe of the game. The sound effects sound appropriate for the most part. Although I don’t understand how a punch can sound more impactful than a lead pipe to the head. 

Overall

I really liked my time with this game. It doesn’t have the Ninja Turtles budget and appeal, but it’s equally as fun. While some may find that Bitmap Bureau went too far with Final Vendetta’s old school sensibilities, I welcome more games like it with open arms.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

Summary

Final Vendetta's gameplay is dated but solid and fun. It's more than worth it for any fan of fast action games.
8

Great

I have been playing video games for 36 years. I should be put in a museum by now, but here I am, writing about them.

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