If you thought the only way of transforming mankind into repugnant monsters was by dropping the Bomb, and making melting flesh into a fashion trend, then Vigilante offers you an insight into 1994 New York where absolutely everyone wants to wrap a crowbar around your neck.
It has been lovingly converted from the IREM arcade machine which, unlike the majority of street-fighting games, saw you obeying a vague plot. The idea is that in 1994 the street slime - which once made a home in the gutter - have slithered onto the turf of respectable people. Being generally offensive creatures with a penchant for the type of haircut likely to make their mother think twice about giving them a bottle of Brut for Christmas, they have executed a plan to kidnap Madonna. Even though you are fending off Sean Penn-type characters, she is no relation to the real Madonna.
In true R-Type fashion you move through a scrolling backdrop warding off everything from guys with pistols to persistent green-jacketed creatures. A few chainsaw masochists are thrown in for good measure. At the end of each level there is a large chap who must be destroyed to get onto the next stage. Five levels take you from the main street, through a junkyard, Brooklyn Bridge and the back streets to a construction scene where Madonna is winched into the air.
You must employ a whole host of high foot-kicks to win here.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Graphically, Vigilante bears an astonishing resemblance to its arcade parent. The movement is not as smooth as it should be and gameplay slows down when the scrolling starts. However, a wide variety of street gangs keep the pace going so you probably won't notice. Death is one of those tiresome faults to living; a health panel at the top of the screen lets you know how far away you are from an invite to tea with the Almighty. Instead of dropping down dead your foes tumble off the pavement as if it were a crumbling cliff top. Vigilante has the usual range of noises accompanying each blow to your torso. Here they have been sampled from the arcade game - however, they are nothing inspiring. To accompany this is awful loading music which is certain to have you reaching for the volume control.
Surviving different characters requires you to lay into them at just the right time. The joystick is extremely responsive in this area so you can tackle all your foes with relative ease by employing any of eight different movements. Real problems occur when you are confronted with more than one skinhead at a time. You can find yourself gripped at the neck by one of the green-jacketed guys while another is sawing off your legs.
This is one of the better street-