Bad Street Brawler – Worst NES Games

Bad Street Brawler Title Screen

Bad Street Brawler was released by Mattel in 1989 for the NES. It’s a side scrolling beat em up game. It’s one of the few games that was to be used with the crappy Mattel Power Glove for the NES which is ironic because the Power Glove sucks too.

Mattel Power Glove
Mattel Power Glove

I remember getting this game as a gift when I was as a kid and wanting it to be good but it really, really sucks.

The music is the first thing that comes to mind about this game. It’s so repetitive and the sound effects are so annoying that it’s better to play with the sound muted. I hate the theme song and it gets stuck in my head for some reason!

The graphics are cheesy and have very little detail. The Flintstones type background of each level looks like it took five minutes to develop. Even the colors used are ugly.

For some reason in the story you’re fighting against a bunch of midget clones, meth head freaks with baseball bats and gorillas. The game doesn’t make any sense. During gameplay every once in a while some dude will come on screen and open his trench coat to flash you and out comes a heart with wings. That makes sense right?!

It’s a two player game but you alternate turns. I guess the only thing that would have made this crappy game a little more fun to play is if two people could actually play it at the same time. No dice.

Bad Street Brawler Title Screen
Bad Street Brawler Title Screen
Bad Street Brawler Trip
Bad Street Brawler Trip
Bad Street Brawler Gameplay
Bad Street Brawler Gameplay
Bad Street Brawler End Level 1
Bad Street Brawler End Level 1
Bad Street Brawler- Mattel
Bad Street Brawler- Mattel

Double Dragon 2 The Revenge

Double Dragon 2 Boss 2

Double Dragon 2 was released in 1990 by Acclaim for the NES. Double Dragon 2 was a port of the beat em up arcade game of the same name. The NES version contains five more levels of gameplay for a total of nine levels. The NES version also added cut scenes in between levels. Double Dragon 2 is remembered as being one of the better arcade game to NES ports from back in the day.

You play as the brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee. You are fighting to avenge the death of your girlfriend Marian who was killed by the last boss of the game called the Mysterious Warrior.

Double Dragon 2 had something that was missing in the first NES version of Double Dragon: two player co-op mode. Now you could play through the story with a friend which made things a lot more fun. Thankfully you can choose whether or not you wanted to be able to hurt your co-op partner by selecting either game mode A or B. In Mode A, if you hit the other player you will not hurt each other and with Mode B, attacking the other player will give damage.

The fighting gameplay has changed from the first Double Dragon a bit also. Depending on what side of your character the enemy is on the punch and kicks button switch. So instead of just A for punch and B for kick it changes. A lot of gamers didn’t like this but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It didn’t take me long to get used to it but I guess everybody is different. A new move was added a spinning hurricane jump kick. It’s a good move to use to clear out areas with a lot of enemies.

The controls are good but in some areas of the gameplay and in other areas they are bad. The player vs enemy controls are well done but in some parts of the game you need to make jumps over pits like in a platformer game but Double Dragon 2 isn’t really made for that. It can be difficult and frustrating in some areas but it’s not enough that it ruins the gameplay. It just feels like you can die some really cheap deaths.

Double Dragon 2 is cheap to purchase off the internet on sites like eBay. It’s defiantly worth the little money it costs to add it to your NES game collection. The two player co-op mode is where it’s at!

Double Dragon 2 Title Screen
Double Dragon 2 Title Screen
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 2
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 2
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 3
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 3
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 4
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 4

Double Dragon 2 Boss
Double Dragon 2 Boss

Double Dragon 2 Boss 2
Double Dragon 2 Boss 2

River City Ransom

River City Ransom Gameplay

River City Ransom was released in 1989 by Technos of Japan for the NES. It’s a beat em up style game that combines RPG elements. These two genres make a good mix and River City Ransom has some excellent gameplay as well.

You play as Alex and Ryan. The story goes that Ryan’s girlfriend has been kidnapped by an evil dude named Slick. As you are on your way trying to rescue Ryan’s girlfriend, you are confronted by 9 different gangs depending where you are in the city. They all want to kill you for being on their turf. It’s up to you to show them who’s boss.

The fighting gameplay is like Double Dragon where you can pickup weapons that are dropped from defeated enemies. You can perform kicks, punches, and jump kicks. River City Ransom has two player simultaneous co-op which really makes the game a lot more fun. Teaming up to take on the gangs with a friend is a great time.

Enemies will drop coins after you defeat them which you can use in the vast amount of shops in the city. You can buy all different kinds of items and food to make Alex and Ryan stronger. The graphics and music are well done and the gameplay is challenging but not too hard. One memorable thing about River City Ransom is that after you defeat an enemy they have a phrase that they say. Barf seems to be a very popular one! =)

The NES cartridge is not terribly rare but it does fetch a bit more than most carts of it’s era. It’s usually around $20.00.

River City Ransom Title Screen
River City Ransom Title Screen
River City Ransom Gameplay
River City Ransom Gameplay
River City Ransom Gameplay 2
River City Ransom Gameplay 2
River City Ransom Stores
River City Ransom Stores
River City Ransom Shop
River City Ransom Shop

Battletoads

Battletoads Gameplay

Battletoads

Battletoads was released by Tradewest in 1991 for the NES. It’s is a beat em up platformer game.

The story goes that an evil woman named “the Dark Queen” is trying to take control of the universe. She kidnapped one of your toad buddies (Pimple) so you need to save him. You can play as either of the other toads: Rash or Zitz. As the story unfolds you learn more about the Dark Queen’s evil plans and how you can stop her.

This game has very good graphics for it’s time. Since it was released in 1991 a lot of gamers had moved on to other systems like the Sega Genesis or Turbografx 16. The gameplay is fun and very challenging. It’s really the best playing in two player simultaneous mode with a friend. It’s much more fun to play the game through in co-op except the only bad thing is that your friend can hit you so you need to be careful not to kill each other.

To me, this game is fondly remembered as one of the hardest games to complete for the NES or any system for that matter. It also has some of the best ever in game pause music. If you don’t believe me try it out!

Battletoads Title Screen
Battletoads Title Screen
Battletoads Intro
Battletoads Intro
Battletoads Gameplay
Battletoads Gameplay
Battletoads Gamplay 2
Battletoads Gamplay 2
Battletoads Boss
Battletoads Boss
Battletoads Cut Scene
Battletoads Cut Scene

Double Dragon

Double Dragon Title Screen

Released for the NES in 1988 by Tradewest

Double Dragon for the Nintendo NES is a port of the arcade game of the same name. Since it was a port going from the arcade to the NES some of the game content had to be dropped due to the limitations of the NES.

One of the things that was dropped in the arcade to NES port unfortunately was 2 player simultaneous play during the normal game mode. Instead a 2 player versus mode was included but it wasn’t as good as the regular 2 player cooperative mode could’ve been.

The gameplay was still as fun and fast paced and depending on who you talked to it was more fun than the arcade game.

The story is that your girlfriend has been kidnapped and you need to save her. The gameplay is pretty balanced and has a nice experience system where you get points based on the kind of attacks you use on your enemies. Every time you gain 1000 experience points you get a heart which is equivalent to “leveling up”. Each heart designates a new move added to your character’s arsenal.

The graphics are colorful and detailed for a fairly early NES game. The play control is tight and responsive and each move is easy to pull off. The sounds effects and the music are also well done with some of the stage’s tracks being memorable.

This game is pretty challenging but most players will be able to finish the game with enough practice. This isn’t an expensive game for collectors and it should be in your retro game collection if you want one of the best NES beat em up games.

Double Dragon Title Screen
Double Dragon Title Screen
Double Dragon Mission 1
Double Dragon Mission 1
Double Dragon Kidnapped