GROWL / Taito / Arcade

Growl is one of the weirdest beat-em-ups ever, and that's an accomplishment. It came out in 1990, in the midst of an "environmentalism" craze in pop culture, and apparently Taito decided to horn in on that craze by making a beat-em-up out of it. And also blending in character designs ripped off from Indiana Jones for good measure.

You play as a four-man vigilante squad out to rough up an amazingly numerous gang of poachers (two of whom look like Indiana Jones, the other two of whom look like Macho Man Randy Savage). Said gang is also composed of a nonsensical mishmash of the Thugees from Temple of Doom, newsboys and hookers who hide stick grenades in their cleavage.

You proceed from right to left in standard beat-em-up style. The gameplay is basically a clone of Double Dragon, but it's faster and does have an impressive amount of enemies on screen at one time. Of course, they're very passive and just mostly kind of stand around, but still.

The game gets tiresome pretty quickly as you just continually mash on epic heaps of the same boring, predictable, passive enemies. The only value in it is comedy, really - the broken Engrish translation, and the fact that many of the animals you rescue come back to make unexpected assists, such as falcons pecking out the eyes of foes or lion cubs running underfoot to trip up an approaching mob. Plus a bunch of the bosses are total flailing spazzes.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video