Thanks to Flying Tiger Entertainment for the review code
Title: Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Two Crude
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 07/05/2018
In this spiritual successor to Bad Dudes, you take control of a pair of vigilantes known as Two Crude, who are hired by the US Government to take out a city gang responsible for a major Nuclear Explosion in New York twenty years ago and take back the city! Cliche as can be, but fitting for the time period.
At first glance, a screenshot of this game might make you think that it looks absolutely hideous, akin to how ugly Mutation Nation on the Neo Geo is, but it actually looks really good in motion, despite how cartoony the art style is compared to Bad Dudes. The animations are decent for the time, the music is really solid, and there’s even voice samples! However, a side effect of having voice samples comes from the fact that they can be very repetitive, and the most obvious example by far is whenever you knocked to the ground by an enemy. Every single time you get back up, your character will remark “What a day!” Which will lead you to demand that the damn day finally ends by the time you beat the game. Another irritating audio quirk comes from how the music seems to speed up every time a specific enemy (Strange men in white suits that use flamethrowers) uses their weapon, and I’m not sure if that’s due to shoddy emulation or because the actual game does it, but it is very noticeable when it takes place.
As part of the Johnny Turbo Arcade lineup, the same features I’ve mentioned many times beforehand are present in this game, including the standard TV Filters and 4:3 or Widescreen display options.
The main objective of each of the six stages is to make your way through hordes of enemies and defeat both a mini-boss and a main boss in order to move onto the next stage. Being a direct port of an arcade title, standard arcade traditions apply, with two player co-op, the ability to insert unlimited credits or limit yourself if you so choose, and chasing for the hi-score if you aren’t interested in beating the game.
Unfortunately, Two Crude happens to screw most of those traditions up, ironically thanks to sticking closely to one tradition that made Arcade games a pain to play in real life; cheap difficulty. The first two stages aren’t that bad thanks to the fact that there’s tons of throwable objects littered around the stages that can come in handy against some of the tougher enemies, but even in these two stages you’ll quickly learn that the game will just toss hordes of bad guys at you, and if you’re playing solo there’s just no way you can deal with all of them. You can grab objects and enemies with the Y button along with your basic attack with the A button, but even grabbing and using items don’t seem to do much to the bosses near the end of the game, and said items diminish in quantity as you progress which makes fighting them even harder. Bosses such as the stage 4 one are especially maddening as that boss felt deliberately designed to drain quarters, with long-reaching claws that are near impossible to avoid and attacks that shred through your character like paper.
In fact, shredded paper is a good analogy for your character near the end of the game. Bosses and even normal enemies will have attacks that deal many hits and ignore invincibility frames, and will thus kill you in just one combo. Enemies that can grab and require you to wiggle the joystick to throw them off can grab you right after you toss one of them, meaning that if you go solo and surrounded by enemies, prepare to sway that joystick like your life depends on it. This game has the difficulty up to the max, and that’s not really a thing I can knock on the DIP Switch settings this time around, either; even on the lower difficulties in the arcade original the game’s insanely tough, so there’s really no going around this, and expect 1CC challenges to be over fairly quickly.
However, by far the most disappointing aspect of this game for me comes from something pretty minor, but something that does manage to ruin the replay value for me; the Hi-Score. For some odd reason, Data East set the hi-score at a ludicrous amount: 1 Million. Sounds like something fun to achieve, right? Well, the problem is scoring in this game is so slow and monotonous that even if you make it to the end of stage 2 with no continues you’ll only have around 20K points or so, and considering the absurd difficulty of this game, you won’t be keeping them for long afterwards. But even if you make it to the end of stage six by some miracle, you won’t be anywhere close to breaking the hi-score. Why, you may ask? Because the only thing that can break it is the stage six boss rush, where every major boss in the game has to be refought in order to fight the final boss, an absurd mutant that’s invincible to grabs and takes ages to beat up. Once you defeat the final boss, you gain a million points, and thus break the hi-score. In terms of replay value, that means just playing this to chase a hi-score or see how far you can get isn’t fun, since you pretty much have to beat the game in order to do so, regardless of how good you get at avoiding death.
In conclusion, Two Crude is a pretty average brawler. Not a bad one by any means, since the stages are fun and throwing signs, tanks and enemies is pretty cool, but the novelty wears off quickly once you beat the game, and playing in co-op is really the only way you’ll may be able to get more enjoyment out of it. Hi-Score chasing is practically impossible in this game, and even if the lack of DIP Switches was finally fixed with this title, it wouldn’t matter much since Two Crude was made solely to drain quarters. In a way, it manages to be both a very fun co-op game while also the weakest of the Johnny Turbo Arcade lineup so far, but I am happy it was released for the sake of having the spiritual successor to Bad Dudes out there, since it’s at least way better than the Genesis Version.
I give Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Two Crude a 6 out of 10.