Vigilante (SMS)

Vigilante Box Art


System: SMS

Release Date: May 1989

Developer: Arc System Works

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Beat ‘em Up

We last saw Arc System Works with the Master System port of Double Dragon, but they’re back with Vigilante. Your beautiful girlfriend, Maria has been kidnapped by an evil gang, the Rogues. It’s up to you, the Vigilante, to kick five levels of bad guy butt and save her.

Button 1 throws a punch. Button 2 throws a kick. You can jump by pressing Buttons 1 & 2 together. You can throw a punch or a kick while jumping, but good luck getting it to happen when you want to. Enemies run on screen and you are to punch or kick them off it. The main enemies are called Chokeholds. These buttholes will grab you and drain your health if they catch up to you. They’re pretty easy to knock away in the first couple levels, but then it becomes incredibly difficult to correctly time your punches and kicks in later levels and they become the most dangerous enemy.

Other threats are enemies that carry weapons, like knives, clubs, chains, and guns! You can get a weapon of your own if you find the nun-chucks and crouch to pick them up. This adds to your range and power, but I you take enough damage, you’ll lose them. Bosses appear at the end of each level. You need to figure out what they are weak to, or they will destroy you. I was lucky enough to have my nun-chucks at the end of the second level and was able to take out the boss while taking no damage.

Graphics: 2.0

The sprites, backgrounds, and animations are all pleasant.

Sound: 1.0

Sound effects are crappy and the music isn’t too good, either.

Gameplay: 1.0

Ugh, what could have worked well is sluggish, unresponsive, and ineffective.

Difficulty: 1.5

Most of the difficulty comes from bad controls and cheap weapon wielding enemies.

Fun Factor: 0.5

I did not have fun playing this. I was frustrated and unhappy enough to bail on level four of five.

Overall Grade: 1.2

Vigilante earns a D+. This isn’t a very good game. It reminds me of a slightly more playable My Hero, and that game was awful! Stay away from this one.

Vigilante (SMS) Video Review on YouTube