Review: Tokyo Beat Down (Nintendo DS)

My earliest memories of the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre were mainly limited playing Double Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the Micro Genius console, and I wasn’t really good at them. In the case of Double Dragon, it didn’t take long for Billy and Jimmy to get the crap beaten out of them, as I approached the game more like a button-mashing exercise than anything else.


Time has certainly tempered those er..wild..instincts, and as luck would have it, there’s a new beat-em-up in town, and it’s called, how aptly, Tokyo Beat Down. You main play as a cop, Lewis Cannon, who likes nothing better than to deliver some smackdown to bad guys, and boy, there are plenty of them in this game.

From gangster types carrying assorted weapons (including molotov cocktails) to looters, to walking Frankenstein like fellas, to military type guys with guns, Lewis will have his hands and legs full, punching, kicking and shooting them. For a man of action however, Lewis does seem a bit sluggish when it comes to executing moves (e.g. drawing his gun), and whether it is intentional or not, this opens you up to be attacked by enemies.

This being a current generation game with old school gameplay, in place of 2D sprites, Tokyo Beat Down has 3D textures in essentially a 2D sidescroller. The graphics are functional at best, so don’t go expecting something really pretty. I wish they add some comic touches to them death scenes.

The storyline is told using stills and the lines, both in-game and in stills mode are pretty funny and irrelevant at times. I bet some of these puns work better in the Japanese version of the game.

Sluggish controls aside, beat-em-up starved fans on the Nintendo DS, can still find plenty to like about Tokyo Beat Down. Now, if only someone can take up the task of making one based on the Hokuto No Ken IP, without the touch-screen shennanigans of the previous release.

Tokyo Beat Down is available at Play-Asia, click here for details.

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  1. Kyo April 15, 2009

    It’d be cooler if the Hokuto No Ken arcade IP is transferred to the Wii. Motion could really be cool considering how that arcade game was cool to punch the pads with.

  2. tokyo_nights April 15, 2009

    Haha. With all the ultra violence the Wii seems to be home of these days, I won’t be surprised if Hokuto No Ken lands on that console. Ya-ta-ta-ta-ta-taaaa