A Vendetta isn't a snazzy Italian sports car, as you might think; it's a vow of vengeance, such as you might make against someone who pours yoghurt into your Spectrum.
In the case of System 3's rather jolly 3-D beat-'em-up, you play a hard lad fresh from the killing fields of Saigon, and your vendetta is against a terrorist group who have kidnapped your brother in order to obtain from him the secret recipe for an irresistible flavour of yoghurt, or something.
After the war you were civilianised with what the manual calls "a tongue-in-check pat on the back", which sounds pretty pervy, and now you have sunk into the gutter, with all your possessions in a plastic bag and no idea where your next yoghurt is coming from.
So, in order to save your bro and restore your pride, armed only with your lists and a sharpened carton of yoghurt (NO NO NO! It's a KNIFE!), you set off to defeat the bad guys.
If you liked The Last Ninja, and let's face it who didn't, you'll like Vendetta. The basic idea is the same: a series of 3-D backgrounds through which your character can move freely, searching out useful objects, fighting off baddies and solving puzzles which allow you to progress to later levels. The graphics could hardly be more realistic and detailed, the control system is clear (one window shows the weapon you are currently using, another the objects you have collected), and there a timer which ticks off the moments leading to your brother's execution.
You start off in the docklands, investigating the derelict warehouses where the terrorists have been keeping hostages; as you move through doorways and climb ladders, the background flips smoothly to the next scene. You can take out enemies with your knife, or search for more deadly weapons, loots, computer disks and machinery which, without giving too much away, you'll need to progress to the next stage.
At the end of the first level is a Ferrari F40 sports car, and if you can work out how to activate this, you get into the next bit which is basically a car-race. To be honest I could have done without this - it looks very much like every other cockpit-view car race game since the year Zero - but it is well implemented.
In the end Vendetta looks nice and plays well, but doesn't have the same impact as Last Ninja. Yep, it's tough to improve on a biggie.
Incidentally, don't get too excited about the offer of a free Vendetta watch advertised on the packaging. The offer ends May 31st 1990. Tough luck, suckers!
Label: System 3 Price: £8.95 Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Nice-looking Last Ninja style effort with no big surprises.