Mean Machines

Bad Dudes
By Data East
Nintendo (US Version)

Published in Mean Machines #5

Bad Dudes

American presidents traditionally have a rotten time. Lincoln and Kennedy were assassinated, Reagan was shot, and Bush has got Don Quayle. But for the first time ever, the president has been kidnapped. Not by ordinary, run-of-the-mill terrorists, but by a group of ninjas - that's right, a group of fourteenth century Japanese hired killers have somehow grabbed the leader of the most powerful country in the world!

For some reason, the Bad Dudes of the title are the heroes - Blade and Silver, two muscle-bound lads in tee shirts far too small for them. Presumbly the ninjas are the good dudes. Anyway, the workout freaks travel through the city, battling past various ninja foes, and defeating huge end-of-level baddies. Luckily there are a number of tokens scattered around the streets - these give extra time, life energy, and even invincibility (for a short period).

The enemy comes in a variety of forms and shapes. The uniquitous ninjas attack without mercy, and shuriken throwers appear with alarming regularity. Thugs wielding flails and knives attempt to ruin Blade and Striker's day, and rather flat, bald gentlemen make an appearance as well.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

When in two-player mode, each character appears at a time, never on-screen together. The president's life is in your hands: are you willing to take the challenge?

Bad: You Know It

Michael Jackson claimed he was bad in the 80s, adding his name to a long list of "bad dudes". John McEnroe became the bad boy of tennis at the end of the 70s because of his tantrums and wearing on court.

The romantic poet Lord Byron, who wrote in the beginning if the nineteenth century, was considered to be "mad, bad and dangerous to know". Some monks have bad habits and can be thrown out of their monasteries as a result.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Fruit often goes bad, and due to the lack of adequate councilling there tends to be little chance of them improving their behaviour.

And finally, Gary Harrod is definitely the bad egg int he Mean Machines team (he smells like one too!)


Beat-'em-ups are a tried and tested formula, and are often the best games to be found. Bad Dudes, though, is a great disappointment; the lack of moves, the poor animation, and the repetitiveness of the challenge makes this a yawn and a half. Double Dragon II is much, much better than this - BD's graphics are flat and two-dimensional in comparison, and the gameplay non-existent.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Perhaps Nintendo think that the popularity of beat-'em-ups means that they can release any mediocre game and it will still sell like the proverbial warm scones. Let's hope that the games-buying public prove them wrong and demand a higher quality of product in the future.

In the meantime, buy Double Dragon II or wait for Ninja Gaiden.


This Nintendo version of the Bad Dudes coin-op certainly features the Dudes. And it's also bad. Very bad. The graphics are the most flickery I've ever seen on a Nintendo game, and make this incredibly frustrating to play, since half the time you can't see what's going on - the enemy shuriken are particularly difficult to see.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Not only are the graphics flickery, they're also rubbish. The bland backdrops lack depth and the sprites are crude, poorly animated and jerk and cripple their way around the screen - the whole thing just looks a ghastly shambles.

The gameplay is awful too, with a distinct lack of variety and combat moves. Even if you're the biggest beat-'em-up fan in the world, give this a miss.


Presentation 80%
The intro sequences are easily the best thing about this game, describing the scenario in an attractive way.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Graphics 64%
The sprites are jerky and woefully animated, the screen flickers, and the backgrounds aren't up to much either.

Sound 71%
Pretty feeble tunes and mediocre effects hardly make an impact.

Playability 45%
As playable as football in a closet, Bad Dudes starts in a monotonous fashion.

Lastability 29%
It's unlikely that you'll want to plough through its levels due to its appalling banality.

Overall 39%
Bad by name, bad by nature - avoid this game if you have any standards.