This is one of those games that were much more fun in the past then it was today. Crime Fighters is a beat em up in every sense of the word. In this Konami fighter, you play the role of an undercover cop who really just rushes into gang territory and beats the living hell out of everyone. Honestly, I don’t even know how you are considered undercover when you just walk up and start beating down people.
The cool thing about this game, at least at the arcades was it was four players like Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. Depending on how many were playing more enemies would be on the screen at one time. Crime Fighters plays a lot like Double Dragon, your main attacks are punches and kicks and you can grab enemies and preform attack as well.
Another different thing about Crime Fighters was the health meter. In the four player version when you added money you would get a certain number representing your health and it would slowly count down like Gauntlet (perhaps it was your undercover power). The only way to gain health was at the end of a level after beating a boss. I think this could make the game seem like you are getting a lot of health, but later on some of the enemies and bosses are cheap and just continue to tick away your health.
Speaking of cheap, one of the issues I had was with picking up weapons. Now the guns were over powered and once you had one you owned until you were out of bullets, but the knife and pipe were semi useless specifically because when you first picked them up you would like show them off and during this little animation an enemy could hit you causing you to drop and lose the item. Again, maybe it has to do with being undercover, I dunno.
So like most side scrolling fighting games the key is not to be surrounded. Most of the standard enemies were easy to take out, but later you had big muscle bound dudes that could smack you around or pick you up and slam you. The worst are the ninja guys who would counter almost all your attacks and really drain your life. Here is a pro-tip, don’t scroll too far when fighting a ninja or a big guy or more might come out or you might reach the boss, trust me, mixing the ninja and a boss is horrible and you will lose a ton of life.
I also like the United Nations of bad guys in Crime Fighters. You had greasers which were white guys that looked like a 60’s gang, a dock worker that was either a huge black or white guy, the Kung Fu thug which was a Chinese guy and the best enemy name ever, Hispanic, seriously, the enemy name was just called, Hispanic and they wore tank tops and always used a knife. I know my Miami readers would get a kick out of that.
As said the game can be frustrating especially when you get a team up of hard enemies like the Dominatrix, hit-man and a boss. Speaking of bosses, they just were weird. You had bosses that looked like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to the stereotypical end boss, which comes out of a limo with a machine gun. If you make it all the way to the end, you can fight all the bosses at once, which I really think was a last ditch effort to grab more quarters from you.
All in all Crime Fighters gets boring because all you do is mash punch and kick against the same type of bad guys over and over. Also, with the cheap attacks and counters it just gets frustrating even when you are not spending real quarters. However, kneeing enemies in the balls and hearing that bell sound makes it all worth it. This game reminds me of a mix between Double Dragon and Renegade and that in itself is good enough to give it a go.