Saturday, 6 October 2012

Street Boyz (PS2)

I was going to make the 100th post something special, but I couldn't actually think of anything special to do. I'll try harder for the 137th post, okay?
This is the first review done with the aid of my new capture device, though! That's kind of special, even if the device is a cheap piece of crap. (Don't buy super-cheap capture devices from ebay.they'll fall apart and need to be re-installed everytime you want to use them and you'll have to trick them into giving you sound.)
Anyway, on to the game itself! It's by Tamsoft, who are one of my favourite developers. They're most well known these days for the archetypal modern B-games, the Oneechanbara/Zombie Hunters series, though in ages past they did also make the Battle Arena Toshinden games, and they're responsible for a lot of other entries into the legendary Simple 2000 series (including this one!). Especially interesting are their entries into the Simple DS series, since they tend to have some of the best 3D graphics on the original DS, despite being budget games.
Street Boyz is a beat em up about banchos, those baggy trousered high school thugs of 70s and 80s Japan, and though the name and boxart of the PAL release might lead you to believe that they'd have been replaced with burberry-clad council estate thugs, the game's original plot, character names and everything else has been left intact! Not that any of it is particularly interesting or original, mind you.
How does it play? It's alright. Not terrible, not spectacular. It carries over one of the worst flaws of the Oneechanbara games (or the other way round, as i think this game might have been made before those), in that you're often only given the vaguest clues as to what to do in an area. For example, being told you need a key, but having no clue where the key might be, or who might be carrying it, and like in the Oneechanbara series, this situation is made worse by the fact that the stages are made up of rooms and corridors that all look exactly alike.

The combat is okay, typical 3D beat em up stuff: a button each for strong and weak attacks, weapons to pick up, a super bar to fill, and so on. There is a major flaw here, though. The camera is probably the worst I've experienced in a 3D game, it often seems to go where it likes, and that always seems to be a place where it's hardest to see what you're doing. There is a button to place the camera behind your character, and another button to lock on to the nearest enemy, but these aren't perfect solutions, and in some areas they're disabled. There are a few parts of each stage where all camera control is taken away, because the game wants to show off a nice "cinematic" viewpoint. Unfortunately, while these views do look nice, they're also very impractical.
Although I've said a lot of bad things about this game (and it does deserve the criticism), I've still managed to get a good few hours of enjoyment out of it, and for the prices it tends to go for these days, I'd say it's definitely worth risking a pound or two on.
This game is also known as Simple 2000 Ultimate Series Vol. 21: First-Class Brawl! Yankee Leader ~Legendary Shouwa 99 Year~


  1. this looks like an amazingly stupid fun trainwreck of a game and i wouldn't want entry #100 any other way

    which number in the simple series is this one? that whole batch is a goldmine of bizarre content to write about, though the only ones i've put any real time into are zombie vs. ambulance and maid with machine gun.

    1. it's vol. 21 in the simple 2000 ultimate series. i don't know what the difference is between the regular and ultimate series, though.
      i love the simple series! i actually have a copy of the european version of zombie vs. ambulance called zombie virus, and the maid uniform and machine gun is one of the games i really want to play once i've properly worked out this whole modded ps2 thing