The Warriors: Street Brawl (XBLA)

The Warriors was a classic 70's movie, well worth a watch today if you can track it down. The story goes something like this - a city, overrun with gang violence, is the backdrop for the story of a particular gang (the titular Warriors) and the evolving situation they find themselves in. Hilarity ensues, with hardcore violence and surreal presentation making for a memorable experience.

Rockstar revisited The Warriors in 2005, resulting in an excellent brawler that was well received thanks to its well-rounded package of solid gameplay, visuals and sound. Given that four years have passed and a new generation of significantly more powerful console hardware is available, it seems reasonable to imagine a new game would take the concept still further, improving on the existing material and updating it to suit our refined tastes - right?

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Wrong. Deeply, disturbingly wrong.

Rockstar, it should be noted, appear to have had nothing to do with this game. CTXM did the duties this time around, returning to the "brawler" formula in an attempt to reboot the franchise and re-ignite the brand.

The premise is simple - take control of one of the protagonists in single or multiplayer (both online and offline) as you attempt to survive and put right the wrongs that were done to your gang at the beginning of the game. This is done via a simple side-scrolling brawler where you take direct control via fixed third-person camera, analogue stick and simple face buttons. String together punches or kicks into rudimentary combos, pick up weapons and unleash rage or special attacks once you've kicked enough butt to earn the right to do so.

Sounds good (if retro) in theory, but in practice it's simultaneously dull, lackluster and overly difficult. Combat is simplistic to the point that even Double Dragon (1987 arcade classic) exceeds it, with all of the nuances eeked out of the system within your first few minutes of gameplay and simplistic AI that challenge you due to sheer weight of numbers rather than any real smarts. Eventually there's so many enemies on screen that your already difficult-to-spot character literally disappears in the crush. As a fun device, this method of increasing difficulty fails dramatically.

Spamming buttons to string together samey attacks as your lethargic avatar lumbers awkwardly around the dull environment simply cannot be saved by iconic phrases from the movie - especially given few gamers will ever have seen it in the first place. The lacklustre presentation doesn't even carry as retro or even retro-inspired - it's just awkward and unpolished.

There's nothing to save this shambles and no way to recommend it to anyone. If you're a fan of the movie, this will ruin it for you and if you like brawlers, there's a thousand better ones (some from more than 20 years ago outstrip this easily) to satiate your desires. Avoid.

"If you thought the NRL Warriors were bad..."
- The Warriors: Street Brawl (XBLA)
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Insane   Learning Curve: 30 Min


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Comments Comments (12)

Posted by thejuror84
On Thursday 8 Oct 2009 12:46 PM
Wow you went there with the vodafone warriors. Scrolling beat em ups are resigned to history for me now, Rockstars the Warriors was a great game on the other hand
Posted by Omg_a_kid_with_GTA
On Thursday 8 Oct 2009 2:59 PM
This game was so horrible , playing the 2005 Rockstar Warriors game inspired me to watch the movie and i loved the game even more.

This game is just terrible , so so terrible.
Posted by Gazza22
On Thursday 8 Oct 2009 4:16 PM
Really disappointing especially seeing as The Warriors game back on the PS2 was sublime.
The Host of Chaos
Posted by The Host of Chaos
On Thursday 8 Oct 2009 5:36 PM
I was also expecting more after the PS2 game. This is rubbish.
Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
On Thursday 8 Oct 2009 6:35 PM
lol the XBLA games are getting panned at the moment! normally the game reviews are quite nice lol
Looks like quality control is becoming a big problem again!
Posted by thejuror84
On Friday 9 Oct 2009 8:51 AM
8 October 2009, 06:35 PM Reply to SpawnSeekSlay
lol the XBLA games are getting panned at the moment! normally the game reviews are quite nice lol
Looks like quality control is becoming a big problem again!
This game, along with that TMNT one, have been sized up as shallow scrolling beat'em ups from the start, and a tower defense title was always a bad choice for south park, even if it has plenty of licenced content. To be honest the only games on my XBLA radar at the moment are the peggle expansion(the game is like crack) and perfect dark, as I never played it on N64
Posted by PotatoLegs
On Friday 9 Oct 2009 2:18 PM
side-scorollers used to be awesome, what the sh*t's going on? D:
Posted by ElStefio
On Saturday 10 Oct 2009 12:41 AM
"Double Dragon (1987 arcade classic)"

Wait, have I become so old that I now live in a world where Double Dragon needs to be clarified on a gaming website? That's it, I'm out. Now, where did I put my pipe and slippers...?
Posted by GayMan3000
On Sunday 11 Oct 2009 4:08 PM
The 2005 Warriors game looked better as well..
Posted by Te-Tiko
On Sunday 11 Oct 2009 6:28 PM
they should have a N.Z version: The once were Warriors...ha
Posted by fireman432
On Monday 12 Oct 2009 7:22 PM
aww i'm so dissapointed, i used to love The Warriors back on the PS2
Posted by tom_nz
On Friday 16 Oct 2009 6:52 PM
12 October 2009, 07:22 PM Reply to fireman432
aww i'm so dissapointed, i used to love The Warriors back on the PS2
I had it on xbox. Really good game! I wonder if it's one of the games that you can play on the xbox 360. Hmmmmmmm.