Street Hassle


by Beam Software
Melbourne House
1988
Crash Issue 49, February 1988   (1988-01-28)   page(s) 26,27

It's not easy being a superhero. You stand out in a crowd, attract attention to yourself and have to beat off admirers. Underwear Man is one such crusader - but unfortunately he takes things a bit too seriously and attacks anyone that comes near him.

The player takes control of UM and battles hordes of weird and wonderful characters, individually at first, and then in groups on higher levels. UM isn't exactly defenceless, and has an array of simple kicks and punches, and some special moves, including the deadly ear tweak!

At the top of the screen are two energy bars. The first denotes UM's energy level and remains on screen throughout the game, while the second appears only when an opponent draws near. As the combat ensues, both bars diminish according to contact made between the two parties. Should UM's energy disappear completely, he loses one of this three lives.

Lost energy is replenished by catching the winged hearts that are periodically released by a midget in a trench coat. Care should be taken, however, since on higher levels this character also rolls out bombs, and unless UM swiftly tosses it off screen he loses another life. It's certainly all go in Melbourne these days...

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor
Graphics: large and cleverly animated graphics with effective backgrounds
Sound: more bash and blow effects


'Street Hassle boasts some lovely cartoon-style graphics and has plenty of playability to back them up. It also has a great sense of humour, making it far more fun than regular combat games. The characters are great, such as the old granny who attacks you with her umbrella and the vicious little dog which comes flying at you - but the best has just got to be the huge gorilla who throws bananas as well as powerful punches. If you enjoy beat 'em ups and have a good sense of humour - go for Street Hassle.'
PAUL ... 76%

'Another beat 'em up hats the street Street Hassle is a really bad influence to all those Impressionable young people out there. Head butting little old grannies, kneeing blind men and exploding overweight people are all in this game (how corrupting!). The graphics are excellently drawn, and the animation is detailed and smooth. The only drawback is the multiload which forces you to waft around. Still, Street Hassle is worth a look - if you can stand the hassle of going down the street to buy it.'
NICK ... 77%

'Street Hassle is a really wicked game! The graphics are highly amusing, and the gameplay has more depth than most of the beat 'em ups I've played. The main element is humour, with penty of laughs as the hero battles a series of whacky characters with his arsenal of even whackier moves! A brilliant laugh, slightly lacking staying power, but fun nonetheless.'
MIKE ... 73%

Presentation: 79%
Graphics: 80%
Playability: 81%
Addictiveness: 78%
Overall: 75%

Summary: General Rating: A beat em up with plenty of variation and a Pythonesque sense of humour.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 74, March 1990   (1990-02-22)   page(s) 46

Oh wow, I remember reviewing this when it first came out in 1987: I loved it then and it's still a great game now. You play the hero who's got it into his head that everybody walking around the streets is an enemy. So what do you do with enemies? You beat them up! Old grannies, blind men, dogs and the odd gorilla all get the bunch of fives treatment in Street Hassle.

There are various moves you can practice on your enemies: the usual kicks and punches of all beat 'em up games are included, but there are extra ones - like a tickle to use on the dog! You shouldn't feel bad pulverising grannies though, because they all give as good as they get by hitting you with their umbrellas.

What really makes Street Hassle fun is when the characters shout and scream at you in speech bubbles while you hit them. Grannies for example shout 'BRUTE!' just before they pop off.

All the characters in Street Hassle are detailed, and the hero looks especially cool in his dark shades. It may seem easy beating up the people, but believe me, it's exactly the opposite. The grans get harder as you progress, and the blind men have got a wicked swipe on their white sticks!

All beat 'em up fans will enjoy Street Hassle. Still a great game three years on.


Overall: 75%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 27, March 1988   page(s) 66

He used to be an ornery peace-lovin' sort of fella 'til the grannies came to town.

Vicious bands of umbrella-wielding OAPs roamed the city streets, bringing fear and violence to once quiet suburbs. But it wasn't just the grannies who made our hero tremble in his undies. Gangs of grey-haired old men armed with pointed sticks and bowls mats had also embarked on a reign of terror.

In fact the streets were alive with the sound of fighting, and only one man could save the day (not to mention the week, month and year). So equipped with his trusty golden battle shorts, and very little else, our hero takes up the challenge. Street Hassle is another beat 'era up, but it's one with a difference - it's a big laff and no mistake. The assorted chunky characters who come to pulverise you into dust - worra weird lot they are! My fave is the chap who uses his extra-large turn as a (very effective) weapon. And there are banana-chucking gorillas, mad dogs and a phantom bomber with mystery effect bombs.

The game's only major letdown is the limited number of aggressive moves our hero can make, although to be fair, there are hidden moves on later levels. But apart from that I enjoyed it a lot. Okay, so for a full-price effort it may be a little on the thin side, but it's novel and fun to play, and you can't say that about many games today.


Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 6/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Addictiveness: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

Summary: Beat 'em up with a lorra lorra laffs. Great animation of excellent characters (if norra lot else).

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 51, March 1990   page(s) 43

Straightforward punch-'n'-crunch game which looks rather happier in the cheapie rack than it did when released at full price a couple of years back (by Melbourne House). Wearing golden battle shorts and armed with, well, nothing very much, you decide to clean up the streets - which look pretty clean to me already, but never mind (perhaps the street cleaners did their stuff this morning). At least, "cleaning up the streets" is your excuse, as all you seem to do in Stage One is beat up little old ladies and Andy Warhol lookalikes who throw bricks at you. Perhaps it's the presence of a huge muscle-bound lunk like you that so offends them. So you punch, and punch some more, and in the classic Renegade style people fall over and vanish in thin air. The sprites are rather larger here than in that splendid old beat-'em-up, but overall the game hasn't the same subtlety, or indeed long term appeal. But for three quidlets, it's not a bad game of its type. Fans of mindless violence will lap it up.


Overall: 62%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair - Article Re-review Issue 78, June 1992   page(s) 55

The authors of WOTEF went a bit funny one weekend and came up with this OTT fight game. You play Underwear Man and have to battle a bunch of loonies. The special moves are just plain silly, and the whole thing is preposterously addictive.


Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 68, November 1987   page(s) 96,97

Street Hassle is the first release from the new look Melbourne House - the first after its take-over by Mastertronic.

It's a sort of cartoon Ninja game with strong Renegade overtones. It isn't great but is curiously addictive in a way. And it's quite funny.

You control a large (if sparsely detailed) muscleman complete with ridiculously tiny swimming trunks. He trolls off down an ordinary suburban street and is accosted by assorted upstanding citizens.

Including stray dogs and grannies. A large part of the game is therefore of the traditional sort - various joystick and Fire button combinations get your man headbutting, grabbing, punching, walking or ducking.

What moves are available partly depends on you are attacking - for example the dog is amenable both to having its tummy tickled (joystick down) and headbutting (a sort of grabbing motion).

There is a little more to it than that, however. The game isn't a celebration of mindless violence. You must try not to attack the grannies, for example, and this seemingly simple objective is actually very difficult in the heat of battle - they have a habit of stumbling into your path whilst you are dealing with someone else. If you should accidentally start to wipe out grannies they retaliate by chucking things at you and hitting you over the head with their umbrellas.

There are a few other elements to the game - occasionally (Melbourne House is trying for the Ageist Game of the Year Award) someone walks on and places a box in front of you - this may either be a bonus life or a bomb character, you'd better figure out which quickly.

I dunno about this one. I don't like the graphics - they are similar to those in the ill fated Inspector Gadget they begin large but are somehow empty of detail. It's a technique Beam, the programmer, has used before so they must obviously like it but I think it makes the game look insubstantial. The gameplay is OK and the mindless violence is funny, as are the bizarre comments that run across the bottom of the screen as you play. It bothered me that I got through three out of six levels the second time around (streets are loaded in from tape in batches of six at a time). That strikes me as a bit easy particularly since at the time I didn't know it wasn't OK to total the old ladies and still got to second place in the high scores chart. Maybe this aspect of the gameplay needs tightening up. It's no fun unless you can do a bit of granny-bashing. Don't buy without seeing first.

Label: Melbourne House
Author: Beam Software
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tamara Howard


Overall: 7/10

Summary: Cartoony fun-style Renegade street violence game. Graphics don't impress but it is moderately addictive and quite funny.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 95, February 1990   page(s) 83

"What the software industry needs is designer violence", runs one of the enigmatic scrolling messages on the bottom of the display of Street Hassle. Well, yes and no - it might need designer violence, but it would have to be a bit more designery than this mediocre comedy head-punching game.

Originally squirted out by Melbourne House in the days when martial arts games were just beginning to get into the "whatever gimmick can we come up with next" mode, Street Hassle (based on the song by crumbly Lou Reed? - probably not) isn't half as funny as it thinks it is. For a start, I can't quite see why the tattooed, heavily-muscled hero wears sunglasses, silver shorts and wrestling boots in his campaign to clean up the city. Secondly, I don't completely understand why flying old ladies, stone-throwing blind men, escaped gorillas, jack-in-the-boxes and big woofy dogs form the majority of the opposition, though the bomb-throwing revolutionaries I did appreciate. Lastly, I wish the irritatingly obscure scrolling messages - "Crime swallows like a microphone stand". "Think of it as evolution in action" - would just GO AWAY!

The game does have its good points, including a wide repertoire of fighting moves such as the flying leap, head butt, strangle, aerodynamic spin and dog pat (DOG PAT!?) which change according to the level. You have to experiment to find out which move takes out which enemies; guess which one the Dog Pat deals with? Not much else changes though; the brick walls, park benches and alleyways in the backgrounds get pretty tedious as they scroll past at a snail's pace, though the actual animation of the characters, especially the muscle-bound hero, is OK.

As you'd expect, at the top of the screen you get strength meters showing how close you and your current opponent are to defeat. Two headbutts or strangles are usually enough to see off a blind man, or old lady, while gorillas obviously need a bit more. You get points for each you bump off. and a bonus at the end of each level (after level five, subsequent levels have to be loaded from tape on the 48K version).

Hard to get really excited about, although it's amusing for about ten minutes.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Beam Software
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins


Graphics: 63%
Sound: 62%
Playability: 59%
Lastability: 59%
Overall: 59%

Summary: Not hal as funny or action-packed as it thinks it is; one for curiousity collectors only.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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