You're a lean, mean fighting machine - a mercenary. Your professor brother is developing a secret formula which in the wrong hands could spell the end of the world. Terrorists muscle in: they kidnap the professor and your niece and demand the formula in one hour - else they get it In the neck.
It's time to go into action - this is a personal vendetta. And for some reason the police think you're responsible, so you take a camera along to collect evidence of your innocence. Armed only with your bare fists and a knife, you track the terrorists down to an old warehouse swarming with guards. You have to fight your way through in search of your relatives - and the all-important evidence for the police. As you play additional weapons such as AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle, an Uzi machine pistol and grenades can be found.
When this first area has been thoroughly searched you leap into your trusty Ferrari F40 and bomb down the highway. Even here you're attacked by enemy forces, but if you were thoughtful enough to pick up the access card in the warehouse, the F40's weapons systems can be used. Can you save your kin in the hour allotted? Their fate is in your hands...
Vendetta is an arcade/strategy game with few equals. The graphics are superb, the monochrome sprites and backdrops are wonderfully detailed. The action comes thick and fast, and you have to keep your wits about you when searching for clues. Purchase this game immediately (if not sooner).
MARK ... 92%
'Vendetta is really the cat's whiskers! I haven't enjoyed playing a game so much for ages. You just get so involved in the storyline and examining all the drawers and filing cabinets - great fun. The game is set out like System 3's Last Ninja 2, where the main character can ream around each 3-D screen and its objects beating up terrorists. Each screen is highly detailed and close examination of every nook and cranny is essential. Certain objects can be immediately opened, others need a bit of persuasion with a crowbar! Just section one would have made a brilliant game. Vendetta has an added bonus of a great car racing section. You jump into the driver's seat of a flash sports car and drive off in search of all that is evil. it's all a a joy to play and, boasting many of the most successful elements a game can have, it should be a smash hit.'
NICK ... 91%
From the limited amount of info I had to go on when I first got this I really expected to be confronted by some sort of beat-'em-up. And what d'you know, I was right. And then again, I was wrong. Let me explain...
Vendetta is a beat-em-up all right, but it's also a driving game and a bit of an all-round puzzler as well. In fact, it's not unlike a bizarre cross between previous System 3 mega-hit Last Ninja and one of those poxy drivey-shooty Roadblasters things. We'll take a look at how it all works in a minute, but first try and imagine if you will that you've been presented with this game (as I was) without any accompanying instructions or even a plot scenario. We'll load it up and start playing it together, and see what we make of it.
Okay, its the first level, and we seem to have been dumped miles from nowhere (if not closer) in some sort of warehouse affair. We've got a knife on us which we can use if we have to, though once you realise everybody else is armed to the teeth with guns and things it suddenly seems a tiny bit useless. Eek! (Let's switch from 'us' mode into 'you' mode at this point - I think it'll be much easier for both of us.)
Right. Luckily, you're bound to find your own gun and bullets sooner or later (although in my case it was later, probably due to the fact that I'm terminally crap) though the odds remain still very much stacked against you. But (but! but!) you're probably asking, "what are you doing in the warehouse in the first place, eh?" Good question, and one I can answer only by cobbling together pieces of the plot I've picked up as I've gone along. Eventually I came up with the following fiendish scenario...
Y'See, there are some terrorists, and they've kidnapped this girlie 'cos they went her dad, a nuclear scientist, to build them a big missile to play with. It's your job to rescue the girl, stop professor from handing over the missile to terrorists and then, um, kill them all (or something). Easy. (Not that you really pay attention to this though. Nope, you're far too busy scampering all over the shop causing a bit of a riot, you scamp!)
What This all really boils down to is lots of puzzles of the 'how do I work out how to get onto the next lever variety?' For instance; your first task is to suss out how to use the car you find at the end of Level One (and no, I'm not going to tell you). As you work your way around loadsa buildings (and some vast outside areas too) you keep coming across variations on your basic 'open drawers and boxes to find lots of objects and keep them to use whenever necessary' puzzle thingy, just like you had in the two Last Ninja games in fact. Like those, everything's drawn in a sort of 3D where you can walk back into the screen by pushing 'Up', if you see what I mean (although I doubt that you do).
Generally these arcade adventure/beat 'em-up sequences are quite good - the puzzles aren't too taxing (but not too easy either), graphics are clear (if a little monochrome) and it all fits together very nicely, thank you. As well as different puzzles to out, each level has pieces of evidence to collect. Sooner or later on your travels you're bound to get stopped by the fuzz, who'll abruptly nick you if you haven't collected enough of this evidence stuff to prove you're not just some crazed loony who's running around killing people (though you are) but are in fact a roan with a mission. You've been warned.
As a beat-'em-up it's all a bit limited, mainly because there's a slight restriction on the number of moves available to you (one, actually) and the number of baddies that can appear on-screen at any one time (erm, about one as well), so it's a good job they've provided lots of other stuff to do as well, isn't it?
For instance, every so often you'll find yourself sitting in the front seat of a Ferrari in the 'bonus' driving game bit. Here you simply drive around a bit OutRun-style, and providing you got your weapons card on the first level, shoots at anything that gets in your way (a la Roadblasters). Okay, I admit that it's not exactly the best driving game (or shoot-'em-up) in the history of driving games f(or shoot-'em-ups) but it provides some light relief from all the frenzied puzzle-solving of the main game, so who's complaining?
And there we have it. It's not all that often that someone tries to combine lots of bits of lots of different games together in one like this, and when they do it's rarely that sucesful (anyone remember Beverly Hills Cop from a few months ago?). But I have to say that here that they seem to have pulled it off quite well. The separate bits don't perhaps interact with each other as much as they should (the driving sequences particularly seem a bit like a fish out of water) but generally it all hangs together quite well.
Buying Vendetta just for the beat-'em-up or the driving bits is not a good idea, because they're both a bit crap taken on their own (try two budgies like Renegade and Overlander instead). However, if arcade adventures are your style then this could well be worth a look - it's fun, it's playable and it's got that little bit extra too. Not perhaps a game that really grabs you and won't let go, but I quite liked it, I really did.
(Now please excuse me. I've just realised that it's only two weeks before my GCSE exams and I haven't done any revision yet. Yikes!)
Uh-oh. Partisan Spec-chums should avert their eyes from this review at once and read something else altogether, cos they're not going to like it. Sadly, Vendetta is one of those games which, when you compare the Speccy version to those on other formats, our wonderful machine begins to look like the 10-year-old wrinkly that it is. On the C64 (spit!) this is a lovely game, with stunning isometric-3D graphics in the style of The Last Ninja and loads of excellent, atmospheric beat-'em-up and exploring action. On the Spectrum, though, it's a poor shadow of the original, with a less sophisticated graphic style, no colour, yukky control and crap collision detection. Add all this together and what you get at the end of the day is nothing more than an inferior Double Dragon clone with complications.
Your character treks backwards and forwards through some uninspiring black-and-white landscapes, frequently appearing to walk on top of or right through the supposedly-solid scenery. Occasionally a baddie wanders along and stands in one place for a while, waiting for you to come up and punch him a dozen or so times until he falls down, whereupon he's replaced by another one, and so on until you simply walk off the screen. If you can be bothered, you can punch down doors and so on to find weapons and other useful artefacts, but for what purpose is never really explained, certainly not by the useless instruction manual. Dogged perseverance eventually gets you into a reasonably lively driving-game shoot-'em-up sequence, but it's a short-lived respite. Soon you're more than likely to swear half-heartedly in indifferent distaste for a few seconds and then send the whole thing flying in a lazy yet elegant arc into the bin to lie beside the shattered wreckage of the Navy Moves tape. Well, that's what I did, anyway. Life's far too short to spend it forcing yourself to get to grips with this kind of thing.
A Vendetta isn't a snazzy Italian sports car, as you might think; it's a vow of vengeance, such as you might make against someone who pours yoghurt into your Spectrum.
In the case of System 3's rather jolly 3-D beat-'em-up, you play a hard lad fresh from the killing fields of Saigon, and your vendetta is against a terrorist group who have kidnapped your brother in order to obtain from him the secret recipe for an irresistible flavour of yoghurt, or something.
After the war you were civilianised with what the manual calls "a tongue-in-check pat on the back", which sounds pretty pervy, and now you have sunk into the gutter, with all your possessions in a plastic bag and no idea where your next yoghurt is coming from.
So, in order to save your bro and restore your pride, armed only with your lists and a sharpened carton of yoghurt (NO NO NO! It's a KNIFE!), you set off to defeat the bad guys.
If you liked The Last Ninja, and let's face it who didn't, you'll like Vendetta. The basic idea is the same: a series of 3-D backgrounds through which your character can move freely, searching out useful objects, fighting off baddies and solving puzzles which allow you to progress to later levels. The graphics could hardly be more realistic and detailed, the control system is clear (one window shows the weapon you are currently using, another the objects you have collected), and there a timer which ticks off the moments leading to your brother's execution.
You start off in the docklands, investigating the derelict warehouses where the terrorists have been keeping hostages; as you move through doorways and climb ladders, the background flips smoothly to the next scene. You can take out enemies with your knife, or search for more deadly weapons, loots, computer disks and machinery which, without giving too much away, you'll need to progress to the next stage.
At the end of the first level is a Ferrari F40 sports car, and if you can work out how to activate this, you get into the next bit which is basically a car-race. To be honest I could have done without this - it looks very much like every other cockpit-view car race game since the year Zero - but it is well implemented.
In the end Vendetta looks nice and plays well, but doesn't have the same impact as Last Ninja. Yep, it's tough to improve on a biggie.
Incidentally, don't get too excited about the offer of a free Vendetta watch advertised on the packaging. The offer ends May 31st 1990. Tough luck, suckers!
Label: System 3
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Just-a one Vendetta, geev eet to me... no I think I've got that wrong, I certainly wouldn't like to have the nifty ninja chappie in this beat 'em up carrying out a vendetta anywhere near my ice cream stall.
A vendetta is a blood feud, fought to the death. As such this game has been very aptly named, 'cos it's absolutely brimming with death. Kilt off a few baddies and, well, next thing you know there's a few more just around the corner.
The hero is an ex-army type recently discharged under suspicious circumstances in Saigon after an illustrious career dealing out death and destruction to the locals. His brother has been kidnapped (he's obviously a bit of a wimp) by a gang of terrorists and must now be rescued before he is executed.
Guide your sprite through the mean city streets combating the enemy with fists, rather dodgy looking knife (it actually looks more like an ice lolly) and a number of power ups.
The game is quite long and features some fine action. Graphics are boxy but the sprites are big and detection is quite good. Overall, Vendetta scores well as a Last Ninja style game and is a worthwhile, though not essential addition to any Beat em up collection.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
GARTH: If you manage to start up the Ferrari at the end of the first level of Vendetta you'll even get a free cockpit view joyride! Good game, I'm not too sure about the graphics though,
Originally reviewed TGM028.
A kidnapped girl, a large bomb and a vigilante are the successful ingredients in this arcade/strategy game. The character sprite is a tough-looking mother who must rescue a damsel in distress and defuse a bomb, all in one hour. Although monochrome, Speccy Vendetta is an action-packed game from start to finish.
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