Tough brawler Vigilante returns on PS4 and Nintendo Switch


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It's a good season for beat 'em up fans. This week saw the release of WayForward's radical brawler-cum-RPG River City Girls. There's an exciting looking return to the Streets of Rage on the horizon, and even Battletoads is getting a look-in before the year is out. But for those who fancy taking a look into the genre's past, retro publisher Hamster has you covered with this week's Arcade Archive release: Vigilante by Irem, available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Arriving in arcades back in 1988, before being ported to a host of home computers, Vigilante is legendary beat 'em up which served as a pseudo-successor to 1984's Kung-Fu Master. Set in downtown New York (which was, at the time, the go-to "dangerous city" used in all fiction) Vigilante sees players in the role of a martial arts expert, forced to brave the mean streets on a mission to rescue his kidnapped sweetheart, Madonna.

Like Kung-Fu Master before it, the player slowly dawdles across a singular 2D plane, taking on an endless horde of punks and thugs, racing in from both directions. Armed with a sweet high kick, a terrible jump-kick, and a few other Bruce Lee-esque maneuvers, the player brawls their way through five locations, taking down dime-store punks and much tougher boss characters. The mission concludes at the local construction yard, where our hero makes his last stand against the gang leader "Giant Devil".

While undeniably a classic release (the hilarious, nonsensical background signs are almost worth the price of admission alone) Vigilante is held back - then and now - by sluggish controls and somewhat frustrating difficulty. Regardless, Vigilante is undeniably a classic arcade, and one which I have particularly strong memories of. It's worth a look for brawler completionists, but is a bit of an ask at eight dollars.

Vigilante is available to download now on PS4 in Japan and Nintendo Switch worldwide.

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Chris Moyse
Chris MoyseSenior Editor   gamer profile

Chris has been playing video games since video games began... still terrible at them. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. I ain't here to fight, so let's no... more + disclosures



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    Filed under... #Arcade #Brawlers #Classics #Fighting Games #Nintendo Switch #PS4 #rerelease #retro



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