Two Crude Dudes
System: Sega Genesis Publisher: Data East Developer: Data East
Genre: Action Type: Sidescrolling Beat-em-up Circa: 1992

I really don't understand why people make bad games. Is it too much to ask that a beat-em-up be at least as good as Ninja Warriors? It's not like that game is anything special, but it was at least easy to control and fun while it lasted. Two Crude Dudes is barely a step up from Data East's early NES beat-em-up, Bad Dudes, which, despite a cameo from Karnov and a hilarious ending scene, was not that good of a game.

Two Crude Dudes, like every other sidescrolling beat-em-up, has you walking along a straight path, beating up everything in your way. But in this game your character is exceptionally huge and not very nimble. Since almost all the enemies are faster and more agile than he is, you're essentially a moving target. But it gets worse. You have a separate button for attacking and grabbing, which is awkward on a Genesis controller. It would also appear this game was designed for use with a turbo controller. When three or more enemies attack in a row, you won't be able to punch or kick fast enough to get the third guy. He'll hit you every time. But with a turbo controller, you can (oddly enough) get all of them easily. Turbo also makes it easier to shake off enemies if they latch onto you. It's the only plausible way of beating the werewolf boss without losing a lot of lives to him, because you can immediately shake him off when he grabs you with little to no damage sustained. I suppose having to use turbo is not so bad, but the question is, why not just give you faster control or a turbo setting within the game itself?


The bosses in this game somehow learned the trick of becoming invincible for a few seconds after being hit. Usually only the player characters had this unique ability in various 8 and 18-bit platformers. Two Crude Dudes has bosses that'll be right on top of you for the duration of the battle, because not only do they become invincible, but they don't back up or freeze when you hit them. Since you aren't fast enough to dodge away, it is literally impossible to keep from taking damage. Particularly problematic is this one Minotaur-like boss with a charging move that cannot be blocked or avoided. I have to wonder what is the point of bosses like this? Is it to force you to be so good at the previous levels that you'll have a lot of lives to waste on them? That isn't legitimately good design, especially when there's nothing else to make up for it. Games should challenge you, but allow you to be good at them if you are.

I've been told that Two Crude Dudes is a parody of the beat-em-up genre. I can certainly see where that's coming from, but the effort is half-hearted. The "parodies" amount to a couple of mildly amusing enemies, like an impish Santa Claus, beating up soda machines, and the ability to lift cars and tanks over your head. Funny, maybe the first time you see it, but the game refuses to keep hitting you with such curveballs. Two Crude Dudes doesn't come close to being as good a parody as, say, Kid Dracula (GB), which has spoofs of other games galore in every level. Even TCD's ending scene was dull and disappointing after seeing the hilarious "Presidential Burger" ending of Bad Dudes. If you're trying to be funny, then go out with a bang! There's also nothing particularly "cude" about the Two Crude Dudes. Sure, they beat people up, but what video game hero doesn't? At least the game's backgrounds are fairly optimistic that most of New York City would still be left standing in rather good shape and inhabitable after being devastated in a nuclear war. So much for those Weapons of Mass Destruction.


Although patience accustomed me to the game's controls, and ultimately, I beat it on all three difficulty settings, there just isn't a whole lot of challenge or entertainment here. There are a few boss fights that are mildly interesting, such as this one spider-demon that drops from the ceiling. He can cause instant death if he grabs ahold of you, so figuring out a strategy for him is imperative. But he's really easy once you learn that strategy. Same thing with this one scyther-armed boss. At first, I had a specific plan for beating him, but then I inadvertently found a safe spot. Oh well, at least it took several tries before I discovered it. Beating the final boss was a matter of getting up to him with enough lives and continues in reserve, and then cheesing away.

So I ask again, why do people make bad games? Did the designers just not have enough talent or budget? Did they just not care? If you intended to do a spoof, that's at least some thought beyond "let's make a generic beat-em-up". But once you have Level 1, you need to take that idea to Level 2. Two Crude Dudes is six stages of Level 1 thinking. Crude, indeed.




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