Title: Two Crude Dudes (Sega Mega Drive); Crude Buster (Arcade); Two Crude (US Arcade)
Developer: Data East
Publisher: Data East
Date Published: March 1990 (Arcade), 1991 (Sega Mega Drive)
Platforms: Sega Mega Drive, Arcade

Two Crude Dudes is a scrolling beat-'em-up very similar in many respects to Bad Dudes vs. Dragonninja (released two years earlier). The playing area represented as a flat, horizontally-scrolling plane which can contain platforms and walkways at varying heights (as opposed to the more usual approach of using forced perspective to give depth to the playing area, as seen in Double Dragon, Golden Axe, Final Fight, et al). Although this limitation makes the game seem dated compared to most of its contemporaries, it appears to have been imposed as a trade-off to allow for an unusually high level of interaction with the scenery.

The game supports one or two players, both of whom are represented as muscular punks with red mohicans, sleeveless jackets and wrap-around shades (the only thing differentiating them being the colour of their outfits). These two... crude dudes (ahem) patrol the streets of a post-apocalyptic New York (a very fashionable setting in Cold War-era video games) beating up the foot soldiers of the Big Valley terrorist organisation.

The controls provide 'jump' and 'attack' buttons that allow the players to defend themselves with punches and flying kicks. Blows that land are illustrated with comic-book sound effects labels. It's also possible (by pressing 'jump' and 'up' on the joystick) to make the Dudes grab onto higher platforms and pull themselves up. The game's big innovation centres around the use of the third controller button: the 'grab' button. By using this button, enemies can be picked up by their lapels and hurled across the screen. It's also possible to pick up many items lying around the levels. Lamp posts can be wrenched out of the ground and swung around like baseball bats. Trash cans, rocks and even abandoned cars can be lifted above the Dudes' heads and thrown at enemies.

Between each of the six levels, there is a bonus stage that allows the Dudes to recoup some of their health. This involves repeatedly punching a soft drink vending machine and drinking the cans of cola that are released. These stages are rather pointless, as the time limit gives more than enough time to repeatedly clobber and drink until the players' health bars are completely refilled.

Two Crude Dudes could hardly be described as a classic. The graphics are adequate at best, and occasionally laughable (that wavy green tube is supposed to be a snake?). The sound samples and music are cheesy (although Mame.DK claims there was a soundtrack CD released...). The Mega Drive port plays pretty much identically to the coin-op, but for some reason the graphics have been drastically cut down. The arcade version's multi-layered parallax scrolling backgrounds have been replaced with a flat sheet of colour for the sky with some stubby NES-quality buildings dotted around. Considering the standards that had already been set on the Mega Drive by near-perfect arcade conversions such as Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Strider, this is disappointing.

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