Legend of Success Joe Review

Legend of Success Joe Review


US Title:Legend of Success Joe
Japanese Title:Asahita no Joe Densetsu
Size:50 Megs
Home Release?Yes
MVS Release?Yes
CD Release?No

Legend of SUCKess Joe: Read between the lines...

I don't know even where to go with this review. I had heard that this game was bad, but the actual experience was much worse. I mean, you hear a game is bad -so bad it goes beyond description, that when you get to play it you're expecting to laugh and marvel at its errors. You know: "So bad its fun." I guess you could call those games the "good-bad" games. Well, Legend of SUCKess Joe is a game that crosses that fine line, it is a "bad-bad" game that sours you completely.


The real flaw isn't that the game is totally bad, its that it actually starts as kind of amusing and then devolves into a very cheap, very frustrating, nightmare of a video game. The game has bad controls, which would be somewhat forgivable if you continue from the spot of death (like action games); and at the beginning Legend operates with this concept. It keeps you playing because you can now go through the game and see the plot develop -getting at least some bang for your buck. Unfortunately, in later levels, this feature disappears and the game expects you to clear a host of very cheap bad guys with only one life. All fun comes to a screeching halt. I dare say that its nearly impossible to advance in the later levels because beating them would involve practice, and the incredible bad control would drive a person mad before they could gain the experience needed to take on the later levels.

Oh, I should probably tell you what this game is about: Based off of a comic, Legend of SUCKess Joe deals with a young kid from the rough part of town who is discovered by a trainer and then works his way up in the boxing world. Along the way he gets into many street fights, with bullies at first, but in later levels he's the one challenging others. I found the plot interesting because it tries to add something to a hopeless situation (I think a proper analogy would be "its like putting perfume on a pig"). The plot is so out touch with the game that it seems the programmers kept adding to it when they realized how bad the game was.


I'm not going to go into any depth about the technical elements of the game. Just know that the sound is bad, but not terrible. The graphics are bad for a 10 year old game, and the animation is pathetic. As you can probably tell from the disjointed rant above, the playability is "lacking." Replay is nil, although you may find yourself playing it in a few years to remind yourself about how bad it was.

I'll take a moment to flesh out my comment on graphics because I think Legend of SUCKess Joe is a good case study in how not to use the advanced graphic capacity of a new system. It seems that the programmers, in an effort to use the most colors from the Neo Geo's palette, ended up giving the game a really gawdy look. Everyone looks like they've been in the sun too long. I've never seen so many shades of pink, peach, tan, and yellow in my life, let alone on a single human being. Now take a look at the old Sega Genesis game "James Buster Douglas Knock-Out Boxing" (1990). Working with the limited color capabilities of the Genesis, the artists created very smooth chocolate and cream colors that actually looks like human skin. They were released around the same time ('90 & '91), but on two very different systems. If you were to take a look at the two, side by side, you'd think that Buster was for the Neo and Joe was for the Genesis. Its that pathetic.


Legend of Success Joe, Neo Geo

James 'Buster' Douglas Knock-Out Boxing, Genesis

Listen to me: If you really need to buy all the Neo Geo games in the universe, then I suppose you're going to pick this one up and witness the mess described above. However, if you're a regular gamer trying to get the most game for your dollar, avoid this game like the plague...no, that sounds too light... Avoid this game like a really bad case of syphilis. Since I do take some sick enjoyment out of owning particularly bad games (my collection of Wisdom Tree NES games will attest to that), I am somewhat tickled by having it in my library -particularly because the game still has the original price tag of $199.99. I find it sad and almost creepy: that some poor sap picked this game off of the shelf and paid that much for what you can now guess is a glorified doorstop. Unless you enjoy -severe- video game masochism, I recommend going elsewhere.


DIFFICULTY: Don't Bother

Give SNK credit for not releasing this game outside Japan. They saved Neo Geo gamers everywhere from severe disappointment.

Bobak!: thinks Mike Tyson should be let loose on the people who made Legend of Success Joe.
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