Final Vendetta from Bitmap Bureau is a game that keeps on giving. The retro-style beat 'em up impressed us at launch with its gorgeous Neo Geo-style graphics, catchy soundtrack, and fun gameplay. However, the difficulty was quite frustrating, which reflected in our co-op review score. When we interviewed developer Mike Tucker, he promised that balancing updates would be coming. The console versions of the game have finally been updated, and we've got the details and screenshots to prove it.
The recent Final Vendetta update on consoles combines the first three Steam updates, making for quite a few tweaks and enhancements. Here is an abridged list with the most important changes:
- "CASUAL" difficulty setting added, allowing you to continue at will. Achievements now unlockable on "Casual" difficulty, where applicable
- Removed several of the player weapon animation wind-up frames for snappier attacks
- Training is now unlocked by default - you can face any of the enemies / bosses that appear on up to and including the highest level you've reached
- Hitboxes now added to Training for those purists looking to hone their techniques!
- Your super bar will now deplete by 25% if you use any of the alt-specials (eg. Claire's fireball)
- Stunlocks now massively reduced - groups of enemies will now knock you to the floor instead of stunning you repeatedly, giving you to time to dash out of the recover animation or use your super
- Enemies are less aggressive on the easier setting
- Rolling barrels removed from the easy difficulty setting in the elevator and manor levels, and now come with a brief warning on the harder settings
- Enemies must now be closer vertically to hit you
- "How to play" now viewable from the main menu
- Players can now instantly recover by hitting "jump" just as they hit the ground after being knocked down
- Crane shadow now visible which might help a little with avoiding it
- End-of-level ranking: You can now take twice as many knockdowns for each rank, so achieving an "S" rank should be a touch easier
- The stage select cheat has now been moved to the options menu and now no longer prevents you from unlocking achievements
- Dropped weapons now have a 50% chance of not breaking and disappearing upon being dropped/discarded
That's a lot of improvements! Casual difficulty adds the ability to continue, a sorely lacking feature before. The stage select option would be better presented when starting a new game rather than tucking it away in the Options menu, in our estimation, but it's a welcome feature nonetheless. The Cheat Menu code still works, but it's only really necessary if players want to infinite health.
These changes fix most of the criticisms in our co-op review, so we've updated the review with a new score. Final Vendetta is finally beatable by anybody, and the Achievements/Trophies are much more attainable as well. Beat 'em up fans should definitely give it a whirl.