Def Jam Vendetta - GameCube

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Def Jam Vendetta (GameCube)
Also for: PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Wrestling
Arcade origin:No
Developer: AKI Corp Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 23 May 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 15+
Accessories: Memory Card


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A rough and tumble game of underground street fighting, so-called honour, and respect, Def Jam Vendetta is one of Electronic Arts' more mature and graphic gaming ventures. It's no holds barred here, so prepare yourself for one of the toughest, most enduring rides of your life as a fighter.

This beat-em-up adventure, in which you must fight to survive and your means to live, plays host to 45 roughneck characters and 12 Def Jam artists including Method Man, Redman, Scarface and Capone... you see where this is going? There are some 1,500 moves to learn, spread across several fighting techniques, which include reverse kicks, martial arts swings, choke holds and elbow blocks. However, familiarising yourself with such a vast library of moves and then learning how to string some of your moves together takes time and lots of practice.

Introducing an extra element of strategy is a unique momentum and health system that changes based on the players' status. The better they play, the more strength and stamina they have. And if you perform well enough for long enough you'll unleash a special attack upon your opponent that can sometimes render them unconscious.

Graphically, Def Jam is a fine game to look at. It abandons the traditional and predictable ring-and-stadium environment in favour of more varied and dark fighting locales. It's refreshing and can make the world of difference to how the game is perceived.

Arcade-style gameplay is something Electronic Arts is very good at, and with Battle and Survival modes, a selection of match types and sound design from DaneTracks (responsible for some of the sounds heard in The Matrix and 8 Mile) included for the finished article, Def Jam Vendetta is one of the most diverse and atmospheric beat-em-ups we've seen for a long time.