There are so many fighting games out there already that it is surprising to see a software company release one these days. No longer are gamers content to kick and fight enemy after enemy in a never-ending battle.
Fortunately, Wild Streets is nothing like that at all. Instead, Wild Streets challenges the player to move quickly to wipe out a large number of criminals on the way to saving the boss of the C.I.A. from drug lords who have taken him hostage. The number of men that attack the player is large, but a black panther tags along to help in tough circumstances. The panther guards the player's rear and attacks enemies randomly.
Usually, in a game of this repetitive nature, the backgrounds are kept simple to speed up the action. Not so here. The most impressive elements of Wild Streets are the graphics and animation. There are five or six levels of play before the player reaches the boss, and in each, the backgrounds are varied and drawn with incredible detail for such a fast-paced game. Wild Streets gives the player both eye-pleasing scenery and enough action to wear out a joystick.
Wild Streets requires the player to fight screen after screen of oncoming criminals on each level and then defeat the gang leader for that level. The difficulty of each section is nicely scaled so that the player can learn from his mistakes early on without having to start over.
Aside from the panther, the player in desperate situations also has a six-chamber .357 Magnum for protection. It is best to save the bullets until meeting the gang leader because his punches do more damage than the normal thugs. However, if the player uses up the bullets, he can pick up additional clips along the way to the leader. These clips pop up on the screen after certain criminals are killed.
To reach the boss is one thing. To take him back to the drop-off point is something entirely different. The panther takes damage along the way, just like the player. By the time you make the return trip through the same scenery, the panther is much weaker and not as useful. This is why the player must stay more alert after saving the boss. Not only do you have to watch your own back, but you must also keep the thugs away from the boss as well. This makes the second half of the game doubly difficult, but not impossible to finish.
Wild Streets is not for wimps. The action is fast and the goal difficult to obtain. Like other Titus games, it is heavy on action and wonderful graphics. The sounds and music are nothing exceptional, but certainly add to the tension in the game. Most people will walk away from Wild Streets with a cramped joystick hand and quicker heartbeat.
The manual is laid out well and describes all of the characters in the game, even the panther. Because of its repetitive action. Wild Streets could have been tedious, but the scenery, the panther and the player's ability to jump over opponents make it fun. Now if only the panther would do all of the work.