Action Arcade Review

Final Vendetta – Review

Final Vendetta – the name just oozes 90s. The graphics do the same. And the genre, could it be more 90s? Let’s dive in and find out whether the game is a solid 90 or if it’s aged like cheese from the same era.

Party like it’s 1989

It’s 199X and the Syndic8 gang has taken over London town. They’ve kidnapped the main character Claire’s sister and want to leverage her to get Claire on their side.

Claire isn’t about that life mind you. With the help of her friends, Duke and Miller, they decide to track the leader of the Syndic8 down and cave their head in, brawler style.

That’s your lot for narrative. In traditional arcade-style, you get an ending once you complete the 6 stages on offer and there isn’t any dialogue before boss battles. It’s something that is rarely seen but would have been a great addition like in the GameBoy Advance port of Final Fight One.

Final Vendetta - Choose Player

Brawl For All

Final Vendetta is a traditional side-scrolling beat ’em up, often mentioned in the same tones as Streets of Rage, Final Fight or the classic Konami titles The Simpsons or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

You have the choice of 3 characters. Claire is your speedy combo fiend, Miller is your slow grappler and Duke is your all-rounder. While they all have different play styles, buttons remain the same and they have no differences in the way stages play out.

You have the genre standard punch button which leads into a multiple hit combo, a jump button, a “special” button which when pressed with an attack or direction produces a different attack, the usual Area of effect attack activated by pressing jump and attack. The only real surprise is the rarely implemented “block button”.

Movement is fluid and you have a dash ability as well as an upwards and downwards shuffle dodge which puts you in a different lane quickly. These are ideal for bosses and getting out of a pickle quickly.

Final Vendetta - British

The AoE attack like most in the genre will deplete health unless you’ve filled the “Super Meter” which is built by performing combos and laying the ol’ smackdown on the Syndic8 thugs roaming the ‘ends.

Weapons are an option. There’s a knife and a cricket bat, which certainly fits as it’s set in the UK and by a British developer. They can be thrown but feel mostly like an afterthought – there aren’t many of them and feel like they were added later. There’s also a range of pickups including floor pizza and chicken to recover health, gold, watches, and diamonds to build up the score. Each level also houses a hidden 1UP collectible. 

The combat in Final Vendetta feels responsive and clean. It has just enough weight behind it that it emulates those classic titles with all the new age gusto of “juggling combos”. Final Vendetta really does feel like a natural progression of where the Final Fight and Streets of Rage titles were heading before they took a rather large absence.

Final Vendetta - Train

There’s No Easy Way Out

Final Vendetta is about as old school as they come with little in the way of altering that old arcade formula. This also seeps into its difficulty which is split between an Easy or Hard mode. 

While the Easy mode provides 7 lives and a smaller enemy count, the game is still as tough as bricks. Enemies can juggle you and certain attacks make light work of your health bar. Occasionally enemies will bust out an attack you haven’t seen from them before and also have moments of madness where they spam irritating attacks or consistently knock you out of any jump. Easy mode is not an easy win by any stretch.

Fortunately, Final Vendetta has an almost fighting game level of moves. With these not taking any health to use, coupled with that block button, players have the tools for a chance of taking down the Syndic8. This is despite the fact the game offers no continues after you run out of lives. 

Final Vendetta features 6 Stages, several unlockable modes, an unlockable difficulty, and a ranking for every stage completed. There is also the local multiplayer. All this together adds up to a decent bit of replayability which is the name of the game when it comes to something with the coin munching, arcade lineage such as this.

Blast Processing Mk II

Graphically Final Vendetta looks like something that would have been proudly displayed on the NeoGeo cabinets, showing off a stronger amount of colors and animations that wouldn’t have been capable at the time on the 16-bit home consoles.

There are some wonderful scaling effects on the enemies and the fluidity of the animations on the characters and especially the bosses is just a work of sprite-based art.

The enemy count on Hard is eye-wateringly high for the genre and it’s mainly here you see that perhaps the NeoGeo was the focus instead of the consoles. There isn’t an ounce of flicker or slowdown either which produces such a smooth arcade experience.

The sound effects are all suitably arcade. Money sound effects are aplenty and everything has a unique jingle so when it’s especially hectic you know exactly what item you’ve picked up.

The music consists of some glorious chiptune treasures and even features 4 tracks created by The Utah Saints, famous for such 90s jams as Something Good featuring Kate Bush. It’s one for the TikTok crew who are blasting out Running Up That Hill currently!


Final Vendetta is a brilliant time capsule of an era currently making a comeback. While it doesn’t exactly move the needle in innovation, it does provide fans of the genre a much-needed booster of brawling fun. 

Deliciously 90s in all the right areas, this is certainly one for the retro enthusiasts who like a bit of a challenge when they roam the mean streets dishing out some justice.


Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox, & PC (Steam)

If you love beat’em ups, how about checking our reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge and Streets of Rage 4.

Many thanks goes to Numskull Games for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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