The gangs in The Warriors – Street Brawl are tough. They can deflect all of the physical harm caused by a knife attack using only their forearms. For street thugs who barely know how to properly throw a punch, that is impressive.
Street Brawl loves its retro sensibilities though. Whole, edible chickens exist in barrels on the streets. Enemies come in a meager two flavors – skinny and fat. Four-player co-op is par for the genre, and the levels include all of the necessary street-based beat-em-up clichés, from the subway to the woods.
Someone failed to do their homework though, forgetting that the classic games in the genre did not allow you time to think about any of that though. Their frantic pacing and typically colorful locales hid the repetition.
Given the time you’ll spend blocking and waiting in Street Brawl, you have spare time to process what you’re doing. Not long into stage one, you realize the long, sweeping punches are inadequate and sluggish. By the time you hit stage two, you have the game figured out, falling into a pattern of block, attack, wait, block, attack. Nothing changes in the follow-up levels.
Stage design is also questionable, despite the “move right, idiot” flashing red arrows, as if the player failed to grasp this after the first screen. Crowded light-deprived streets, especially in local and online multiplayer, make it impossible to grasp what it is you’re doing, dropping the game into the button masher category — only one where you have no idea what that mashing is producing on screen. Few segments offer the depth necessary to manage the chaos.
A subway level could be a not-to-subtle homage to Capcom’s Final Fight, with opposing gang members lying down on the seats waiting for you to walk by. Apparently, like the Mad Gear gang in Capcom's classic, these guys failed to see the huge brawl occurring one car down from them. Regardless, logic is the least of Street Brawl’s problems.
The Warriors – Street Brawl is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Mild Language, Violence.