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Just Games Retro
Bad Dudes is another one of those games where you stroll around, causing trouble and picking fights - a "fighting game," if you will. As with most of Data East's wares, this one began its life as a coin-op, and made the jump to just about every home system available. And as should be obvious to anyone, this is another game jumping on the scrolling fighter bandwagon, which was probably 60 miles to Albuquerque by 1989.
Game Freaks 365
Overall, Bad Dudes is a successful port on the NES. The graphics have their problems, the sound is generally awesome, the controls are easy to learn, it's playable, and more importantly, overall it's a pretty damn fun title. It's not as good as a few other beat-em-ups on the NES, but it's definitely up there with the best of them. If you have fond memories of the arcade version or are looking for a decent port of it, this is about as close as you can get with the capabilities of the time. You shouldn't be disappointed with the experience.
Nintendo Power Magazine
Unlike the arcade version, this translation to NES has two player alternate play and different graphics. Take on the Dragon Ninja's Henchmen, Samurai and Super Warriors with old fashioned brawling and street smarts.
In the end, though, the dudes will prevail. They will brawl through seven (mostly) fun levels of ninja stomping madness (including memorable stages on a speeding 18-wheeler and on a moving cargo train) and they will rescue the President. They will also experience one of the most amusing 8-bit endings of all time. Hamburgers will be munched. High-fives will be performed. And, in the garbled, digitized voice of an eighty-year-old woman with tuberculosis, the dudes will yell, “I’M BAD!” To that I say, yes dudes, you are bad. But only enough to knock four points off the overall score.
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
Another Double Dragon clone. While the game is challenging, it is hampered with a not-so-smooth jerky player movement which gets annoying after a while and detracts from the overall gameplay. Nothing special, just another average action game.
With a cheesy plot and a great tag line Bad Dudes was destined to be a sure fire hit. But then people saw the amazingly easy last boss and the horrid ending. I wouldn't recommend going out and buying this game anytime soon. But if your looking for a quick fix, go buy Qix. Otherwise only buy this game in desperate measures of a beat um' up.
Computer and Video Games (CVG)
Yet more beat 'em up thrills as the player adopts the mantle of a Bad Dude traversing the horizontally scrolling playfield dispensing untold levels of violence to other Bad Dudes. Flickery graphics, tedious sound and yawn-worthy gameplay make this one NES cart to avoid. Go for Double Dragon 2 instead.
This Nintendo version of the Bad Dudes coin-op certainly features the Dudes. And it's also bad. Very bad. The graphics are the most flickery I've ever seen on a Nintendo game and make this incredibly frustrating to play, since half the time you can't see what's going on - the enemy shuriken are particularly difficult to see. Not only are the graphics flickery, they're also rubbish. The bland backdrops lack depth and the sprites are crude, poorly animated and jerk and cripple their way around the screen - the whole thing just looks like a ghastly shambles. The gameplay is awful too, with a distinct lack of variety and combat moves. Even if you're the biggest beat 'em up fan in the world, give this a miss.
The Video Game Critic
You got to love the plot lines of these old Nintendo games. Once again, the president of the United States has been kidnapped by ninjas. Bad Dudes is a mediocre Double-Dragon clone with flickering graphics and repetitive side-scrolling action. The graphics aren't half bad - in fact, the city skyline looks very impressive. The characters are nicely detailed, but the unsightly flickering is hard to bear. Your moves are basically limited to a short range kick/punch, a special spin-kick, and a jump. Unfortunately, you can't attack as you're jumping, making you vulnerable to constant cheap hits. Later levels contain weapons like knives and nun-chucks to spice up the action a bit. After conquering each end-of-level boss, your "bad dude" exclaims, "I'm bad!" via the worst voice synthesis ever produced. The two-player mode is alternating turns only, which is pretty lame. Arguably the best feature of Bad Dudes is its soundtrack.