Welcome to the third Retro Rush Review in a six-part series of import games released weekly by MonkeyPaw Games! This review will cover The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny, the Japanese PS1 classic, now playable on the PS3, PSP and PS Vita.
The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny -
Platform: PS3/PSP/PS Vita (cross buy via the PSN)
Developer: Human Entertainment
Publisher: MonkeyPaw Games
Number of players: 1 or 2
You play the role of veteran firefighters Pete Gray, (player 2 plays Danny McLean) in this top-down action/adventure in which you are called to put out a massive fire that is consuming a popular theme park on Christmas Eve.
Using your water spray and other moves, your objective is to complete the current level/room by putting out fires and saving people. Sometimes you will just have to put out a fire to move on, and other times you will have to rescue fire victims from the blaze as well. Your map (shown at the bottom-right of the screen) will show the individuals that need rescuing (in bright orange). Once your health bar gets depleted and you have no more First-Aid kits to use, the game is over.
The fire itself can spread quickly and you will have to figure out the best course of action to take to put it out. Pete’s (1P) actions are: Spray Forward and Spray Downward. Danny’s (2P) actions are Axe and Stomp. Both players will be able to crawl, use and Extinguisher Bomb, strafe and dash. In single player mode, a CPU controlled Danny will follow your lead. You do have a timer, so it is best to act quickly and not stay in one area for very long. Multiple paths may split off and take you to new areas, so make sure to look for those. At the end of each level, you’ll get a rating based on how much of the fire you managed to extinguish.
Fire can take many forms, such as small ground fires, large stationary fires, moving fires and burning robots. There will be several variations of these types of fires that you will encounter throughout the game, as well as special boss fights.
By default you will get two First-Aid Kits to heal you if you are hurt in the fire, and one Extinguisher Bomb in your stock.
You’re not going to get much in the way of story, as the dialog is completely in Japanese (but you can pretty much guess what’s going on), and you can’t skip past any of it in the game. Once you get to the action sequences, the game gets fun. A mother implores you to rescue her child and firemen have to take her away while she is in hysterics—little touches like this are what gives you the sense of urgency to take action. Rescuing trapped people isn’t as obvious as moving them out of a room. You’ll have to walk around the level to find objects and means of transportation to get you to different parts of the level to find them. The fire itself is kind of a cool “enemy,” as it takes many different forms and you will need to dodge and strafe in plenty of situations to keep from getting burned. Unpassable dialog aside, I had a good time putting out fires and rescuing trapped individuals. The game is different enough to give it a try, as it’s unlike your typical “hero rescues victim” romp.