Gameplay: 4.5/5 I'm sure everyone has played a simple beat-em-up game at some point in time. You've got your basic fighting moves by mashing buttons. At the same time, though, Crunchdown offers weapons and interactive scenery. See that beer bottle on the ground? You can pick it up and break it over your enemy's head for extra damage. For a flash game, I was really impressed at the variety of power ups in the game as well. You'll be eating everything from Fire Hydrants and Potted Plants to Dumbells and Mops. There are some minor issues when it comes to enemies however. I'd get a little frustrated when one of them became glitched behind a wall or off screen and I couldn't move on without killing him. You'll have to restart the section over, but since the game has a decent replay factor (trying to eat different items) you most likely won't mind playing a section or boss over again. There's also a small section in the game that needs to be noted: The Truck Scene. You'll take control of a truck and minigun and flee a semi that's firing lazer mounted on the cab. It's completely different and is a great change of gameplay.
Visual: 4/5 Crunchdown has the smoothest animations I've seen in a while. Punching and using powers are very silky and just look great visually. The enemies are very simply drawn, but this gives the game that cartoony aspect that one would expect from something so funny. There's a great variety of enemies (All of whom have very funny names), but the one that sticks out to me the most is the fighting hobo that stumbles out of the dumpster near the end of Act 1. The backgrounds and actual places where the fighting take place aren't bad looking either. The Gym was probably my favourite place to duke it out. Eating treadmills has never been so much fun.
Audio: 4/5 Fresh tunes from the Newgrounds database of music. It's great to see musich that really has a lot of time and effort poured into it. They always do a great job and Crunchdown's soundtrack won't disappoint. If you're perhaps in the mood for Elevator Music while killing people, feel free to mute the game. It's got the option to which is always a plus. As for sound effects, there's a decent varietey, though when you find yourself hitting someone broad side the head with a wood baseball bat, you'd expect a more dull *thock*-ing noise. Instead, all the weapons make this metal clanging sound that just seems out of place. Other than that, I had my sound way up for this game.
Difficulty: 4/5 When you first start Crunchdown, you'll get the option to choose how many lives you're awarded, thus making the game more difficult. The game also has achievements, which are challenging as well. It's great to try and get them all to see the rewards in the pause menu. I can't seem to get the Hat reward to work, though. Maybe it's just me. Since enemies will spawn all around you, you'll have to move quickly and pick which targets to fight. Or maybe you can flee the fray to get a new power. It's different every time, making for a great difficulty.
Overall: 4.5/5 This game is impressive. There are two things to keep in mind when playing it, however: First, the dialogue is ridiculously vulgar. Which is funny if you're in the mood for that. Secondly, expect some minor glitches and a little frustration. Since the game is relatively short, you'll have fun restarting a section. I know I did.
Ah, I guess I can add a third and final thing, as sort of a thesis to this post. Don't be afraid to try a game that doesn't have badges. You'll miss out on gems like this. Knightfall (Another personal fave of mine) is the same way. You'll see that real creativity can come in simple, underrated packages.
Kong Rating: 3.50