The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny (PS3)

FIREMEN_BOXVideo games have many kinds of heroes. Elven swordmasters, Italian plumbers, wizards, mercenaries, and all sorts of others. But there’s not too many video games based on REAL life heroes, like teachers, parents, or even fire fighters! Luckily, MonkeyPaw Games has you covered, at least in the fire fighter category. They’ve just released a new downloadable PSN title, and it’s a Japanese import game originally on the PSOne. The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny is a top-down action game for one or two players, and you take on the role of two fire fighters as they hose down flames and rescue people!

In the game, you control one of two firemen as you put out fires in a giant amusement park. You can move in all directions, crawl under spaces, dash, and strafe. Two players can save the day, and each one has different skills. Player One can shoot out water with a hose to defeat flames from a distance, and can douse small flames with a downward spurt of H2O. Player Two’s method of putting out flames is a bit different, but still gets the job done in the same way. He swings an axe that sends out waves that put out long distance fires, and stomps the lower ones on the ground with his own feet!

In each level, you’ll put out all manner of fires and burning robots gone haywire. Try not to run into them, as you’ll take damage. Lose all your energy and you’ll fail the mission. Each level is like a maze, with multiple pathways, and you must complete the mission in a given time limit, too. Depending on how fast you complete a mission, you might get to do a different level next. At the end of most levels, you may have to put out a boss fire, which will take longer to defeat and has various attack patterns (yes it is as ridiculous as it sounds, but that’s part of the game’s charm). Speaking of charm, the game’s graphics look like a late-gen Super Nintendo game, and that just warms my heart (the SNES was my favorite console after all). In fact, I think the first The Firemen game was on the SNES, and even made it to the US. I never played that one, though. I bet it’s probably REALLY rare by now.

I guess the only problem with this game is the language barrier, since it’s all in Japanese, but even that’s not much of a problem at all. The game is fully voiced, but it’s all in Japanese and you can’t skip it. But you usually don’t need to know what’s going on to play. Even though the menus are in Japanese, it’s pretty easy to figure out some of them. For instance, the menu where you chose the controls, there are also picture cues that show you what which button does. The only problem I had was when you start a new game, you have to choose how you want to play and choose to save with a memory card or not save at all. I couldn’t figure out how to get it to save to a memory card. One cool thing is that if you go to the MonkeyPaw Games website, you can read English instructions on how to play this and other import games. It’s pretty handy, really. Overall, The Firemen 2 is a great import action game that I would highly recommend giving a try.


Kid Factor:

Violence is very minimal. If you get hit by a fire, you just let out a shout and flash for a bit, indicating that you took some damage. Reading skill isn’t required, as everything is in Japanese anyway. Younger gamers may need some help with the harder levels and complex controls, but luckily you can play with them in two-player mode. And I bet there are many kids who would love to play as a heroic fire fighter in this game!

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