Grindhouse Game #11: BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BLAM! BLAM!! BLAM!! Explosions!! Hot lead!! Flying debris!! Carnage!! Isn't this what video games are all about?? The idea of turning a John Woo movie into a video game was not exactly inspired; it was so mind bashingly obvious that it's a wonder it took producers this long to pump out one. Stranglehold is Max Payne's leaner, meaner little brother. It's Max Payne on an overdose of stimulants. Unlike Max, Inspector Tequila's bullets rarely ever stop flying and the number of enemies he has to take down go way past what Max ever had to contend with. In fact, the game reminds me a lot of Dead to Rights, another Hong Kong inspired action title made in the wake of Payne's success. Dead to Rights was also very high on the enemy count and carnage, and relatively low on the more long lasting elements. Like that game, Stranglehold feels like a no-nonsense arcade style shoot-em-up with very few of the cinematic garnishes that marked the Payne franchise. Sure, there are cutscenes, but unlike the stylized graphic novel style cinematics that marked Payne, these are nothing to write home about. Like Dead to Rights, the story is relatively useless since it's too difficult to follow in some areas and laughably predictable in others. It's about gang warfare and Chow Yun Fat's inspector in the middle of it all. That's really all that needs to be said. Really, despite John Woo's creative attachment, the story is just an excuse to get the player into the shoes of Chow Yun Fat and violently depopulate Hong Kong's entire criminal underworld with whatever firearms he can get his hands on. Finally, like Dead to Rights, Stranglehold also feels a tad bit technically unpolished. It is perhaps a combination of these factors which push it into the realm of a Grindhouse title.