When in combat, you quickly realize that despite very infinitesimal graphical details, the three guys also play almost exactly alike too! The Combatribes do have slight variations in speed or power that when played with an acute eye I did notice, but the combat system revolves the aforementioned limited fighting options which just leaves them all feeling like essentially the same character.
Creating such exceptionally one dimensional characters was pretty much a cardinal sin of any of these side scrolling beat ’em up games because repetition was a hard thing to get away from, and most games were creating new character types to give players some variety to their general punching and kicking. Another of Techno’s games, Double Dragon III featured a whole host of different characters to use. This might seem like beating a dead horse, but Final Fight was out too, a game that heavily focused on specialized character controls and traits.
Levels, or lack thereof: After the classic Double Dragon formula of walking down the street, climbing a ladder, jumping off of gates, climbing up construction sites, etc. it really is a shame that every stage in Combatribes is essentially a 2 screen arena to kill a bunch of clowns, bikers, roller hockey ravers, etc. until the boss shows up. Despite wildly varying graphical styles of the stages, the monotony of the two screen stage design causes the whole game to feel very limited and overall too similar.