Gives Use for the Word Turd
Well, this game gives me a reason to use the word “turd.” Read on and you’ll see it.
Because of the overall style of the game, it gives ample fodder for gay jokes. Just wait, when you see your character flexing while standing on a forklift with the word “STUDLY” atop the screen, try to contain the urge to mock this turd. See? There’s one use of the word.
Oh, the two-player mode is co-op, which is kind of unique to the era this game came from.
Aside from the ability to make ample gay jokes at this game, there’s little else of value here. And to be honest, that hardly seems like any kind of actual value at all.
The graphics are the ultimate turd of this game. In fact, that’s pretty much how they look. All brownish and lumpy and unattractive. Something that, if you saw it on the sidewalk, you wouldn’t just avoid it, but you’d stop in your tracks and then take extra care to make sure you don’t step in or too close to it. Because you don’t want this game lingering on any part of you. Not your shoes, not your hands, not your eyes, not your psyche. The goal was to, obviously, copy Mortal Kombat in this regard—to use some killer digitized graphics to create a more realistic-looking game. This is not like Mortal Kombat. That game featured some of the largest sprites found in a fighting game up to that point (deep into the 16-bit era), they were colorful, vibrant, and rife with personality. None of that is found here. The characters look ugly, bland, and uninspired. Sprites aren’t very big, and the usable characters all look almost exactly the same. Color use is so minimal and so poor that this could almost pass for an NES title.
The digitized graphical look is further damaged by the near lack of frames animating these characters. There isn’t even a semblance of fluidity here—just straight jittery images that only barely qualify as the bare minimum for animation.
Every stage uses almost the same background, with the exception of the lame grudge matches. Looking at pictures of the stages side-by-side (like I am on the back of the case right now) is the only way to notice any actual difference. In the game, the design is so weak that you likely won’t notice. So there’s all of, like, ten kilobits of space on the cartridge used for backgrounds. The backgrounds are also filled with jittery animated people serving as an audience. Sometimes audience members step out to mock you or push you back into the pit to fight. It really adds nothing to the game, and while it might have passed for unique at the time the game was released, it generally serves to be annoying.
The fighting game engine is shallow beyond compare (well, okay, I could compare it to Battle Blaze, but next to no one
has ever played that, so what would be the point?). Amazingly, blocking is accomplished pressing the A and C buttons together. Keep in mind that the Genesis controller has that big old B button between those two, so blocking is now removed from gameplay. There’s a punch, a kick, and a jump button and really no special moves. Pressing all three buttons together activates the single special move per character. Perhaps in an effort to add some depth to the fighting, there are items (like crates and barrels) scattered about the arenas for characters to throw at each other. They generally don't seem any more affective than just spamming the kick button, and trying to pick them up tends to open you up for attack and some of the choppiest animation you'll likely ever see.
Because the animation is so choppy and the hit detection so hit-or-miss, there’s never any guarantee that you’re actually doing anything other than spamming buttons while you and the computer take turns damaging each other.
Speaking of life bars, the damage you take carries over from one fight to the next, which means the game is always like the survival mode in a much more fleshed out fighter.
There are only three usable characters, and they’re pretty much interchangeable except for that solitary special move I mentioned. They all have red pants, no shirts, and coloration like a turd—except gayer. So yeah, the characters are like big ol’ gay turds. Crude, I know, but strangely accurate--not exactly a pinnacle of artistic design. It looks like the digitization was done with a prototype digital camera from the early 90’s where the quality is measured is micropixels rather than megapixels. With only three playable characters, no real move depth, and no variance in character design, the amount of content in this game drops to almost nothing.
The music and sound effects are terrible. Not much else I can say about it, except that they’re terrible. The music is flat out annoying and among the worst you’ll find on the Genesis. The sound effects, essentially, all sound the same. Think of what generic early 90’s video games sound like, and downgrade them a bit and that’s what you have here.
While there is some variance to the design of the enemy characters, it doesn’t save them from being downright generic and they all fall into the same category of turdish ugliness as the rest of the graphical presentation seen here. The story is not elaborated upon in the game at all, so apparently it’s just about one of three guys fighting to be the best pit-fighter guy around. I don’t have the manual, and who knows, maybe it mentions it in there, but as for the game, no effort was put into any kind of story presentation at all.
The two-player mode is just lame. While it is interesting that it’s co-op and in a fighting game, it’s also just lame as hell. Sure, that’s somewhat interesting, but this is the ONLY two-player mode. There’s no one-on-one fighting going on here. But then, maybe that’s a blessing in disguise since, again, there are only three playable characters.
The Bottom Line
Fighting games, man. It’s like there’s no tender middle to the way these things are made. Either they’re straight awesome or straight crap. This is one for that pile of straight crap. Up to now, I’ve reviewed two other fighting games, Shaq-Fu and Battle Blaze, both of which also shamefully drop themselves into that crap pile. You might notice that I used up the “like” part of this review with filler.
This game is pretty much terrible all around, and while I did manage to find some redeeming points in crap like Shaq-Fu, there simply is none to find here. The graphics are turds, the sound is a turd, the feel is a turd. The game is just a massive turd. I know that’s not super descriptive, but it’s pretty much the most apt word in the English language for this game. It’s so shallow that most gamers will likely tire of playing the game long before they finish it even once—and that’s considering that it can be finished in probably about 10 or 15 minutes depending on your button mashing skills. You’ll be tired of it before that time is up.
Pit-Fighter is simply not worth your time.