Are you ready for huge 3-D fighting arenas and more moves than you'd see in a Jackie Chan movie? Clay Fighter 63 1/3's putty pugilists would sooner fling a chicken at you than fight like a man.
Interplay's first N64 pak could be described as a breakthrough game in several ways. One convention that gets left in the dust is the idea that characters have to fight in the same narrow setting all the time. Instead, many of Clay Fighter 63-1/3's 30 arenas contain breakthrough areas where characters smash through doors and walls into new places where they carry on the fight. Think of it as a sort of comical tavern brawl from a Western. Many breakthrough areas are hidden or require the use of a particularly powerful punch to send a character flying through the wall.
But as fun as this breakthrough feature is, Clay Fighter 63 1/3 goes even further. Like the wisecracking adversaries in a comic book, the characters keep up a steady stream of insults and jibes during the fight. The put-downs are voiced by some terrific comic actors, including Dan Castellaneta of "The Simpsons" fame.
The nine regular fighters are the goofiest set of brawlers this side of a Keystone Cops pie fight. Earthworm Jim's here, as is Ickybod Clay, who sports a mighty fine jack-o'-lantern head; Bad Mr. Frosty, a snowman with a lousy attitude; The Blob, purveyor of numerous yuck attacks; Bonker, a clown gone bad; and bug-eyed zombie master Hougan. The three hidden fighters include Sumo Santa, who spreads Yuletide cheer in his own unique way, and Dr. Kiln, a demented scientist bent on (what else?) world domination!
The extensive option menu offers four difficulty levels. Clay Fighter 63-1/3 makes a serious run for Strangest Option of the Year award by allowing you to preset the amount of 'spillits,' or stuff vomited by whacked fighters.
The fighting itself is smoothly animated and often hilarious to watch. Despite of the emphasis on comic action, serious fight fans will find plenty of moves, combos and specials to keep the game compelling. There seems to be almost an endless supply of new Claytalities and other "alities." Combine all this with great background graphics and you just might have the loopiest, goofiest fighting game ever molded!
Contributed by Evil Ryu (51753) on Aug 15, 2005.