In this third and final installment of fighting games that you’ve surely forgotten about, I talk shop about some REAL lost titles, games that I’m CERTAIN you must have forgotten about over time—and some not so forgotten, I won’t lie. And hey, if you want to see the previous entries, click here (http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Fighting-Games-That-You-ve-Undoubtedly-Forgotten-About-Part-1-17750.html) and here (http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Fighting-Games-That-You-ve-Undoubtedly-Forgotten-About-Part-II-17875.html).
Cyber Troopers Virtual-On
While not technically a fighter—and if it’s not a fighter, then what is it then?—this mech-based fighter allowed you to fly around the screen and shoot the stuffing out of your enemy, sort of like Battlezone, but much quicker and with more explosions. The rules of the game were simple, even if the actual gameplay wasn’t. Basically, it was a shootout from afar, with special moves being the defining factor once you got up close and the blades came out. And while some might call this title a shooter, I think there’s more to the fighting genre than just quarter-circles and jump-kicks. It’s the "get in there and hit them fast" strategic angle to it that reminds me most of Bushido Blade, except this game is much more frenetic, and not nearly as focused on skill. Also, listen to this. You know the original arcade cabinet for this game (the one with the dual joysticks)? Well, did you know that in the story, it said that the machine was actually sent from the future as a training unit for future mech operators? How awesome is that?! No matter what you thought of the kooky storyline, Virtual On! is definitely one of Sega’s most underappreciated titles, and one that needs to be re-made, like, now.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Known mostly for its insane gameplay and “Stands” techniques, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (based off of a popular manga in Japan) is utterly and completely terrible. I mean, for those who HAVE actually played it—and I really don’t know many who have—they say they enjoy it, but I think they’re just trying to be snooty, know-it-all gamers who have to say they enjoy EVERY obscure title, even if it’s total dung (See:Guitaroo Man). But back to JoJo’s, which might have been pretty cool if it wasn’t so dead-set on being weird and off-beat. From what I remember, the game had clumsy, slow gameplay. Then there were “Stands," which I still don’t understand to this day. Basically, the “Stands” were pretty much like shadow techniques, where your actual shadow would “stand” behind you and do double the damage and would help boost your supers. This minor feature was enticing for only about half an hour though and quickly became a pretty yawn-inducing factor in the game, leaving you with forgettable characters and crummy gameplay for the rest of your time with it. I guess the best way to describe it was that it was like Street Fighter, but it wasn’t. And to this day, I have yet to find ANYBODY who can justifiably defend this title because well, like I said before, it’s terrible.
Watch this clip below. Trust me, it’s nowhere NEAR as cool as it looks right here.
Out of this entire list, Guilty Gear is probably the most well-known of the bunch, and probably shouldn’t even BE on this list. But still, it’s here for being so faithfully true to its 2-D roots, even if time HAS moved on to 3-D models, with life like, jiggling breasts for the female characters and un-lifelike bulging muscles for the males. What I love best about GG are the characters, which range from a giant gentleman with a paper bag over his head, to a half dead, keeling over zombie, who mystically comes to life whenever he does his supers. It makes for a lot of excitement in every round. I also like how fast it is, too. The characters, who interestingly fill almost the entire screen, move with such quickness, that it’s sometimes easy to get lost in a flurry of hits without even realizing a way to get out of it. Even so, button mashing will get you nowhere in this title, and it really relies on the kind of reading your enemies skill that you don’t find anywhere anymore. So if you’re yearning for some skill based 2-D fighting, stop playing Street Fighter III already. Guilty Gear X has what you’re looking for, hombre.
If you’ve ever read some of my other features about fighting games, then you already know my romantic love for Bushido Blade, which is still entirely playable, even to this day. There are no health bars, and no way to know—unless you’re skilled—how bad the damage will be when you get a katana slice to your side, and the landscape you’re fighting on plays a big part in your strategy, as elevation can lead to some pretty deep cuts if you aim it just the right way. To this day, Bushido Blade is still one of my favorite fighters of all time. Even if the graphics ARE "wash your eyes out with sulfuric acid" bad in this day and age, it’s still a total blast to play.
Before there was the whole Marvel/Capcom team-up with the MvC series, there was Fighters MegaMix, which was pretty much a love letter from Sega saying, "Yeah, I know you’ve never thought of pitting a cop from Virtua Cop against the car from Daytona U.S.A (!), but we did, and it’s awesome, give it a try." In many ways, Fighters MegaMix was just Fighting Vipers (See my first article) with Virtua Fighter characters added in - but that’s okay, because Fighting Vipers was excellent, and didn’t really need many additions to it. I’m actually pretty surprised that this title has been forgotten so quickly, as it’s definitely one of the last swan songs from the not-terrible-at-all Sega Saturn. Aww, Fighters MegaMix, Segata Sanshiro would have been proud!
Okay, so you haven’t forgotten about Power Stone yet. But really, how could you? It was probably the closest Capcom ever truly got to creating a FULLY 3-D version of Street Fighter, which, I don’t know about you, but I was daydreaming about ever since I played Super Mario 64 for the first time and imagined the possibilities of putting a fighting game in that arena. Despite what you might think though, Power Stone doesn’t play that well today, and its very simplistic gameplay can really be abused if you just run around the screen and collect all of the power stones instead of actually brawling. Doing so actually allows you to become a nigh invisible power house that just chases the other character around in cat-and-mouse fashion. Even so, PS can still be plenty fun if you have somebody else to do this strategy against. It’s not the most refined fighter in the world, and the skill level to enjoy this game is way, WAY low, but like I said before, you probably remember it, so Capcom must have been doing SOMETHING right when they created this game.
Rise of the Robots
Next to Shaq-Fu and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Rise of the Robots is one of the worst fighting games EVER, and I’m pretty sure I know part of the reason for that. Like those two other aforementioned stinkers, you could only play as one character in the boring as competitive snail racing story-mode—Blue, standard looking crumb-bot robot, with generic attacks and even more generic controls. Of course in the Versus mode you could play as some of the other equally shitty characters, but why would you want to? Graphically, it was kind of a stunner for its time, but not enough so that you could excuse the sloppy fighting and abysmally low fun factor. And this game was supposed to be AMAZING. How could things possibly go so wrong? Seriously, if I was older and I had played this game, I would probably be a full-on Luddite today, waving my fist at technology and the idea of robots one day fighting for supremacy after they have either killed us all or made us their love slaves. Rise of the Robots is a complete and utter disaster. Play it, why don’t you, and be disappointed in a brand new way!
Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi
There was a Star Wars fighting game? It happened, but God, I wish it didn’t. SW: MoTK plays like a whole lot of nothing, and I guess that’s the best I can really say about this title. All of your favorites are there of course: Luke, Darth Vader, and um, a Stormtrooper (?), so I guess it has THAT going for it, but it was just not fun. I mean, not at all. Because you would THINK that swinging a light saber at Boba Fett would be awesome, but sloppy hit detection make it a big negative. I remember playing this game for the first time with my lip raised to the right and saying, “Are you serious? This is it?” It was unimpressive, to say the least. But what was I expecting, really? Isn’t it a fact that nine out of ten SW games are horrible? And for that single one that isn’t, it’s so good that it makes you forget about all the horrible ones. Well, SW: MoTK is DEFINITELY one of those horrible ones.
Mace: The Dark Age
What I remember most about this arcade game was the massive screen it was on. From a distance, it looked entirely impressive and full of the loud, boisterous action you came to expect from Midway by this point. But once you touched the joystick, you were instantly amazed by how atrocious it was. Renal failure looked more appealing than playing this game for more than seven seconds. First off, the characters were WAY too big for the screen, and unlike Guilty Gear, which made it all work with beautiful controls, Mace did not. And the graphics looked corny and over-stylized. I remember thinking, whoa, how did we just step back five years with this game? I don’t really even remember the gameplay other than a big, brutish bull of a character charging in with his shield and that’s it. I mean, I must have tried playing this game for over three hours (I give even crappy titles their due) to like it, and all I remember was that it was loud, and some guy kept charging in with his shield as an attack. Talk about being forgettable! Mace: The Dark Ages is quite possibly the most middle of the road game I have ever played. I mean, it wasn’t good enough to remember, and not terrible enough to forget—at least, I don’t remember it to be. It was simply just, “Bleh,” and for that, I couldn’t help but put it at the bottom of this list. Try to find it, if you can. I’m sure you can’t, and it’s not worth it if you do. But if you do, please write back and tell me that I’ve wasted your time, because seriously, that’s my modus operandi with these articles. Thank you for playing! Loser.
Next up (If you want it): Marvel Nemesis, Saturday Night Slammasters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, Tobal (For REAL this time) Ehrgeiz, B.I.O. Freaks, and more…
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.
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