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A browser-based fighting game called Science Kombat has recently found its way into the consciousness of gamers looking for a sprite-based, 2D fighter that features some of the most famous minds in the field of science... engaged in a deadly game of physical combat, of course.
Siliconera did a write-up on the side-scrolling fighting game, which features brilliant minds like Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Pythagoras and Stephen Hawking to name a few. The game offers players a single fight event or tournament play. Sadly there is no multiplayer modes available so you'll have to hoof it on your own in the solo modes.
In addition to the aforementioned characters, there's also legends like Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Alan Turing. Players can pull off basic fighting moves as well as utilize special attacks key to the characters' personalities and scientific accomplishments. The controls are pretty easy to master, it utilizes the direction keys and W, A,S,D. Special attacks are mirrored after other fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. You can pull off basic specials with the quarter circle, half circle and basic charge commands found in most other popular fighting games.
Surprisingly, the animations are pretty good. The artists, Diego Sanchez and Abraao Corazzo, managed to bring each character to life with their own unique set of animations and fighting styles. The actual gameplay mechanics reminds me of something akin to Eternal Champions or Sango Fighters; it's slightly stiff but it works.
There's definitely more depth here than a game like DiveKick, but is it enough depth to warrant growth outside of being little more than a browser-based pastime? Possibly. It's the sort of game that might find some decent shelf life on mobile devices. But I can't really see a game like Science Combat gaining legs on something like the Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita as a full fledged game.
There's a lot of stiff competition out there in the land of fighting games, and right now the Guilty Gear Xrd series is tearing it up by pushing the genre forward in terms of playability and art-style presentation. Nevertheless, there's still room out there for new kinds of games so long as they're doing something different and introducing some new concepts.
I suppose fighting as legendary scientists could classify as “something different” but the mechanical concepts are kind of old-school, sort of like what you would find on the SNES. The sound and music are also mirrored after 8-bit chiptunes. It's a very retro-tastic game.
Science Kombat is in its trial state at the moment over on the Brazilian website Super Interessante. I do wonder if they plan on expanding the game into something more? Right now it's not bad, but it doesn't quite have enough going for it to be the next DiveKick or Skullgirls.
It's possible that with a larger roster, some other hook to it beyond throwing around apples and opening quantum blackholes, maybe Science Kombat can stand out just a bit more. It doesn't need gruesome fatalities like Mortal Kombat, but a little something extra to elevate it out of the browser-based territory could do wonders for the game. For now, gamers can play the little fighting title for free from within the comforts of their browser.