So today I'm going to be talking about the fighting games that sucked my wallet dry. I know that a lot of my favourites aren't that popular but I'm hoping that this article will introduce players to some true gems. Now naturally when someome thinks of a "fighting game" we think of this great little japanese company called "capcom"
What makes them so great? They basically made the fighting game genre popular. And also they've released by far the largest majority of hit fighting games. Personally when I think "fighting games" capcom is always the first company that comes to my head.
However, the first game I'm going to be talking about is from a hardly known company called Alpha Denshi Corp. (also known as ADK). I would be posting a picture of their logo but they're so unpopular I can't even find a picture of one.
So it was sometime in 1992, I was in a random arcade and I came across this new game called "world heroes".
At the time I was a fan of fighting games because of street fighter so I decided to give this game a try. I actually found it to be a very fun game, and remembered it quite fondly. I really enjoyed the stages with electrified walls and mines because it added a new element to traditional fighting games.
Basically the idea was not to get pushed to the edge of the screen otherwise you'd be electrified, set on fire, or even walk onto a landmine.
I also really enjoyed the bonus stage in this game. In street fighter the bonus stage is beating up a nice car which I didn't think was very fun. But in world heroes you beat up an ugly rock and it turns into a statue which I thought was way more enjoyable.
However many years later I played this game again and realized that it really wasn't the greatest. But since I had fond childhood memories of it I decided to try out other world heroes games. Doing this helped me discover my 10th favourite fighting game of all time, and that game is....
#10: World Heroes Perfect.
The title is very accurate as this's the most perfect world heroes game ever made. It was released in 1995 originally for the neo geo mvs and aes systems. The gameplay is much smoother than all other world heroes games. And the graphics are very beautiful.
The music is decent and sadly, this was the last world heroes game ever made. But atleast it was the best. My only complaint is that they removed the arenas with electric fences/fire/spikes. But comparing world heroes perfect to the other world heroes games it is clearly the superior game.
The next entry in my list is by the father company of fighting games. During the 90s capcom kept pumping out popular fighting games on their own hardware. But there was another company that started producing fighting games during that time. This company is (or was) called Shin Nihon Kikaku (SNK).
When SNK started making fighting games, I thought the same thing that most people were thinking "........it's a street fighter ripoff!". And most of the stuff they made was like a modified clone of street fighter. Today if someone were to make a street fighter style game nobody would mind but back in 1992 street fighter 2 was basically the ONLY fighting game around. And it was by far the most popular. Thusly any other fighting game at the time was automatically regarded as a cheap knock-off because the genre was still so new (atleast after it became popular). Eventually capcom started making what I like to call the "vs" series. And in the year 2000 they released a game called "capcom vs snk"
Now I'm not sure if this game was a huge hit or not, but later they made a sequel. And this sequel left a huge impression on me. Naturally that game would be....
#9: Capcom Vs SNK 2
I never had an arcade version of this near me so I first played it on the playstation 2. And man was it ever fun. The supers were huge and some of them were really difficult to pull off.
The button combinations for certain supers were very big. But overall this game went on to become a big hit. The graphics were up to par as well as the music and the gameplay is great. So that's how this game earned the #9 spot on my list of great fighting games. If you're one of the few people who hasn't heard of this game then I seriously suggest you go and try it out.
Now unfortunately around the time that capcom released their cps3 hardware arcade gaming was becoming less popular. Which is sad because there were a couple of amazing fighting games on this platform. My next entry is one of these games. And that game is....
#8: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Now I never played this game until it came out on mame many years after its release. And like the title says....it's.....bizarre. The fighting system it uses is a little confusing. But the graphics are extremely beautiful.
Yes that's a car coming out of the ground....like I mentioned....it's bizarre like the title says. And it's still playable without complete understanding of how the game system works. So I highly suggest anyone to look this game up and play it.
When people think of fighting games 2 words usually come to mind.
Street fighter, the first popular fighting game. Starting from the second installment. So in the mid 90's capcom started this new street fighter series called "Street Fighter Alpha"
However, this series didn't really become popular until the third game was released. And that game is.....
#7: Street Fighter Alpha 3
Like most other great fighting games I never played this game until many years after its release. I first experienced it in the street fighter alpha anthology on the ps2. Playing all the alpha games it was very obvious that alpha 3 was easily the best one. They all have equally as good music and graphics, however alpha 3 has noticably better gameplay. And it also has an excellent port for the gameboy advance.
Yes the graphics are noticably worse than the original version
But the animation is just as smooth and the gameplay is just as good. This game's fairly popular so I expect more people reading this article to recognize it.
So now let's have a true retro moment and travel back to 1991. The few fighting games before this time were....well.....not the greatest. Even the first street fighter game was only soso. At the time capcom was pushing their new hardware platform and they were releasing games from many different genres on it. I really don't think they expected a game from a very new genre to become such a huge success. But it did...and that game was....
sketch fighter!.....okay seriously
#6: Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior
This's the game that made fighting games popular. This game also made arcade gaming popular again. When I was a kid I would walk 5 minutes in any direction and come across a store with a street fighter 2 arcade machine inside of it.
And that included variety stores and places that weren't arcades. This game sucked my wallet completely dry. Now the more popular version of this game is the "Champion Edition"
This game has some great things about it. The ability to both play as the same character is great. And also the face pictures of the characters look better in this version. However I really don't like playing as the bosses, they feel a bit unbalanced in comparison to the other characters in the game. And the colour changes in the background graphics make them look worse
So overall I prefer the graphics and gameplay of World Warrior. This game has great graphics, excellent gameplay, and AMAZING music. One of the best video game soundtracks of all time. The other thing I dislike about this game is the lack of supers. But since it came out in 1991 we can all forgive that.
So continuing on my lineup of "street fighter" games let's move onto the next installment. After wayyy too many versions of street fighter 2 capcom eventually had to start a new part of the street fighter series. In 1997 capcom had a new hardware platform. And to show it off they finally ....after 6 years of waiting.... released street fighter 3.
This game....well....wasn't so great. It had the graphics, and the music, but the gameplay just wasn't there. Just like the street fighter alpha series, capcom didn't produce a hit until they released the third installment. And that game is..... I'm sure you can already guess......
#5: Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike
Finally capcom got the gameplay right. And this game also introduced the parrying system which introduced a new way to play fighting games.
This game has gone on to become EXTREMELY popular. And it's easily one of the most popular fighting games of all time. It still makes good money in arcades today (assuming that your cabinet works well).
So back in 1993 SNK decided to stop cloning street fighter so precisely and started making a different kind of fighting game. This series was called samurai showdown.
This was the first fighting game with weapons that really impressed me. Instead of people fighting hand to hand on the street, you were battling ancient japanese characters with swords against each other. It also had some characters from other countries.
The graphics were great, music was atmospheric, and the gameplay was pretty good. And it was like being back in a time before guns were around. Many people debate which samurai showdown game is the best. However my personal favourite is an easy choice. And that game is....
#4: Samurai Showdown 4
The first thing I notice about this game is is REALLY pushes the graphics of the neo geo system. It has the smoothest (even compared to today) graphics I've ever seen. The music is also amazing even for being fairly simple. And the gameplay feels perfected to me. The only thing that turns me off about this game is the bad english
However, everything else about the game feels perfected. The graphic animation feel so perfected that I still can't find any game today that looks more beautiful. And this was the last samurai showdown game made by SNK before they became bankrupt.
So next I'm going to talk about another company that's not really known in the realm of fighting games. This company is sunsoft
Back in the 90s they too had jumped on the fighting game bandwagon. And during this time they managed to produce one TRULY AMAZING fighting game. And that game is....
#3: Waku Waku 7
Let's take a look at what makes this game just THAT great.....
The graphics are STUNNING
The music....yeah it's up to the test. But what REALLY stands out about this game is the extremely solid gameplay. Like jojo's the theme is just....bizarre. In fact the theme of this game is so bizarre it turned me off a little bit at first. However the gameplay is so perfect that I had to place this gem at #3. This's truly a masterpiece that shouldn't be missed. And if you're a fighting game enthusiast then I strongly suggest you to consider waku waku 7.
But why is it called waku waku 7? Well...there's only 7 characters. Yes that's right....and it's SO DARN FUN that I'm not even bothered by the short list of characters. Also the final boss and bonus character are pretty funny
Waku waku suffered the same fate as many other fighting games of the later 90's. At the time the arcade scene was dieing rapidly. And the market had just been too over-saturated with bad fighting games that people had lost interest. So because of this, waku waku 7 went virtually unnoticed. And that has made it very rare and very hard to find a copy of. This's great if you're a collector, but not so great if you don't have much of a wallet.
So during the mid 90s a new type of fighting game had begun. These were the 3d fighting games
Games like virtua fighter and tekken were introduced. As well as the popular soul calibur series. Adding the third dimension allowed for side stepping which was a bit interesting. And since popularity of 3d fighters was growing capcom had to get in on the action. Now like street fighter alpha or street fighter 3, capcom didn't start off the 3d fighting games so well. At first we got this
Most fighting game enthusiasts will tell you that street fighter ex is a total piece of garbage. And that's because....it's a total piece of garbage. Capcom sadly made sequel(s?) to this game. And after lots of non-success, they started a new 3d fighting game series. The first release was truly amazing......and that game is...
#2: Rival Schools: United By Fate
Now the graphics in this game are typical of the time. Blocky 3d things but it's really not so bad looking. They did a good job at making the animation smooth and the blocks as real as possible.
The music....it's fine. But like any truly great fighter....this game just has some of the BEST D#MN GAMEPLAY I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED! Really that's it....nothing too different...just great gameplay. The supers are extremely entertaining. The team supers are even MORE entertaining. It's so simple anyone can learn to play it. And there's just so many things you can do to either get out of a jam or put the opponent into one. Too bad this game never became huge....I'm really not sure why....because I think it's easily one of the best multiplayer games of all time....if not THE BEST.
So if you've read this far you might be wondering what topped my list. Back in 1998 I was on a ferry. On this ship was a mini arcade. At that arcade I discovered a new game and quickly found myself running out of money. This game was so fun I didn't even care about trying to win. I would hit random buttons and amazing stuff would happen on the screen. This game was....
#1: Marvel VS Capcom: Clash Of The Super Heroes
Talk about a great idea for a video game. Take all the best capcom game characters. Then take lots of great marvel characters. And make....a fighting game out of it. And boy did capcom ever make one hell of a fighting game!
Words cannot describe how beautiful the animation is in this game. It looks like something out of a comic book and has a visual style that I consider to be pure eye-candy. The music is great as it changes depending on which character is on screen...sort of like a movie. This game has a lot of great ideas. Fighting teams where you can switch a character mid match. That alone adds a lot more depth to the game. And the gameplay is just as solid as any other hit capcom game. It's a truly immersive experience that's like a comic book come to life.
So I thank anyone who took the time to read this. And I really hope that it helps enthusiasts and future enthusiasts to discover and enjoy some of the best fighting games. Because sometimes it can be hard when there's so many of them to try.