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Genre in Review: Fighters

In terms of sheer popularity it would be fair to say the 2D fighting genre hit its peak on the 16-bit consoles. Sure there were better, sexier 2D fighters on the 32-bit consoles but they took a back seat to the 3D style of gaming that was now possible.

This genre review is a short summary of the games strengths, weaknesses and how much i think its worth buying the game. The guide in general is more aimed at Mega Drive gamers, as opposed to gamer/collectors who will probably buy anything they can get their games on (like me ^^ ). Lets get this party started then..

Fatal Fury Character Select screenFatal Fury Fatal Fury

Fatal Fury:

At first you may be thinking "another Street Fighter clone!?", but give it a chance and it proves to be more than a mere clone. For those that arent aware, the Fatal Fury series went on to become the popular King Of Fighters series thats still going strong today (and recently went 3D with Maximum Impact). The Mega Drive game is a port of the Neo Geo/Arcade version and despite loosing a few colours I hear its a decent conversion.

Fighting is done on 2 planes (foreground and background) and while you can only choose from 3 fighters in single player there are more in multiplayer. Special moves are easy to pull off and if you enjoyed Street Fighter you might want to check Fatal Fury out!

Aus Rarity: Turns up every once and a while on ebay, shouldnt cost much.

King Of The Monsters:

Like Fatal Fury, King Of The Monsters is a a takara port from the Neo Geo, but unlike Fatal Fury, it doesnt have much staying power.

The premise is good, your a giant monster fighting 1 on 1 against another beast among Japans various cities and regions. You can smash buildings, throw tanks and generally run rampant in the same style as the famous Rampage. So why isnt it much fun? The main reason is because it uses a clunky "wrestling style" count to decide the winner instead of the standard health meter, so fights usually drag on longer than they really have to.

Graphics are on the better side of average, but cheap AI and tedium hurt more than the graphics ever could.

Aus Rarity: Uncommon, but inexpensive.
Mortal Kombat:

Known for its violence as much as its fighting, the Mortal Kombat series went head to head with street fighter 2 for gamers wallets. Its worth buying the first Mortal Kombat just for Sonya and Kano, but thats not to say it isnt a great game, nor that it cant hold its own against 3 Mega Drive sequals (2 and a half if you want to be specific).

If your new to Mortal Kombat then there is no better place to start because not only is the first in the series the easiest, but you also get to see how the series evolved.

Aus Rarity: Common and can be had cheaply.
Mortal Kombat 2:

Along with Street Fighter II, this is the Mega Drive fighter that you need to own. More characters, more levels, better graphics and sound, and tougher cpu opponents. A lot of people feel MK2 is more fun that its sequals, and ultimatly the peak of the series (until Deadly Alliance of course).

Aus Rarity: Common and shouldnt cost much. Also released in Platinum cover variation.
Primal Rage:

Pretty much Mortal Kombat with Dinosaurs, it tends to get negative reviews but Ive got a soft spot for it.

Fights in Primal Rage are between 2 dinosaurs/ dino age creatures fighting in various parts of the world, with little (edible might I add) people in the background. Special moves are done in a unique button hold style, as opposed to the usual Street Fighter diagonal punch fireball, etc.

The graphics are nice enough, and while it may not be Street Fighter II or MK2, its good for some mindless prehistoric fun.
Aus Rarity: Common.
Street Fighter II:

Im not sure what to say really- its Street Fighter II for cryin out loud! Probably the finest fighting game on the Mega Drive, its fantastically close to the arcade version.

For the 2 people not familiar with street fighter II, this game has it all; great graphics, sound and controls.

My only complaint about the game is that shaz keeps beating me with Ryu. A must have for any Mega Driver.

Aus Rarity: Mostly common, but popular.
Super Street Fighter II:

Weighing in at a hefty 40mbits, Super Street Fighter II was the biggest Mega drive game released, and it doesnt disappoint. SSF2 boasts 4 more fighters, more backgrounds, animations and sounds but these all come at the cost of slightly smaller player sprites and "remixed" music. The music seems to cop a lot of negative feedback, but personally i didnt think it was too bad (still inferior, but tolerable).

I was fairly disappointed at the change of chun li's fireball from a "d-pad flick+punch" to a "hold back for 2 seconds + punch" because I cant for the life of me do those hold back moves.. Fortunately one of the new characters fits my style fairly well, so now I have 2 characters i can use instead of one (fear the Cammy/Chun Li combo!).

All in all its definately worth tracking down if you put some hours into SFII and want a little more.

Aus Rarity: Fairly uncommon, and popular so expect to pay around $25 AU for a complete copy on ebay.
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