Fighters History

Super Nintendo

Review by Matt Paprocki

Data East


Graphics: 5

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6

Your never going to find a professional review of this game without some mention of the classic Data East vs. Capcom lawsuit that nearly prevented this game from making it's way to store shelves. I'm no professional, but I love gaming history, hence, I've mentioned it. Just in case you were too young to know what it was all about, let me summarize for you:

Capcom: Your game is too much like our Street Fighter II!

Data East: So are 200 other one-on-one fighters.

Capcom: But we don't like you!

Data East: We don't like you either!

Capcom: Your poo-poo heads!

Data East: Your a bigger poo-poo head!

Capcom: Mommy! Data East called us a poo-poo head!

Anyway, that's pretty much what went down for a few months until a judge finally ruled in favor of Data East allowing the game into gamers homes. Was the game too much like Street Fighter II? Hardly. Is it a fair brawler with decent gameplay that will entertain for an hour or two? Sure.

The usual round of gameplay modes are available with nothing new or innovative. Nine characters fill out the roster, somewhat small even for the time. You'll also find 2 bosses once you've beaten all the playable characters, Clown (yes, just Clown) and the classic character Karnov. Six buttons are available to attack, each one of course varying in strength. Special moves come off as planned with various charges and half circles. The controller can be customized to your suiting.

Once into the game, you'll find solid hit detection, a decent speed setting (provided you've adjusted it in the options menu), and occasionally spotty control. Each character has special moves that are an oddball mix of the usual set up. There isn't a single character with both a dragon punch and fireball motion. You may have to charge one or the other. It will require an adjustment period, but it is a nice change of pace.

The character designs are on the generic side and occasionally far too close to other fighting games, hence the lawsuit. Stranger yet, one of the characters is named Ryoko....who looks and fights just like Ryoko from Alpha's Neo Geo series World Heroes. Same character maybe? The sprites are very small and only animated to par with other games of the period. Don't expect anything to leap out at you as spectacular. Backgrounds are usually uninteresting with the standard parallax floors. Matlocks stage is a perfect example of generic design however.

The music is better here than it would eventually be in the sequel, though only a few of the songs will stick with you. Voices are generally clear, though a few honestly sound like their coming from the old Intelli-voice module on the Intellivision. It's an odd hit or miss affair, but the energetic announcer is clear when getting his point across.

Looking back all these years later, it's hard to where exactly Capcom was coming from. Sure some of the character designs are a bit close, but I've played a lot worse in my day. As it is, this is a nice fighter that entry level players will enjoy, but die-hards will undoubtedly move on to bigger and better games. The games sequel, Fighters History Dynamite/Karnovs Revenge (US title) is marginally better and can be found on the Neo Geo. It's not perfect, but it's a look back to when this genre flourished and innovation was not important.


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Last updated: Sunday, June 13, 2004 08:19 AM