Amstrad Action


Pit-Fighter

Author: Adam Peters
Publisher: Domark
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #76

Pit-Fighter

Aaaaaaaargh. Biff. Pow. Kersplatt. A punch. A kick. A throw. Blood sprays across the front three rows of the audience. Southside Jim tries to get to his feet, but Ty lays in with a knee to the stomach. Oof. "Go on, kill the get!" scream the crowd, as Ty starts to jump on Southside's head.

Jim struggles to his feet, picks up a crate and hurls it at the kick boxer. Kerspludge. Bits of Ty's head fly off into the auditorium, as the big man falls to the floor in a big mushy heap.

"Ha, ha!" laugh the crowd (not the most loyal of supporters), "Go on Jim, my son. wipe the floor with the sappy nerd." Ty leaps to his feet, only to be felled again by an elbow to the chin. Scrabbling around on the ground, he picks up a knife...

Pit-Fighter

Pit-Fighter is violent. The only way to see more blood is to get a mate to walk up to Arnie Schwarzenegger down your local pub and call him a "big girl's blouse."

Pit-Fighter compares to Final Fight in three important respects (aside from being a coin-op convo):

Firstly, you get a choice of three different heroes, each with their own fighting skills: Ty, the kick boxer (the hardest dude of the three), Buzz, an ex-wrestler (and a fattie to boot) and Kato, who's a karate kid type.

Pit-Fighter

Secondly, the sprites. These are bigger than a very big thing, and the animation is as intricate as something out of a Disney film.

Thirdly, and finally, there's the variety of fighting moves. These include punching, kicking, jumping, ducking, picking up, throwing, cartwheels, and all sorts.

Unfortunately, those are just about the only similarities. Graphics are distinctly four-colour Speccy-port mode 1 sort of jobbies. Movement is slow. Gameplay is limited, with the action being confined to the same fighting area for each punch-up, though you can move around in all directions (and the arena is larger than a single screen in size).

Pit-Fighter

There are lots of things lying around for you to pick up and bung at the opponent (crates, sticks, knives, etc). And if that gets boring, you can always pick up and throw the opponents themselves. There are eight opponents in all, together with 'grudge matches' after every two proper fights. (You can't lose any energy or lives in these, but you score points as usual.)

These opponents get harder as you progress. Or at least, their energy bars gets longer. You exchange blows till one or other of you runs out of said attribute. You do get four lives/continues, though.

And therein lies the problem. Limit yourself to only using the normal punches (nothing else seems to work anyway), and, if you don't finish the game on your first go, you'll finish it on your second. (No exaggeration; yours truly came within a blob and a half of winning on go one, and had loads to spare when cleaning up on the second attempt.)

Pit-Fighter

Defeat the last of the eight adversaries and what do you get? A big flash "well done" screen? The slogan "Pit-Fighter has been beaten" in big text? An opportunity to put your name in the all-time top ten? Nope. What you get is another of the bonus levels. Then what do you get? The computer tries to load a non-existent level nine. Sad but true.

There's a lot of things that are really good about Pit-Fighter (the size of the sprites, the cartoon violence, etc), but any game you can finish on your first go, without any reason at all to return to it, is a complete and utter waste of money.

Domark is making noises that it will be withdrawing from the 8-bit market after Christmas. If that proves to be the case, what a shame such an illustrious software house couldn't finish on a higher note than Pit-Fighter.

Second Opinion

Pit-Fighter

It's slow. It's jerky and it looks dreadful. Frankly, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to play Pit-Fighter. Come on Domark, you can do better than this!

First Day Target Score

Finish it and throw it away.

Verdict

Graphics 68%
P. Nice big sprites, but limited colour and no variety.

Sonics 76%
Funky tune to massacre the opposition to.

Grab Factor 72%
Pit-Fighter is initially appealing...

Staying Power 0%
...but you'll finish it within an hour (guaranteed).

Rating 11%
The first thing you look for in a game is a challenge. You won't find a modicum of one here, though.

Adam Peters

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