Sinclair User18th October 1992
Published in Sinclair User #132
Last Christmas was a pretty spectacular time for Speccy beat em up fans. US Gold launched Final Fight, Domark launched Pit-Fighter and Ocean launched the excellent WWF Wrestlemania. Now, in the wake of The Dream Team, Ocean are offering those of a more violent disposition the opportunity to partake in all three head breaking block busters.
Settle down with a good joystick and a competitive friend and prepare for some not so subtle action. Pit-Fighter was launched amid much expectation - the coin op had interesting digitised sprites but lacked decent gameplay. Would the computer version suffer the same fate? Well, yes and no.
Pit Fighter involves taking over the body and mind of one of three characters. Ty the kick boxer, whose special moves are the spin kick, the flying kick and the roundhouse; Kato, a third dan karate black belt whose moves are the Combo punch, flip kick and backhand; Buzz the ex pro wrestler whose special moves are the body slam, the headbutt and the piledriver.
Pit-Fighter is best played in two player mode. There is some time lapse between command and response but the sprites are big and good looking (if a little more transparent than usual) and the game doesn't suffer too much from the delay. The way the digitisation is emulated means that Pit Fighter is one of the most distinctive looking games ever on Speccy.
The route to fame and fortune in the shady and highly illegal world of pit fighting is torturous. You must defeat seven of the eight street warriors by punching, kicking, wrestling or throwing objects at them before you get to the final challenge, the Ultimate Warrior (not the WWF chap, don't worry).
Not an all time classic beat 'em up but not just a novelty item either. Pit-Fighter is possibly better on Speccy than any other format if only because expectations were not as high and more than usual ingenuity was needed to make it look respectable.
What can be said about WWF Wrestlemania that wasn't said last month? Well for all those who didn't catch it in Big Al's review of the Dream Team I'd better go through it in brief.
WWF is the top wrestling simulation so far available for the Spectrum. It combines big names from the World Wrestling Federation with relatively simple moves and lots of playability. You take on the mantle of either Hulk Hogan, The British Bulldog or The Ultimate Warrior (and all their associated registered trade marks, copyrights and general regalia) and attempt to beat the hell out of five other wrestlers from the WWF bad guy camp.
The sprites are well drawn and instantly recognisable and all their moves are superbly animated. Each character has a special murder move and can jump off the ropes, kick, clothesline, shoulder charge and lots of other vicious things. The intro sequence to the game is well happening too and you'd do well to leave it on for a while and impress your friends.
Final Fight was another eagerly awaited coin op conversion, released at the same time as WWF last year. Like Pit Fighter the main concern seems to be accurate reproduction of the sprites and graphics and, true to form, the programmers succeeded admirably in this task.
The basic idea behind the game is that an ex wrestler and street fighting champion Hagar (and believe me, he is horrible) has been made mayor of Metro City, the most doggone crime ridden metropolis on the planet. Presumably the good citizens thought that fire needed to be met with fire, and only a mean, thick, brute who can't get a decent shirt to fit him could control the city's criminal underworld. (Or was that underwear?)
Anyway the criminals are obviously not impressed and have shown their complete disregard for the law by kidnapping Hagar's daughter. Now Hagar aided by Cody and Guy, two all American crime fightin' meat-heads, must rescue her. This is where you come in.
There are six levels of beat 'em up action, all shown beautifully on a map at the beginning of the game. You must fight your way through the subway, restaurant, lavatory, bay and hotel to reach the end and rescue the girlie. The bad guys, and there are many, will only be defeated by a sound thrashing, for which Hagar with his wrestling techniques, Guy with his ninjitsu prowess and Cody with his knife expertise are well suited.
Unfortunately controls is a little confusing and restricting so fighting the bad guys can get frustrating at times, this is where the game falls down a little. The arcade was popular and good fun, though it didn't take long to dispatch your enemies. However the Spectrum version can get tiresome.
This is a good compilation if beating the hell out of things is your forte. The two player mode on Pit-Fighter and WWF is fun and challenging and you're unlikely to come across a better collection of excellent graphics.
Note that although Final Fight and Pit-Fighter are both 48K and 128K compatible, WWF is 128K only so don't go buying Super Fighters if you only own a 48K machine.
Super Fighters is a good collection of fightin' games from three different companies. They're all good looking but unfortunately two, Final Fight and Pit-Fighter, suffer from dodgy playability. Nevertheless if you don't already have WWF and you are a beat 'em up fan this compilation will be well worth your while getting.