Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Top Five Forgotten Fighters

The fighting genre in gaming saw a recent resurgence in the past decade with Street Fighter IV. While Capcom has since moved onto the fifth installment of the series, other fighting games haven't had that same level of success. They may have sold well in the past or not at all, but the point here is that they are pretty much forgotten save for a select number of dedicated fans. This top five list's goal is to bring five such forgotten fighters back into the limelight. After your eyes have pulverized this fighting game top five list, tell me which fighting games of old you think need to be remembered.

5) Power Stone (DC)

A 3D brawler, Power Stone isn't that forgotten with its niche fan base, but to everyone else, the game isn't anywhere near as really well known. The ample amount of arenas plastered with interactive elements, the party game feel to the combat, and the stellar for the time graphics really made Power Stone shine. The combat included special attacks, ranged attacks, and the aforementioned ability to pick up objects and elements from the environments to bash your opponents with. Collecting the titular "Power Stones" would allow your character to transform into a super powered version, allowing the beat-downs on your opponents to commence in flashy fashion. A tremendous 3D fighter that went on to see a sequel and a PSP collection, Power Stone is more than worthy to be remembered.

4) Saturday Night Slam Masters (ARC, SNES, GEN)

An arcade fighting game that had massive wrestling influences throughout its design and gameplay, Saturday Night Slam Masters offerde a ringside seat into an innovative fighter. Using a three button configuration for grabbing opponents, attacking, and jumping, Slam Masters boasted an impressive cast of powerful grapplers and brawlers. Each character possessed a mainstay of wrestling: a finisher, and matches end after an opponent's health meter has been depleted and he or she has been pinned or coerced into submission. Playing through Saturday Night Slam Masters, beating the whole roster to win the championship belt and being forced to defend it against said roster was an excellent excuse to kick, punch, grab, and throw down your opponents.

3) Bushido Blade (series)

This Squaresoft fighting game on the original PlayStation didn't have the typical punches and kicks that the fighting game genre is mostly known for. Instead, as the name of the game suggests, Bushido Blade had warriors use swords to slash to slice up their opponents. In a grotesque but highly satisfying display, one could cut off an opponent's limbs, resulting in them no longer being able to use them. Perhaps the developers were watching that infamous scene with the limbless knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail when they got the inspiration for this gameplay element. Regardless, on top of the engaging gameplay, the early 3D polygonal models of characters and ambient arenas made Bushido Blade an entertaining, if not long forgotten fighter.

2) Bloody Roar (series)

Created by the non-defunct Hudson Soft, whose properties are now all owned by Konami, the Bloody Roar series allowed players to transform into bipedal half-human, half-animal creatures and duke it out with fellow half-and-half opponents. With a finely tuned combat system allowing for punches, kicks, transformations, grabs, throws, blocks, and evades, Bloody Roar delivered four entertaining titles through its run beginning in arcades. Its first console entry was a port of said arcade version for the original PlayStation. As of now, Bloody Roar is no longer a well known entity in gaming, and with Konami's current, less gaming-focused direction, it seems the title that was once as savage as a lion is pretty much as quiet as a lamb. (C'mon, you knew I just HAD to make an animal analogy here!)

1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters saw multiple versions, such as on the NES and Genesis, but the most graphically impressive and advanced version of the game landed on the Super Nintendo. It featured an all-star cast of characters, even including many from both the original comic book run and the one that was current at the time, the Archie Comics run. Containing a four-button control scheme for kicks and punches, both weak and strong, special attacks, and engaging combat scenarios, Tournament Fighters on SNES was unappreciated even when it originally released, as games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat ate its proverbial lunch. Still, if you can get access to a cartridge or play the game through "other means" (SuperPhillip Central does not in any way endorse this, however), then you'll find a highly competent 2D fighter starring the heroes in a half-shell.

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