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Slaughter Sport

1991 Razor Soft (Activision)

Sega Genesis

 

 

Back in the day there was an old fighting game called Tongue of the Fatman for various computers. I remembered reading a review for it in PC games magazine and there after spent several years hunting it down. As a pre-Streetfighter one on one fighting game a lot could be forgiven, such as the funny controls, hard to control jumps, and simple (but cheap) A. I. Most computer games back then that were not of the click-and-drag adventure type ala Sierra had to be controlled via keyboard or one/two button joystick. For what it was the PC version wasn't half bad. The controls did really suck ass though.

Years pass and I find out this obscure game was ported to the Sega Genesis under the name "Slaughter Sport" and I immediately I knew I had to obtain it. It's been my experience that computer games with significant action tend to play better on home consoles. I hoped and prayed for a version of this game that was at least semi-playable. Alas, it was not to be. Another disappointment. I should kill myself.

Quick summary: It's the future. Some fat ass named Mondu runs some kind of underground fight club for alien-type people. You start out as a guy named Rex who can do back flips and breathe fire for some reason. As you progress you get the ability to unlock other fighters, all who are more interesting than Rex. Good luck with that though as the control is so utterly futile chances are you'll give up at the first guy (more on that later.) Other fighters include a chick who has a living mohawk, a guy made up out of cubes, a pterodactyl-headed reptile man with slashing blade hands, a bigfoot-creature with no legs who walks around on his arms (named "Stump," he heh heh,) with the final boss being Mondu the fat himself. Mondu has a large face inside of his fat body (one of his attacks is called the "tongue lasher," where this hideous tongue shoots out of his midsection and licks you to death.) At the end of each fight you get a purse, whereupon you get to buy weapons from a shop, (such as a laugh gun, "Make'm die laughing!") wager on yourself, etc. Not a bad idea that wasn't taken up in any other fighting games.

Unfortunately the character design is the best aspect of this game, which becomes immediately apparent when you start playing. First fight has you as Rex (because in a one player game you have to be Rex until you can unlock others) walking extremely slowly while another Rex with blue skin kicks the crap out of you. This is another one of those games where the programmers decided to make a 17-frame turning around animation. So half the time the computer is monkeying all over you, leaping around like a flea, kicking you out of the air when you try to attack, and sometimes landing behind you and nailing you repeatedly while your character slowly turns around. Ugh.

Add to that there is very little reaction from the characters when they get hit. In all post-Street Fighter fighting games a character has some "knock-back," some type of animation that prevents the attacker from standing in one place and connection with the same attack over and over and over again. None of that shit here. The other guy walks right through your attacks and proceeds to kick your ass. Bad, bad, bad design.

Thing is there's no excuse for this. The PC version of this game came out in like 1988, before Street Fighter II, so crappy controls can be forgiven. But in the post-Street Fighter era when this port was released basic fighting game mechanics were well established. There is no reason for hard to control jumps. Your character should be able to turn around quickly. When you get hit you should be knocked back a bit so the other fighter can't pile on 47 hits in a row just by standing in front of you. When you hit the other character he should be stunned so he cannot continue beating your ass as if nothing had happened. Basic fighting game stuff that by 1991-92 all one-on-one fighting games obeyed. Plus for some reason in a one player game you have to be Rex all the time until you unlock others. The computer version did not have this limitation. Baloney. Also there is no way to BLOCK at all. Good job there morons.

It's just so sad, because the game does have a lot of personality. The character design is pretty good, in a funny yet disturbing way. The ability to buy weapons inbetween matches adds some strategy. Voice samples and sound effects are decent. The graphics animate semi-decently (walk cycles are a little stiff, but what the hell.) Just the crappy control destroys it all. The lesson learned here I suppose is don't hope for anything as far as old Genesis PC translations go, because Razonsoft took a mediocre PC fighting game and somehow made it ten times worse.

 

Character Code

Bonapart UP, A, C
Brainiac RIGHT, RIGHT, C
Buff LEFT, C, B
Edwina LEFT, B+C, C
El Toro B+C, A, UP
Guano UP, RIGHT, A+B
McFire DOWN, C, RIGHT
Mondu A+B, DOWN, LEFT
Ramses RIGHT, LEFT, A
Robochic RIGHT, UP, DOWN
Sheba B+C, B, B
Skinny RIGHT, DOWN, RIGHT
Spidra A, DOWN, B
Stump A+C, RIGHT, C
Webra A+C, UP, RIGHT
Weezil DOWN, RIGHT, UP

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