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Pit Fighter

1992 Tengen

Atari Lynx


Remember back when digitized graphics were like the in thing? The made a game look "realistic" Nowadays they come off so quaint, almost campy, it's hard to remember that graphics in this style used to effect such a "wow!" back in the day.

Pit Fighter was the first fighting game to use digitized graphics (released slightly before Mortal Komabt and it's imitators.) The arcade game was released during that gray zone after the original Street Fighter when side scrolling beat'em ups were starting to go away but before the mechanics for a good fighting game had been established. As it's pre-Street Fighter II a lot of basic flaws can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is the utter muddiness of the crapola graphics for this version.

Plain and simple this is a game that should never have been attempted on a Handheld. In the arcade the digitized graphics didn't look half bad, here they come off as almost unintelligible. It's not the console's fault as it looks like the Lynx is able to handle them for the most part. The screen is just too small. All the detail disappears in a washed out pixilated mess of vomitous confusion. The whole point of digitized graphics is to make the game "realistic," right? Like you're supposed to be able to see the character's facial expressions, realistic lighting and animation, etc. What's the point of having them if they're so small that none of the details can be seen? Kind of defeats the purpose.

Most of the rest of the game is pretty faithfully translated however. You choose one of three fighters, a Kung-Fu guy named Kato, a buff Football-wrestler named "Buzz" (a lot of work went into thinking up that one) and a skinny black kickboxing dude named Ty. You fight various other pit fighter people for cold hard cash and survival. Most of the other fighters have some kind of gimmick and occasionally will bust out with some kind of special move now and then. The ring is more like a large crowd where you fight in the middle of. Step too far out to the side and someone in the crowd will stab you in the back or otherwise knock you back inside. The crowd or setting never changes, which is kind of boring. Towards the end you get the same room with a gray floor. Not good enough. You're supposed to be inside of a wherehouse or something. We could've used some more interesting backgrounds once in a while.

The arcade game had two player simultaneous play. I've never bothered to see if the Lynx version does because I actually like what little friends I have, I do not want to alienate them with the god-awful game.

When it comes down to it graphics do not make a game, any more than gimmicks or even content does. It all comes down to the gameplay. If a game plays halfway decently most of the time shitty graphics can be forgiven. Too bad for the Lynx this version comes nowhere near the Arcade game in that department. True, you still fight people and can do stuff like stomp them in the nuts when they're on the ground (which is pretty satisfying, even in this god awful version) but half the time you're too busy trying to see what the hell is going on with the random jumbling of pixels that are the characters. Did you just hit somebody? Did they hit you? Do you have a weapon? You can't tell. Add to this the game controls just like the Arcade did: Like crap. It's too slow. Specials include pressing both attack buttons together, you'd think that's be an easy thing to do. The characters animate somewhat choppily (although honestly you won't notice, because you won't be able to tell what they're doing at all unless you have superhuman vision like me, and I'm having trouble here.)

On top of all this though it is possible to defeat most of the computer opponents by walking up to them and repeatedly jamming on the kick button over and over again. He might get a few punches in there but eventually you'll beat him. With practice I was able to get all the way to the last round with this one button style of Pit Fighting. So not only does it look, sound, and control like monkey ass, the computer is an idiot too? Did they spend any time on this game at all?

This game is a "system killer," one of those games that if I bought it back in the day I would have returned the Lynx the next day and got me something else - anything else. You can tell when games like this come out because sales of the console actually go down. Avoid, avoid, avoid at all costs, then avoid it some more.

Let's meet our fighters:


Buzz is our resident strongman hero type. He wears football pants and face paint under his eyes, apparently the glare in the poorly rendered wherehouse is too much for his sensitive eyes. Any semblance of toughness he may extrude is negated by the way his ass sticks out.


Second choice up is Kato. Wow, way to rip off Bruce Lee there fellas. Kato does the E. Honda multiple hand slappy thing even though he's a skinny white guy instead of a Sumo wrestler. He's fly in his M.C. Hammer pants and bicycle gloves with the fingers cut out.


Ty is a black kick boxer, who is the one character in the game who looks like a fighter probably would in real life. Except for the fact that he's half and inch tall and pixelated to fuck.

I hate this game.


Southside Jim is the other black character in the game. Unlike everyone else who has to conform to the usual fighting game stereotypical dress such as chains and spikes, Jim is allowed to dress in white loafers and orange wifebeater, like he just walked off the set of Sanford & Son or something. Not implying any racism here, but not all black people look like Red Fox.


Bike guy C. C. Rider looks a little too chubby to be a pit fighter. I could be wrong, but pit fighting seems like a pretty rough contact sport that would require some physical conditioning. This guy looks like he comes home from the Baskin Robbins to grub out on Ding-Dongs and suck beers before falling asleep face first in a plate of marshmallows. Plus he has some kind of ... thing on his head. What the hell is that? Biker helmet? Hair? Dead animal?

Damn this game sucks.


The Executioner, aka a big fat guy with a black pillowcase on his head. He looks like one of those hairy, odorous, greasy hoagie sandwich eatin' types, the kind of guy who always has that little bit of spittle in the corners of his fat-ass mouth. You can even see the sweat this lump of hairy lard excretes even on the tiny Lynx screen.


All fighting games need at least one female, hence Angel is our resident femme fatal. At least they tried to get sexy with the black leather and stuff. Actually the Lynx screen makes her look less like an evil domanatrix bad ass and more like she should be vacuuming your hotel room for nine bucks an hour.


Chainman Eddie, who is supposed to be large and mean looking, but that outfit with it's leather straps, chains, and tiny little speedos make him look a little too fabulous to be intimidating. I'd be more scared of this guy in a prison shower than like on the street or anything.

The final boss is the "Masked Warrior." This is the only image I've ever seen of him because there's no way I'm going to suffer through this bullshit game long enough to actually get to the end.


Graphics: Shittiest graphics ever.

Sound: Shittiest sound ever.

Gameplay: Shittiest A. I. ever.

Reson to play this game: None.

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