Hey! A thread about fighting games! I love it! Now I'll admit right here and now that, as far as 5th generation consoles are concerned, I usually go running to my PS1 (don't own a Sega Saturn unfortunately) for my fighting game fixes. That said, I still enjoy most of my small fighting game collection on the N64 and figured now would be a perfect time to give my thoughts on each of them from worst to best.
Along with wrestling and boxing games, I'm also leaving out the Pokemon Stadium games. I keep hearing these two being referred to as fighting games from time to time, but that's way too far of a stretch for me to count them. Hybrid Heaven is also getting disqualified as it has far too much going for it to be just a fighting game (they don't call it HYBRID Heaven for nothin'!). With that said, here's my list!
5. B.I.O. Freaks
- The worst of the bunch by FAR and the only one on this list that I can truly consider bad. I used to like this game and I may have said so on a thread here, but years later and with a much bigger fighting game collection, I can no longer will myself to put this in my N64. I can only have a bit of fun if I disable the projectile shields because, with them on, projectiles become worthless (for you) as the CPU constantly spams that shield. It also makes the already difficult to beat Mutilator into a very cheap final boss. I got this (and some other games) for free as a going away present and I'm now glad I didn't spend a dime on this. Not the worst I've ever played but, as far as fighting games go, you can do much better even on the N64.
4. Mortal Kombat 4
- I had a really tough time figuring out whether or not to put this at the #3 spot but it just misses the mark. That's okay, though, because MK4 marks the beginning of the good fighting games in my collection. Yes I know this is considered by some as the worst of the main MK games (when they're not ripping MK vs. DCU apart) and the final fight with Shinnok was nothing short of pathetic, but the game as a whole is still a lot of fun. The combo system returns from the last game (I'll get to why that's a positive in just a minute) and the difficulty was dialed down to a healthier challenge (again, save for the pushover Shinnok). Also, and this just might be me but I actually prefer the N64 versions of the endings just because of how funny they look along with the added inside jokes not found on any other version of the game. Finally, MK4 has got to have the best "Kontinue?" screen in the entire series. Here's a look in case you missed it.
3. Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- This is probably where I'm going to anger a lot of readers here, but it must be said. I truly believe that Mortal Kombat 3 is when the series started getting good. Now I LOVE me some MKII, but I have to question if I would hold that game in high regard if it wasn't the first fighting game I had ever played. In the first two MK games, the only thing that separated one character from another were their special moves (and their fatalities but that was after you've already won the match). Everyone, no matter the gender or martial arts background, had the same punches, the same kicks and the same jump height and arc. While the series still had a ways to go before MK Deadly Alliance, MK3 began making the characters more unique with the new "dial-a-kombo" feature which was different for each character in both input and animation. If mastered (which is no easy task), you can do more damage with these kombos than any uppercut can dream of. And, of course, you can always catch an opponent off guard with these kombos by using the new run feature, which gets you up close and personal in less than a second.
So what does this have to do with MK Trilogy. Well Trilogy, simply put, is MK3 with every playable character from the last three games and then some (hi Khameleon). Johnny Cage can now come back from the dead to face Sheeva. Raiden can relinquish his role as an elder god to personally take the fight to Shao Kahn (who eats Shinnok for breakfast). Baraka can... continue to do whatever it was he was doing in MKII! Yeah! On top of that, I'm a fan of the new Aggressor meter which, when filled up, boosts your speed and attack power. My only big gripes are the cut characters (due to cartridge limitations) and a difficulty level that's a bit too much at times. It's not B.I.O. Freaks cheap, but it gets dangerously close. Still, with all the positives mentioned along with near non-existant loading times, an N64 exclusive 3v3 mode (take that, Sony!) and more cheats than you can shake a stick at makes this the ultimate MK experience for the system.
Heh... hey look. MK Trilogy is #3 on my list. Oh and MK4 is #4. Funny how that worked out, huh?
2. Fighter Destiny 2
- As far as traditional 1v1 N64 fighting games go for the system (including KI Gold, which I own on Rare Replay), this one is the absolute best. How this series ended after just two games I'll never know but I bet it has something to do with dumb-dumbs like me who didn't give it a fair shake back in the day simply because it didn't play like Street Fighter or Tekken. Had I not been a closed-minded fool way back then, I could have enjoyed one of the most unique and addictive games on the system. In recent years, I decided to give the series another go and chose the sequel since I heard it was very similar than the first game with minor improvements (think Tekken 2) and was completely blown away with the point system I shunned so heavily in my childhood.
Gone is the "best 2 of 3 rounds" rule that seems to be a requirement for just about every other fighting game. It's all about racking up points and how much you earn depends on how you ended the round and they're all customizable. I love this because it always keeps things intense and always keeps you in the fight. For example, your opponent can be punishing you for most of the round but you can still counter a punch and throw them to the ground for an easy 2 points but be careful because the opponent can do the exact same thing to you. I'll admit some of the characters are a little on the generic side (Saeki is a Ryu clone and there's a ninja in the game brilliantly named Ninja) but they all have very unique fighting styles with a healthy amount of special moves and combos (with unlockable moves to boot!). My favorite thing about the game, however, has to go to Fighter Arena, a mode where you choose one of the characters to go through a board game and fight the other characters for stat upgrades. These stat-boosted characters can be used in all other modes of the game, too, and using a fully powered up Saeki (which I named Envy EX
) to outright destroy the competition was just a joy to experience. Outside of that and the 1P mode, there's a standard versus mode, a survival mode, a time attack mode and an interesting Rodeo mode where you have to keep yourself in the ring against a fighting cow for as long as possible. Yes there is a fighting cow in this game and she is an unlockable character. If that doesn't sell the game to you I don't know what will. Don't be like younger me. Pick this one up and experience a fighting game the likes you've never seen before.
1. Super... SMAAAAAAAAAASH BROTHERRRRRRRS
- Okay yes I know this could be seen as my #1 a mile away... but where else am I supposed to put a game that keeps me coming back even when I own all of it's sequels which, being honest with myself, are superior in almost every way? I mean nostalgia is strong but nostalgia didn't stop me from disliking Pokemon Blue many years after it's release. No Super Smash Bros. gets the #1 spot because of how well it's aged a decade and a half later. And does anyone else which they still used the bowling pin noises for hits in the later games? That was so satisfying to me and they replaced them with more realistic hits that you hear in just about every other fighting game.
The references to each character's respective games is a real treat especially now that I know more about them (I had no clue who Captain Falcon or Ness were as a kid and had no clue Samus was a woman until reading her bio despite playing a bit of Metroid II before this game). Graphics are still pleasing to the eyes thanks to their bright colors and the levels seem a lot more interesting than most in the series. 1P mode is a blast despite being predictable and the fight against Master Hand at the end can get really intense on higher difficulty levels (plus, who knew a hand could have so much personality?). Even the box art looked cool and I wish the later games would go back to that comic book style. And who could forget the commercial? I'm pretty sure everyone here has seen it at least once, so I'll just leave this instead.
I could go on and on, but the point is this is my #1 pick for a reason. It rocked back then and it rocks now! Viva la Smash Bros.!
On a side note, I actually rented that Beast Wars game as a kid and, believe it or not, I had fun with the game though it should be noted I liked a lot of games I can't stomache today. I even had a song from the game stuck in my head for years until I found it again online.
Of course, I... remember the instrumentation being a lot better than that. This is a song screaming for a cover. Anyway, I've been reading some of the other posts on here and I've definitely got some more games to add to the ol' collection. I've had my eyes on Flying Dragon for years but heard it has some problems in the gameplay department. Is it still worth getting? I also remember playing Deadly Arts once upon a time but found out years later that it's considered one of the worst fighting games the system has to offer. Is that true? Whatever those answers might be, I'm glad this topic has opened up. It may have not had Marvel vs. Capcom or Tekken 2 but the N64 puts up more of a fight (heheheh...) in this genre than many realize.