Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nerdicus SNES Review #62 + 63 + 64: Clayfighter / Clayfighter : TE / Clayfighter 2 : Judgment Clay

Title : Clayfighter

Publisher : Interplay Entertainment

Developer : Visual Concepts

Genre : Fighting

Release Date : 1993

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $8 - $10

Title : Clayfighter : Tournament Edition

Publisher : Interplay Entertainment

Developer : Visual Concepts

Genre : Fighting

Release Date : 1994

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10 - $15

Title : Clayfighter 2: Judgment Clay

Publisher : Interplay

Developer : Interplay

Genre : Fighting

Release Date : 1995

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10 - $15

Well, I'm back from PAX EAST 2015 everybody, and boy do I have a lot to write about. But that probably won't be until the end of the week, as I still have to go through all my photos, and swag to figure out what I got. Highlight of this years convention though? OVERWATCH. I know this is a retrogaming blog, but I have to speak of Blizzard's upcoming game shooter a la TEAM FORTRESS. This game was incredible, and it's not even Beta yet. I'm talking insane character classes, brilliantly designed maps, and an artwork style that Blizzard uses to put other games to shame. Totally worth the two hour wait on line. And if you're a fan of Blizzard games, do yourself a favor and sign up for the Beta now.

In the meantime, let's get back at it with some good 'ol Super Nintendo games, and what perfect timing to be up to CLAYFIGHTERS, one of the most hilarious fighting games to come out in the 90's. And here we are, knocking out all three that came out for the SNES all at once. Hell, I don't want to do three different reviews, especially since these games are practically the same.

CLAYFIGHTERS had a lot of good things going from them, and when the advertising first came out in gaming magazines (I specifically remember seeing it in Nintendo Power for roughly the entire years worth of issues upon it's release), gamers everywhere we're hooked on the aspect of a "goof-off" fighting game. After all, fighting games back then were all about blood and gore with Mortal Kombat, or extreme Martial Arts fighting with Street Fighter. We needed something to laugh at. 

These games were obviously something that was catered to parents who were sick of seeing their children re-enact Mortal Kombat finishing movies. Oh? Was I the only one who tried to perform fatalities on my best friends? Guess so. 


These may be fighting games, but surprisingly enough there's a bit of a story line in each one. Of course, they make little to no sense, but what do you expect to get out of a game that has a fat ass Elvis, a string of taffy, a viking woman, and a killer clown as fighter options. 

In the original CLAYFIGHTER, a meteor lands on top of some Circus, and of course it being radioactive and all, transforms all the circus goers and attractions into mutant warriors hellbent on destroying each other. In a way, the circus just turns into some no-holds-barred fighting arena. Tournament Edition was released a few months down the line as a Blockbuster exclusive (much like the 63 /13 DIRECTORS CUT version for the n64), but later was released to all retailers. The only difference between the original and the tournament edition was the fact that TE offered some bug fixes, speed adjustments, newer difficulty settings and an updated versus mode.

If you think about it, they released the first CLAYFIGHTER, and figured hey let's make more money by fixing the problems of the original game and offering some bonus tournament based features. Booooo...

Moving on to CLAYFIGHTER 2 : JUDGMENT CLAY (Terminator 2 reference if you didn't get it), it's story revolves around the same meteor but this time focuses on the surrounding town of MUDVILLE. It's just an excuse to introduce a major antagonist that appears in 63 1/3, and add a whole bunch of new characters to choose from in the game, much like any fighting game sequel does.

Enough of the plots, on to the fighters.

When you're designing warriors around claymation, you need to have some fun with it, and that's exactly what Interplay and Visual Concepts did. They came up with the most bizarre cast of characters I have ever seen in a fighting game, and there hasn't been anything quite like it since. And don't even mention that dumb anthropomorphic SEGA fighting game I reviewed a few months back. That was horrendous.

Here are your warriors!!!

Bad Mr. Frosty - basically, he's the guy you see on all the game covers, and is practically the protagonist. As you probably guessed, his attacks include throwing snowballs at people and sliding all over the place.

Blob - He's a blob. Go figure. Shapeshifting galore.

Blue Suede Goo - My personal favorite, the Elvis Impersonator. Gotta love the beer belly.

Bonker - The clown. I hate clowns. No thank you.

Helga - A giant, fat, opera singer. She's hilarious though.

Ickybod Clay - PUMPKIN HEAD! A nice play on words from Ichabod Crane.

Taffy - He's taffy........der?

Tiny - This guy always freaked me out with his weird ass face and muscular body. And what is up with the diaper!?

N. Boss - The only thing I can really compare this to is Master Hand. He's the last boss of the first game.

Nana Man - A Jamaican Banana....yup....

Octohead - Yeah, do I really have to explain this one? Octopus dude....

Googoo - CREEPY BABY...and it doesn't make sense how he's some gangsta baby. Seriously, what were they smoking lol.

Hoppy - Picture the Terminator as a Rabbit. Well, there you go.

Kangoo - A boxing kangaroo! Who was threatened to get lynched if she stopped boxing! WHAT THE HELL!?!?

Some of these characters also had some villainous copy cats that you can unlock after you beat them in the second game. Practically the same attacks, and just different color schemes.

So what makes CLAYFIGHTER so memorable? It's not the gameplay, as it's just a typical fighting game, and hell even the control schemes aren't that great. Pulling off a successful combo is really quite difficult, and the game at times feels a bit clunky. Maybe it's because the characters are so large, and quite slow. Not to mention, each character has it's own cheap move that is more than capable of taking out opponents by just spamming a single button.

Sure, the controls aren't great, but they aren't anywhere near as bad as some of the other fighting games out there, and it holds its own with the more precise Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games. It's all about the visuals. This game is so incredibly unique with the claymation feel, and you really don't get the same type of games nowadays. There was a lot of attention to detail in both the character animations as well as the backgrounds that you have to appreciate the true level of work they put into these games. There's a reason so many people wanted to pick this up when it first came out, and it wasn't only due to the epic marketing, but mostly due to the way the game looked.

Hell, for a Super Nintendo game, this was top notch.

Music was spot on in this game as well, with each score appropriate for each stage, but I can't say it was anything spectacular. Decent enough to be enjoyable, and the sound effects were pretty hilarious. Lots of gloops and glops, ha!

The real fun with the Clayfighter games, as with any fighter, lies in the ability to play these with your friend. Invite someone over, drink a few brews, and settle down for night of bizarre character battling mayhem.

And as for a score? Well, let's lump 'em all together as one. They'll deserve a nice little average gamer review, eh?

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!


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