There is currently a debate raging in our office as to the moral and ethical aspects of violent games such as Final Fight and this one, Pitfighter. On the one hand it could be argued, with no evidence bar supposed "common sense", that it encourages violence and that 'the kids' will be influenced by the extreme scenes they see and try to emulate them.
Soon after the release of such a game the streets would be awash with the blood of OAP's, dogs and other house
On the other hand there is the argument that seeing and taking part in such silicon violence is a form of therapy, a release for 'the kids' who would otherwise be forced to vent their frustrations elsewhere, with society being forced to take the burden. Recent studies have shown that 90 per cent of those who took part in the recent riots have a home computer but only 3% of those could afford a copy of Final Fight, so in fact social deprivation is what's truly behind the troubles.
Frankly I think it is all a load of pretentious twaddle and you should all sit down, play the games and enjoy the blood
Well, enough of the polemic and on with the review. Based on the hugely successful and well ace Atari coin-op, Pitfighter comes from what is apparently the world's favourite illegal sport. Frankly I thought it was dwarf throwing but apparently that is legal (disgusting! Social Conscience Ed.).
What pit fighting involves is lots of people who are addicted to blood and garbling but can't afford to pay to see someone's brain smashed in the Albert Hall. What they do instead is watch someone's brain get smashed in some abandoned dockyard while they all stand around and cheer and lose their money with some greasy-
You take control of one of the three pit fighters - Ty, Kato or Buzz,an d you try and guide them to victory over a series of mad opponents who get madder by the round, who will do their level-
Should you win a fight you will be awarded a Fight Purse, a Knockout Bonus for how many knockouts you make in the round, and a Brutality Bonus for how, erm, brutal you were in the round. You know the kind of thing - did you call his Dad a wimp, his mother a whore and his grand
Each fighter has seven moves at his disposal, all accessed by holding down fire and moving the joystick in the direction that summons the move you want. For example Fire, Up and Right (when facing right) will cause the character to perform a jump kick. Naturally this control method will cause some problems at first, moving instead of attacking and vice versa, but once you are familiar with all the moves a little practice will reveal some startling results. Probably how quickly the others flatten you.
The fighters also have their own special moves, usually three each (see box), but only one can be accessed at any time, the computer selecting which is the most appropriate for the moment.
As you progress through the rounds, the playfield will be littered with more and more things that you can pick up, ranging from Shurikens to motorbikes(!). These items can be used by yourself or by your computer controlled opponents to cause even more damage in an already violent world.
The best thing to pick up is of course the Power
The graphical style is what makes this very playable game stand out initially, it uses digitised pictures of fighters in various positions for the sprites, they can look blocky but it gives it a very strong "look". In conjunction with this the game gives the impression of zooming in and out by scaling the sprites and backgrounds in size to make sure they are always on screen at any one time. This can occasionally make the animation look a tad stilted as it zooms and pans but surprisingly the speed suffers very little.
Playability is superb, especially in two-
Even if you do get some of them sussed there is always the challenge of getting that bit quicker at knocking them down as each bout is timed. Get a knockout in less than 50 seconds and you get a special bonus for a record knockout.
In short it is highly addictive violence, great for expending some hormones in a non-sexual way, and it certainly beats chucking petrol bombs around a council estate (absolutely - Social Conscience Ed).