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Game 38 of 52: Sonic the Fighters - 29/04/24


Ryannumber1gamer

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Following the misery that ensues after finishing both episodes of Sonic 4 100% back to back with each other, and knowing I was also about to delve into two other Sonic games that I'm noooot the biggest fan of, I decided I wanted to take a quick break by playing something pretty short and breezy. It had been a long while since the last time I did it, so I decided to fire up Sonic the Fighters, and do a quick arcade run.

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For the purposes of this run, I was playing through the remaster of the game that dropped on PS3 and Xbox 360, meaning I had access to additional quality of life features, a nice remaster of the graphics, and Honey the Cat as a hidden character. Not that the last part mattered, since this all happened during Knuckles Week, so I would've done myself a disservice if I didn't pick Knuckles for my arcade run.

So I jumped right and the first thing I still find pretty funny is the fact that the most iconic fighting character in the series, the character who's entire literal shtick is being the power character of the squad - is the first fight of a arcade run, and is also the easiest boss in the entire game. They did my boy a disservice, frankly. 

Anyways, Sonic the Fighters, what is there to say? It's a strange little 90s oddity of a video game developed by the same team that developed Fighting Vipers (as evidenced by Honey's appearance in the game). As such, my experience with the game was two fold. 

Despite having only got into the series in the 2000s via Heroes, Fighters was a game I really enjoyed playing since I got Gems Collection on the PS2, likely because with enough patience, I could easily finish the game during a period of time where frankly, I just couldn't beat many Sonic games. Granted, Metal Sonic almost always put those attempts to a abrupt halt, but still, even as a kid, something about Fighters always clicked with me.

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Unfortunately, it didn't seem that was really the case with many other people. Fighters always seemed to fall into those bad game lists from the likes of old school Screwattack where if Sonic wasn't running fast all the live long day, it was a shit game. So I did know the game seemingly didn't have the best rep either, which made the remaster more of a surprise.

Still however, I think Fighters still more than holds up these days as a insanely charming Sonic spinoff from the 90s. The graphics and animations are delightfully cartoonish, playing really well into the Japanese Sonic artstyle at the time, and lending a heap of charm to the game that still lets it's graphics live up even to the current day. 

The soundtrack? Frankly, it may be one of my absolute favourites of the entire franchise. So many of these tunes are just songs I love

Unfortunately, there's not much I can really talk about the mechanics of fighting itself. I am not a fighting game guy, and I do not have the patience to learn many combos or special moves with tons of inputs. That said, I still think the game does a fantastic job of representing each character and giving them unique attributes and aspects. From Tails' grab and fly attack, to Knuckles' dive attack, and Amy's hammer swings. Each fighter has a fairly unique style to them that does give a good reason to replay the short arcade campaign a few times.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention this trio of goofballs who were introduced in the game:

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Alright, well - Bean and Bark were at least, but still - the gang wouldn't be complete without them, and considering how much fun it's been to see the trio in both Archie and IDW after they were finally allowed to make a comeback, Fighters will always have that feather in it's cap. Even seeing the few times Honey's allowed to appear in the likes of Archie was fun, and I hope IDW get permission to use her as part of the main cast.

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Unfortunately, it wouldn't really be complete without calling out how bullshit the Metal Sonic fight at the end of the game is, the robot apparently using Neo Metal's scheme so many years earlier since he can just utalise so many random fighters' attacks, and has some damn perfect barrier timing, as well as dishing insane damage, meaning the final fight is a real pain in the ass. It does make it pretty satisfying when you do beat him though, especially if you manage to take Eggman down as well. 

Still, while a ultimately short, and possibly a little shallow game, I still think Sonic the Fighters is a fun spinoff that's worth giving at least one shot for it's charm and uniqueness. Especially given how good the remaster is. 

So, anything else?

....

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GUYS LOOK IT'S NEO META--

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