Virtual Console Wrap-up – 5/25

Last week we found ourselves gushing over Majora’s Mask. I’m personally still on a high from that, but I couldn’t help but wonder if they’ll try to kill that by bringing out something horrible. This week, we’re getting Clayfighter from the Genesis. That’s not bad, but let’s see what we have to say about it!

Publisher: Visual Concepts
Developer: Interplay
Original Release Date: 1993
Cost: 800 Wii Points.

Alex Lucard: Good week all around. Clayfighter was a fun (at the time) parody of the fighting game genre which was actually THE most popular genre of gaming back then. My, how things change, no?

Controls were decent, although the original game was very glitchy and so it’s probably best to wait for the Tournament Edition to make it to the Virtual Console. Still for those of you who miss Bad Mr. Frosty or the days when Interplay was one of the biggest and best companies around in our industry, this is a definite buy.

Christopher Bowen: As Alex stated, Clayfighter is a great game for those with memories of Bad Mr. Frosty. I’m not in that group; I thought Clayfighter was a derivative fighter that sold itself more on it’s parody than it’s actual ability as a fighter. “Oh wow! Look at that! It’s like Street Fighter… but with CLAY FIGURES! And look at that snowman! He has an angry face! Oh ho ho!”. I didn’t care for the floaty controls, myself. The fact that we’re getting this but will likely never see Killer Instinct is sad.

I’d say save the money, and instead use it to buy Bubble Bobble Plus and one of the downloadable packs. There’s 450 stages of Bubble Bobble for the exact same price as this below average Genesis game. There’s also Adventure Island, but I don’t care for this version of that game; it looks bad to the point of getting in the way (the way the colours blend together), and I don’t like having to get special fruit in impossible to reach places.

Ashe Collins: Never really liked Clayfighter myself. Thought it was too over-rated and played like… well crap. I was too busy with shooters to really care for this one at the time, and let’s face it, I’m still playing Majora’s Mask from last week. I’ll take a pass.

Nathan Birch: Clayfighter was from that glorious age in the early 90s where every developer thought “hey, let’s make a fighting game! They’re easy! All you have to do is put two characters on screen and let them kick and punch each other!”

I suppose you could give it some points for being kind of funny, but not for actually being fun. The Wiiware remake of Bubble Bobble is probably your best source of Wii retro fun this week.

Aaron Sirois: I was always a fan of Clayfighter 2: Judgment Clay myself, but the original is worth a look for people wanting a fighter with less than serious roster. You can say whatever you want about Bad Mr. Frosty, but that dude was cool.

God that was an awful pun.

Aileen Coe: I remember thinking that the game was kind of weird (which I surmise is the whole point), but I nonetheless did have a bit of fun with pounding clay figures with other clay figures. Beside the aforementioned Bad Mr. Frosty, the portly opera singer and the Elvis lookalike who attacked with his hair also comes to mind whenever I think of this game for some reason.

It’s not the greatest fighter ever, but it’s not the worst either, and there are some mildly amusing bits in it. But there are better ways to spend your points.

Mark B.: ClayFighter is an amusing novelty game that was cute when it came out, and never, ever needs to be played again.

You could say that about half of the fighting games that came out of the 90’s, frankly, but it’s especially apt when describing ClayFighter. The ONLY redeeming feature of the game is the fact that the character models were animated with claymation, which gives the game an interesting visual aesthetic that few games have tried to emulate since, which is a shame. I always loved the old Gumby cartoons and I never really thought enough developers gave that artistic style a chance, and I’d love to see more people try to do something with it, if only to see something different.

That said, all of the usual “bad things” one can say about a fighting game can be said about ClayFighter: shallow roster, derivative, floaty controls, awkward timing, yadda yadda yadda. It simply wasn’t a very tight or well designed fighting game sixteen years ago, and astonishingly, time has not been kind to it, as it’s no longer as visually interesting or novel as it used to be. As a historical curiosity it might be worth a look, but otherwise… nah. Pass.

D.J. Tatsujin: I can’t really add in anything too new to say, but that won’t stop me from throwing in my two cents.

The title definitely garnered its share of spotlight back during its release and its quirky nature and fantastic (for its time) art direction definitely turned some heads. However, once you boot up the game, it’s easy to see all of this promise quickly goes out the window. The graphics looked great when you saw them during a magazine of the time, but once the game is in motion, it’s not hard to see how awful the animation is in Clayfighter. Youtube is ripe with videos that show how unbalanced this title is with The Blob’s whore and half tactic of repeated saw blading, infinite juggles and more. The sound was muffled even in the Super Nintendo version I played as a teen so I can’t even fathom how bad the music and voice effects must be for the Genesis version. The game play gives players nothing new to see in terms of fighting mechanics and as our entire staff has already indicated, the controls are floaty and mixed with very few frames of animation, making the game more of a chore to play.

Admittedly, the humor of the title might amuse yourself and a friend for a small handful of versus matches. However, even though Clayfighter is hardly the worst fighting game ever made, it’s light years away from being the best and your 800 Wii Points could easily find a better home. I’m almost positive anyone with a Genesis or Super Nintendo could find a Clayfighter cart for less than $8 anyway. I bought mine for $5 and I’m sure anyone who looks hard enough could do even better than that.

And on Wii Ware, we’re getting Bubble Bobble Plus and Adventure Island: The Beginning. If you’re not a fan of claymation, get those, they’re amazing.






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