One extremely popular genre from the Genesis era that has always perplexed me is the fighting genre. One on one fighting games were quite popular in the early to mid-90’s and the more violently graphic, the better. I recall being confused by the complicated controls and overwhelmed by the memorization that was required in order to win. It was easy to remember the one or two moves needed to master Pro Wrestling for the NES. The Genesis added multiple buttons and special moves to complicate things for these games, however. 3 button controllers soon gave way to 6 button controllers and with the addition of the d-pad, we’re talking about the number of possible moves reaching double digits. In hindsight, I realize I should have picked one or two fighters and memorized their moves but not owning a Genesis or these games at the height of their popularity meant I rarely played them.
My most memorable experiences with the Genesis fighting games would be playing Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 in my college dorm. There was a couple of guys on my floor that brought their Genesis to school and MK was a popular choice due to its social nature. If you walked by someone’s room while they were playing MK, you might be asked to take a turn and before you knew there could be 4-5 guys in one dorm room playing round robin style tournament. There could be a quick game before class or more likely, with a (cheap) beer in hand after classes were done for the day or over the weekend.
My appreciation for the genre is based on my memories playing in social gatherings described above, not by playing alone after I purchased my used Genesis years later. The handful of fighting games I own for the Genesis are from what I can gather, the most popular, culturally significant and fun based on other’s reviews but I will admit I am not the best estimator of their actual quality.
Fighting games in my collection:
- Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat 2
- Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition
- Super Street Fighter 2
- Samurai Showdown
All of these games appear to be about the same in terms of graphics, gameplay and overall quality. I would have to be a true fighting fan and fan of these particular games in order to properly assess and grade them so for now I give them all a solid B.
Wish List: Nothing really….this is not a genre I am super concerned about getting completes for championship edition.