FX FIGHTER / Argonaut / PC

So, back in 1995, FX Fighter was the first Virtua Fighter clone to be released commercially on PCs, and it burst onto the market proclaiming "LOL FRIST 3D FITING GAME ON COMPUTARS EVAR LOLOLOLOLO." It turns out they would have been better served keeping this one in the oven for awhile, maybe being second or third instead.

You can tell the game was rushed, and that it never had a coherent vision from the jump other than "clone Virtua Fighter as fast as possible." There's a pretty large roster of characters, but a big reliance on generic humanoids, and the few that aren't just look odd - a massive magma monster and Zorak, for example.

It isn't so much the characters, though, as it is the gameplay that makes the game nothing more than a dated gimmick. It's slow, there's only two attack buttons, and there's no real sense of play balance at all. It's basically a special moves spam fest for certain characters, like Ashraf - the first guy you fight when playing the computer - who can spam a "force push" over and over again that can Ring Out a foe if landed twice in succession at the beginning of a match. Long-range moves don't really have any place in a slow 3D fighter like this, much less one that hits automatically from anywhere (and presumably can't be blocked either, as there's no block button and pushing back doesn't seem to guard either.)

And like Virtua Fighter, there's almost nothing in between or outside of fighting rounds. If you have the CD version you get to hear some generic taunt by Argonaut's janitors after each match, other than that, you just shuttle right on to the next one. The theme is supposed to be humans and aliens mixing it up across the galaxy in the far future, but nothing is done with it other than as an excuse to throw in a few bizarro characters like the giant mantis. Rounds also default to four wins to win a match - WAY too long.

Badly designed jumble rushed to market, basically. Bleh.


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