Monday, March 28, 2016

Pit Fighter on Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Retro Review

This month in history, Pit Fighter released on Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America.

Pit Fighter's Punchtacular Box Art
In March, 1991 Atari Games' Pit Fighter was ported onto the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  While reviews of the game were mixed at the time, there is no doubting it today that this game is the pits.  Although some forgiveness may be doled out for being a system launch year title, this game simply does not stand the test of time.

The beautiful backside.
If you are interested in owning a complete library of Super Nintendo games, then the one or two dollars you will pay for this cart in a used game store is probably worth it. Having seen Pit Fighter sitting on the shelf for such a low price the past fifteen years, I took that as a sign that this was one game to avoid. Knowing that my older brother did a fine job protecting me from garbage games back in the early nineties, I knew there was a reason I had never played Pit Fighter before. Having put this game in to play for the first time in the year 2015, I did not expect much.

Pit Fighter's graphics didn't have much... kick.
You will begin the game by choosing from a shallow roster of three characters including a wrestler, kickboxer, and karate master.  The shoddy graphics and basic interface are noticed immediately.  You may be disheartened by the graphics right off the bat.  This disappointment sets the bar for what is to come.  The poor look of this game cannot be excused by its date of release as other arcade ports that released about the same time look far better.  After choosing your character you are dropped right into a fight and without warning the S&M clad opponent immediately begins to kick your teeth in.

A one-two-three combo roster.
Movement and actions in the game are frustrating to say the least.  You may kick, punch, and grapple without any sense of real control over the moves.  Your best bet is to furiously smash the buttons and pray that something lands.  Health is metered by a number instead of a bar and if you manage to win the first fight, you will be going into the second one with whatever health remains.

The Good
There just isn't anything good to say.

The Bad
We hate to get down on a game that had a staff of people working hard to deliver. I wouldn't want someone taking a dump on my work. With that said, I wonder how this game ever made it past quality assurance. It's just... not good.

Final Thoughts
Pit Fighter is the oldest fighting game on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System but it is easily overlooked and forgotten.  And rightfully so. Due to its extremely poor design and gameplay mechanics, Pit Fighter possesses nothing to earn it any sort of gratuity.  What could have been the father of the fighting genre on SNES, is nothing more than that weird uncle nobody wants to be around.  Play Pit Fighter if you literally have nothing else to do.  Better yet, don’t play it at all.

This retro review was made possible by Cartridge Gaming 

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Mark Ball is the editor and founder of Nintendo Love Affair. He started this foolhardy project out of love for Nintendo and its products. He spends his days teaching, writing, and adventuring. Follow him on Twitter @marksball

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