Everyone has a holiday tradition. Mine is a month of digital self-flagellation that will someday have paid service to every shitty fighting game ever made. This probably seems weird to you, but as far as I’m concerned it makes about as much sense as anything involving Die Hard.
Welcome to the Kusoge Advent Calendar. Consider this a moment of cultural exchange.
I’m AJ. You might know me as TyroneSama. I celebrate Christmas with a hand-picked roster of 25 forgotten fighting games, some of which fell into obscurity and some of which were sealed away with forbidden magicks at the center of the earth. With the help of a few friends—Abbock, Keegan, Sleepmode, TTTTTsd, and Zari0t, all fighting game archaeologists with an unusual propensity for digital dumpster-diving—we spend a month unleashing evil upon the world and laughing at it.
I look forward to it every year, mostly because I am extremely stupid.
#1: Dynasty Warriors (PS1)
“The First One.” —Keeg
Dynasty Warriors (the series) is about large-scale battles between Eastern-flavored armies; you sprint and whirl around the battlefield with elaborate combo sequences, cleaving through seventy dudes in paper-mache armor with a single casual swing of your not-at-all-overcompensating polearm. Dynasty Warriors (the PS1 title) is a one-on-one 3D fighter.1 None of your moves combo into anything at all, and your character moves like a bookcase sliding down a flight of stairs.
Put another way, the second entry in the series—and every entry afterward—was deliberately designed to be the exact opposite of this game. I probably don’t have to write a lot about this one.
As it turns out, it takes more to make a successful fighting game than allocating 95% of your budget to motion capture and hitting the fucking gas. Much like Tekken: The First One, this is a product of its era—when realtime 3D was new and exciting and gleefully stomping all over responsive gameplay, turning every goddamn fighting game in like a 5-year period into glacial mush in the name of Smooth Animation. It worked; reviews of the time are loaded with glowing praise for the game’s visuals and framerate, which is no surprise considering its contemporaries,2 but they get suspiciously quiet when it comes to the actual gameplay. At least there’s some scattered applause for the “deep and nuanced” parry system, which is I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA DO THING BUT HE DID OTHER THING with weapon clash sound effects.
I can appreciate that Dynasty Warriors exists—fighting games of this era started gravitating towards longer and flashier combos, which is a trend I’ve never been a fan of, so this game’s conspicuous lack of anything that looks or functions like a combo is sort of admirable to me. With that said, Soul Edge beat the fuck out of this in almost every category a year before Dynasty Warriors even came out.3 You shouldn’t play it.
Fortunately, we can always count on early PS1 titles to deliver on laughably bad prerendered cutscenes, because something has to fill up that CD space (and the admittedly-decent soundtrack can only go so far). As far as I’m concerned, the 10 minutes of ending cutscenes are the only part of the game with any value of any kind. Even then, you probably want to skip the one where a guy gouges out his own eyeball and eats it. (This actually happens.4)
Zari0t: God I love early PSX-era CG cutscenes.
Keegan: you ever fuck up a fighting game so bad that you basically invent an entirely new subgenre of action game by creating a massively successful series that gets deals with multiple hugely famous licensees and ends up becoming the de facto name for the subgenre just to escape your mistakes
TTTTTsd: Taishi Ci’s clothes and body are genuine goals that I have now set for myself.
#2: Dragon Master (Arcade)
“It has a guy named Jedi Ryan in it.” —TTTTTsd
I forgot Dragon Master’s name almost immediately after playing it.5 Five seconds after opening my stream archive, I remembered: “Oh, Dragon Master is the game with the forward-moving jumping low that you can cancel into itself.”
Half of the people reading this just physically recoiled, and the other half just opened Fightcade to check for a room. It’s one of those.
You might not realize it at first, though, because Dragon Master doesn’t look like a horrible jankfest. It only becomes obvious when you spend a little time with it, when you realize that kick specials randomly come out when pressing punches. Or that back-charge moves break your charge if you crouch. Or that all jumping normals are active forever. Or that some lows seem to randomly become mids. Or that corner behavior is more unpredictable than the rate at which I publish articles.6
I don’t think any character in this game has a cohesive theme or playstyle; I remember individual special moves better than character names or costumes, probably because every character is basically a vehicle for a single special move anyway. Flip a coin; if it comes up heads, it’s because this special move is broken beyond belief through the infinite power of bad programming.7 If it comes up tails, it’s because that special move makes a noise like the “My longest yeah boy ever” guy asphyxiating inside a locker.
Every system in the game is broken or insane, from the Spirit meter—which scales all damage you deal and drains whenever you do anything, requiring constant babysitting to prevent your attacks being reduced to gentle suggestions—to the high score, which stops the game for celebration in the middle of the match.
I enjoyed boss character matches over Parsec, but some people enjoy huffing spray paint. I don’t know how this thought was supposed to resolve.
Abbock: We joke about lowverhead but I didn’t think we’d really see it this year… and so early in the calendar! Most amazing to me is how well I remember the music of this game.
TTTTTsd: Hi I labbed Jackie and basically invented his meta, and even with that in mind: I still know nothing about how this game works. Good luck blocking Klaus Garcia!
Keegan: look, I’m not saying fighting games should have more jumping lows, but I’m also not saying that they shouldn’t
#3: Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (PSP)
“The best version of the worst game in the series” —Zari0t
God fucking dammit.
Earlier in the year, during the Kusoge Vacation Calendar, Zari0t submitted Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper, a GBA port of a game I’ve already played and don’t like very much. Come December, I end up with the PSP port of a game I’ve already played twice and didn’t like either time. I, uh, still don’t like it. Alpha 3 fucking sucks.
With that said, as a port specifically, Alpha 3 MAX is alright. I’m a sucker for Capcom home ports of this era because of the wild character editor shit, and MAX is probably the star of the show in that regard; “World Tour” mode allows you to tweak stats and add abilities8 until your customizations look more like SNK bosses than Alpha 3 characters. Beating the shit out of Final Bison and Shin Akuma with an indestructible nightmare engine never really gets old.
Alpha 3 MAX also includes every extra character from every other port,9 plus Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution because why the fuck not. I shouldn’t complain about the extra characters—really, they’re bonuses, there’s no reason for me to get mad—but the art style disjoint tilts me. Alpha 3 already sort of feels like a bad MUGEN project, and seeing four different styles of sprite on-screen at the same time kinda seals the deal, which is beautiful but also horrible in some way?
Play this for Turbo 7 Reverse Dramatic Battle or don’t play it at all.
TTTTTsd: I love seeing CVS sprites and animations next to Adon’s head rocking win animation.
Keegan: You know, if you’re going to put a fighter on a handheld, the least you can do is offer the sheer weird breadth of single-player content and customization on hand here.
Actually, do it on consoles too. It’s funny.
Zari0t: [Comment rejected with extreme prejudice.]
#4: Capoeira Fighter 3 (Flash)
“‘sleepmode why did you give me another flash game’ listen. trust me” —Sleepmode
The fact that this game exists at all is proof of a higher being directing the course of events in the mortal world. His name is Scott Stoddard.
I feel powerless when I try to talk about Capoeira Fighter 3. It’s a fucking titan. A fighting game with a cast this large and systems this interesting, made largely by a single dude in his spare time, in Adobe Motherfucking Flash? Nothing I say about this should matter to anyone. You have to play it—that’s not a recommendation, it’s a statement of fact.
Let me try to explain the development philosophy of Capoeira Fighter 3. This is a game with extremely limited aerial play and fairly low jumps, intended to be somewhat grounded in its namesake Brazilian martial art. Despite this, there’s adjustable gravity tucked away in the settings menu; at its lowest value, every character acquires a moonjump that can keep them airborne for upwards of 15 seconds. That’s not the fucked part. The fucked part is that when you turn this on, it only takes a minute or two of casual exploration to realize that the game is actually designed to be playable this way—hovering, fastfalls, aerial drift, rules involving whiffed air normals and blocking, the works. All this for a throwaway menu option that many people will never see.
Anyway, it turns out that those systems and restrictions are central to Gravity 1 Money Game, a Capture the Flag mode in a fucking fighting game.
Listen. It is important to me that you experience this—not just Gravity 1 Money Game, but the entire earnest, beautiful, bizarre package. Fortunately, because it’s in Adobe Goddamn Assmangling Flash, you can do that right fucking now!10 4-button game, the stamina bar mostly restricts special attacks and dodges. Every button is a light attack, medium attacks are forward+button, heavy attacks are back+button. Ghost style isn’t as good as you think it is. There are infinites on every gravity setting and they’re all really funny, but none of them really break the game as far as we could tell; 63214BP can be used out of hitstun if you have enough stamina. Do the tutorial, it’s aaight, and bring a friend if you can.
Sleepmode: Scott Stoddard already snapped making a far more functional and interestingly designed fighting game than Flash should ever possibly allow, but then he went and included a capture the flag versus game alongside the ability to give everyone moon jumps.
Gravity 1 Money Game CF3 is a better simplified fighting game than Fantasy Strike, Divekick, and Señor Footsies combined.
Freyaday (?!): Money game is real, BTW.
Abbock: THEY JUST WANTED TO MAKE A FIGHTING GAME BASED ON THE MARTIAL ART THEY LOVE SO DEARLY AND THEY FUCKING DID IT IN FLASH, THE ABSOLUTE MADMEN
Keegan: The guy who made this is in the credits for Fortnite.
#5: Shijyou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi!: Gekitou! Ragnarok Hachikengou (PS2)
“a game about rigid 50/50s and the grappler is bottom tier.” —Abbock
My opinions on Eighting are…unstable, but no matter what you have to say about them, you can’t deny that they get one thing right every time: feel. Every Eighting game I’ve inadvertently brushed against has had responsive controls that are easy to wrap your head around, with just the right amount of impact to hits. This thing—which I’m going to refer as Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, because if you know this property, that’s probably the name you know it by—is no exception. It’s just fucking fun to move around and hit stuff, and by reaching that mark it’s elevated above a lot of stuff I’ve played, both on and off the calendar.
With that in mind, this game is kinda stupid.
Like all Eighting games, there are some things that are probably way stronger than they have any business being for how easy they are. For Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple’s, besides the obligatory easy-bake 50%+ combos,11 a one-button universal counter turns a lot of exchanges into terrifying blind guesses. If you don’t have the guts to dash up and enter the Strings On Block Slot Machine, expect to spend a lot of time shuffling around playing 2D footsies with 3D buttons.
TL;DR, it’s dumb but it’s fun. Pick the guy with the hopkick, it’s a good move.
Abbock: Easy control scheme? Check. Blockstun that’s either way more or way less than you’d expect? Check. Various recycled animations from prior projects? Check. Single move loops that do way too much damage? Check. Responsive controls and satisfying game feel? Very check. Welcome to 8ing.
Keegan: 8ING STOP MAKING THINGS THAT ARE FUN
#6: The Battle of Yu Yu Hakusho: Shitou! Ankoku Bujutsukai 120% (PS2)
“At the boss, choose 100% and clench your asscheeks.” —Keeg
This is on the calendar for exactly one reason: 100% Toguro, a final boss that presumably hangs out and drinks with the General on weekends. Before I get to the main event, though, let’s entertain the idea of playing this as an actual fighting game instead of Toguro Simulator.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Shitou! Ankoku Bujutsukai kinda sucks. Movement is dry and clumsy, defense is entirely one-dimensional, and the cast wildly varies in size, making move properties inconsistent and causing strings to whiff at random.12 It’s a pervasive set of core issues that prevents anything from feeling “right”, and unfortunately the rest of the game doesn’t pick up the slack.
Ankoku Bujutsukai does have one interesting mechanic; special moves cost meter and burn maximum health on hit, which sticks between rounds. This is a cool idea, if extremely headass, but it has such a miniscule impact that it’s barely noticable outside of bosses.13 I’m not familiar with the source material, so I’m probably not the target audience, but I don’t think this is going to remain interesting to anyone except absolute series diehards for longer than an hour. Maybe lab monsters will have some fun, since there’s a surprisingly detailed training mode,14 but if you find anything interesting I’ll be shocked.
If you’re going to play a Yu Yu Hakusho fighting game, play Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen. If you’re going to play a fucked up licensed fighting game for the PS2, play Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. If you’re going to play an anime-flavored fighting game with “120%” in the name, play Asuka 120% Burning Fest. Don’t play this.
With that out of the way, here’s the main event. You get to choose how powerful the last boss is, and if you select 100%, you will never, ever, ever, ever win.
100% Toguro is so unbelievably fucking shredded that he can bust up half your lifebar by striking a pose and screaming. The resulting shockwave has the fastest startup of any offensive tool in the game, a massive 360° hitbox, knocks down on hit, and combos into itself for as long as he wants. Your job is to convince the AI not to use this move, which is impossible.
There’s something kind of funny about watching 100% Toguro attempts, because every once in a while you’ll convince yourself that the AI is finally caught in a loop. Toguro will eat sweep after sweep for nearly 30 seconds, soaking them all up with a massive regenerating health pool, and then stand up and scream at you five times. Game over. Oh, and don’t even bother with projectiles; step out of range of The Scream and you’re stuck blocking fullscreen high/lows at lightspeed, each projectile volley burning off 10% of your max health. Y’know, just in case you wanted to feel more hopeless in the next round.
I beat this on stream with an unlockable character, courtesy of a GameFAQs save. Moments later, I discovered that the original unlock condition for that character was “defeat 100% Toguro.” I don’t give a shit. I’m taking the W and I’m walking away.
Keegan: The fact that they took playable Koto out of the PS2 version is a crime. (Dear AJ: look up Koto, she has a cute design)
Abbock: THE GENERAL VS YOUNGER TOGURO | DEATH BATTLE (gone wrong). Further proof that Dimps is a bunch of madmen and it is against both fate and reasoning that they became such an important part of Street Fighter’s history.
#7: X-Men: Next Dimension (GCN)
“It’s like DOA but it kills you upon ingestion, much like cyanide. Good hitboxes.” —TTTTTsd
To properly showcase X-Men: Next Dimension, I’ve selected 22 seconds of gameplay footage versus TTTTTsd, who originally listed this game on the calendar. Let’s take a moment to watch it together.
00:00.440: “You can 8-way run with analog, but you cannot jump with it.” The only way to jump is to use the D-pad. Switching between two opposite movement inputs mid-game seems like a very good idea.
00:02.890: T, as Psylocke, does a Naruto run.
00:03.457: Psylocke runs headlong into an unceremonious boot to the face. Take a moment to appreciate the hit effects that don’t exist.
00:04.490: The most lenient jump-in combo in the history of the world.
00:04.940: Juggernaut’s command throw is not very good.
00:05.607: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:06.907: The super meter is in 3 segments, but T’s super only consumes the rightmost segment, leaving some scattered bits of meter in the other two. You swap your allocated meter between segments at will, with each one triggering a different super and filling at a different relative rate. When all 3 bars are filled, you unlock a super listed as “level 4”, which makes sense. Anyway, Psylocke thinks very hard. We still don’t know what this is supposed to be doing.
00:08.440: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:08.890: Psylocke unleashes the forbidden MIND SWORD. Juggernaut’s left boot enters the floor.
00:09.374: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:09.940: Psylocke unleashes the forbidden MIND SWORD. This is not a combo.
00:11.490: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:11.974: Psylocke unleashes the forbidden MIND SWORD. I stare at the screen, still not blocking, reduced to the awareness and reasoning ability of a cicada.
00:12.374: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:13.574: Juggernaut briefly floats a few inches off the ground.
00:13.874: “I can’t tell if that’s Juggernaut’s hurtbox or Psylocke’s hitbox.” There is a very simple reason I’m having trouble with this observation.
00:13.924: I chickenblock the MIND SWORD by accident. Because there is no visual effect for blocking attacks, no one notices.
00:17.640: Psylocke activates the Reality Stone.
00:17.774: Juggernaut begins levitating.
00:19.040: X-Men: Next Dimension is a video game.
TTTTTsd: Hey AJ I’m really sorry. This is a half true statement. This game is what happens when you try to half-bake a half-baked idea. I don’t know what this game’s “feel” was supposed to be, but it was pretty bad.
Sleepmode: Fuck, dude. X-Men Mutant Academy 2 was a super fun game, and apparently the “next dimension” was turning the game into Dead or Alive without any of the animations or hitstun effects that make Dead or Alive coherent. And also adding year long cutscenes to jump cancels, I guess.
Abbock: All I knew about this game was a combo video I saw once. After watching the KAC stream, all I know about this game is a combo video I saw once.
#8: Big Bang Beat (PC)
“How the fuck did this evade us for so long” —Zari0t
Heartbreakingly gorgeous spritework, Hokuto no Ken boost cancels, and a girl with a sword; given that premise, the fact that Big Bang Beat missed the mark will always make me a little bit sad.
When I’m playing doujin games for the Advent Calendar, I like to do a little testing first, because the Japanese indie scene has a habit of churning out some of the most technically incomprehensible games I’ve ever seen.15 I grabbed Big Bang Beat from the usual place, posted a screenshot in the Advent Calendar group chat to verify that all was well, and Zar responded quickly with a sentence that sums up this whole experience: “You downloaded the wrong game, that’s the good one.”
See, there’s Big Bang Beat, which is weirdly dificult to get your hands on, and there’s Big Bang Beat Revolve, the unlikely sequel. Both are based on an AliceSoft16 H-game, some weird tactical clusterfuck called Daibanchou: Big Bang Age; I will never understand what compelled anyone to make it into a fighting game, much less two.17
I’m still not sure what to think of Big Bang Beat. I like the cast, I like the music, I like the effects and feel and the clarity of the visuals, and I had almost zero fun. I’m not even entirely sure I can explain why. Could be the anemic damage, or the wildly permissive air blocking, or the rigid chain system that almost discourages exploration, making every blockstring joyless and predictable. What’s there is well-made, but something about it doesn’t come together.
Revolve fares a little better, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Chain restrictions and combo rules are given some room to breathe, but there’s still that awkward sense of blindly rifling through the movelist looking for something that might theoretically juggle, and the visuals somehow got worse—the spritework is smeared through an ugly filter with no option to turn it off, and the punchy VFX of the first game is replaced with overdone screenshake and weird particle effects.
At least we got a Sadclaps tournament out of it.
TTTTTsd: This game may not be peak doujin, but it is VERY close. It’s also very bad.
#9: Flying Dragon (N64)
“N64 Fighter with ambitious features… where have I heard this before?” —Abbock
It’s weird that the N64 is cursed territory for fighting games; a controller with six face buttons should be a perfect fit for arcade fare of all kinds, but instead we get shit like Flying Dragon, which is two bad games on one cartridge.18 (I’m not the only person who reflexively recoils at the sight of “X games in 1”, right?)
Virtual Hiryu goes in the “early 3D fighter” box, which I’d recommend hurling into the sun at your earliest convenience. The game doesn’t feel awful; dashes and sidesteps are pretty snappy, even if they have 60 years of recovery, so it’s slightly more possible to actually play neutral instead of the typical “vaguely evasive mash”. With that said, the usual disclaimer applies: unless you’re looking for an esoteric lab-monster experience, you’re not missing out on much.
SD Hiryu is…something. It runs at half the framerate of Virtual Hiryu and feels 10 times less responsive, probably because it’s more of a wackass RPG than an actual fighting game? There are life bars and hitboxes and throws and special moves, but basic controls feel breathtakingly bad even by early 3D standards, and the game seems more interested in the equipment and customization systems than gameplay.19 If you’re into that shit, more power to you, and I hope you enjoy your upcoming 10th birthday.
<gunstar1997> Woah we changed games? <gunstar1997> Had to turn away for a sec <abbock> same game gunstar <gooeyheat> no we didn't change game <gooeyheat> that's the fucked up thing <happa98> it's the same vidya <gunstar1997> What?
Both SD Hiryu and Virtual Hiryu have some neat system-level customization, letting you adjust juggle properties or switch between 2D and 3D movement, and there’s a surprising amount of stuff to do if you’re willing to tolerate AI fights. I wasn’t. This was one of the shortest playarounds in the Advent Calendar, and I didn’t finish either mode.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, and I’ll probably never say it again, but…if you’re going to play a 3D fighter on the N64, play G.A.S.P!! Fighters’ NEXTream instead. Don’t get me wrong, Flying Dragon is an objectively better game, but even Virtual Hiryu mode is just shitty Virtua Fighter 2. Nothing on the cartridge is new or interesting, least of all the endless grind for items that might not even be possible to complete?
G.A.S.P!! has impressive visual flair and great music—both areas that Flying Dragon falls short in—but more importantly, it’s so spectacularly shitty that it justifies its existence purely through the spectacle. Flying Dragon can’t manage that; it’s as mediocre as they come.
VERDICT: DOUBLE ASS
Abbock: Cmon… it’s like two games for the price of one! How can PS1 fighters compete? Let’s be real, if you had this game as a kid you’d think it was the bee’s knees.
#10: Crucis Fatal/Fake (PC)
“hey this isn’t fate/unlimited codes” —Sleepmode
I have innate respect for any game with the balls to give a character an armored unblockable. When that armored unblockable covers half the screen, you know you’re dealing with something special.
Based on the Fate series,20 Crucis Fatal/Fake is a lore-compliant tag game; you choose two characters, one Servant and one Master. Masters have low health, no access to assists, and lead to an instant loss if they’re killed, but keeping them in front lets your Servant regain red health. The system creates fun moments of drama and makes the occasional death combo way funnier.
Crucis Fatal/Fake is one of those rare 3D games that actually wants you to move in all three dimensions. After so many Advent Calendar games where 3D movement is barely relevant, it’s cool to see a game like this come along; sidesteps are better defense than blocking, and stages have all sorts of weird shapes and obstacles to contend with. Add airdashes to the mix, along with some refreshingly straightforward combo rules, and the result is a game where you just kinda run around and do stuff.
Moveset design definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste; some characters are able to cut off massive swathes of space with very little commitment, which leads to some awkward situations on some stages, and the overwhelming strength of lateral movement makes neutral feel a bit dumb. Fate/unlimited codes this is not, though it does come surprisingly close to that magic Eighting polish; Fatal/Fake approaches designing a Fate fighter from the opposite direction, and the result is something that feels refreshing even if it doesn’t feel particularly deep.
Sleepmode: This game does what I wish Tekken did more of—actually make really diverse, varied stages that affect gameplay in unique and interesting ways. If I had to live in some bizarro universe where this was the officially licensed Fate fighting game and unlimited codes was the doujin game, I think I’d be okay with that.
Continued in Kusoge Advent Calendar 2018: AFTER
Wikipedia lists the Dynasty Warriors series under the genres “Hack and slash” and “fighting”, lowercase F. This makes me really happy for reasons that I can’t adequately explain. ⤴
SAME CONSOLE, SAME RELEASE YEAR. ⤴
I don’t even like Soul Edge. ⤴
5:13 - 5:41 ⤴
Dragon Master is in some kind of competition with Street Fighter for the most generic title. Like, really, everybody knows Street Fighter, but if it hadn’t achieved the explosive success it did, would you have remembered the name? …Maybe I’m the wrong person to be talking about this, since I get lost in my apartment the size of a refrigerator box. ⤴
next week guys lol ⤴
Example: Fireballs that can OTG only if the screen scrolls away from them. I don’t even know. ⤴
Ever wonder what Alpha 3 would look like with an aerial magic series? …Just me? ⤴
Dee Jay, Fei Long, T.Hawk, Guile, Evil Ryu, Yun, Maki and Eagle ⤴
Keep your adblock on, who knows what’s on Flash games sites these days? ⤴
Button button button launch button button button ground bounce button button button activate button button button super. Or, if you picked the correct character, hopkick hopkick hopkick hopkick hopkick button button button activate button button button super. ⤴
It also looks incredibly fucking goofy. Like, okay, I get that it’s old anime, but some of these characters just look like their models got imported at the wrong scale, and others are 90% legs by weight. ⤴
Like 100% Toguro. We’re getting there, I promise. ⤴
Frame data and everything. Why don’t good games get this kind of attention to detail? ⤴
True to form, the default gamepad bindings caused the game to lag to a single frame per several seconds, timing out while it attempted to poll gamepads that weren’t there. It’s not the only Advent Calendar game that’s done that, either ⤴
Weirdly, this is the second game I’ve played on the Advent Calendar with cast members lifted from an H-game; Twinkle Queen was the first, setting what might be the lowest possible bar for this particular trend. That bounty is still unclaimed, for the record. ⤴
Apparently both of these games got standalone releases in Japan; even if you exclude those, there are still a fuckton of games in the Hiryu no Ken series, proving that I constantly underestimate the number of people willing to play single-player in fighting games. ⤴
From the back of the box: “Choose between RPG-style and “virtual” tournament combat…Over 20 different characters and 200 different items. Save your characters on a Controller Pak and play them against your friends!” ⤴
Which I know virtually nothing about, so don’t shoot me ⤴