Sonic the Fighters. Sega AM2. (1996) Arcade

sonicthefighters

Imagine a world where for every good Mario game there was a “Mario is Missing” and “Luigi’s Time Machine“?

Imagine living in a world where you would do anything for the ones you love, only for them to spit a big green loogie in your face?

Well folks, that is the world Sonic fans have lived in since around 1994. Craig in his Sonic Adventure 2 succinctly alluded to the fact that the more of Sonic’s extended universe appearing in a given game the worse the game was, and with Sonic and 7 of his buddies in tow, how do you think the game shapes up?

Gameplay

It doesn’t, Sonic the Fighters is just awful, and like Sonic R it is broken with its imbalance. Tried playing Sonic R as Amy? Don’t bother, you can’t win a race. In a good racing game the characters are well balanced, everyone can win. In Sonic R you can’t win with more than half the characters.

Now picture a fighting game that has 8 characters and 6 of them might as well not exist? That is pretty sums up the roster in Sonic the Fighters.

  • Sonic – Alright
  • Tails – Nobody gives a flying fuck
  • Knuckles – Alright
  • Amy Rose – Terrible
  • Espio the Chameleon – Terrible
  • Fang the Sniper – Terrible
  • Bean the Dynamite – Utterly Terrible
  • Bark the Polar Bear – Utterly Terrible

Each character is supposed to have a strength/weakness, for example Bark is hard, but slow. Problem is he is so slow that a blind paraplegic would be able to dodge his overly telegraphed moves and counter him. ALL the other characters are equally flawed such as the speedy ones being REALLY speedy but doing zero damage.

It is Virtua Fighter, just without the depth.

Now imagine the random difficulty spikes of Mortal Kombat but with a twist. Getting tired of Tails whomping your ass? Don’t worry, you will suddenly be flawless victorying his ass. Won 5 rounds perfectly in a row? Don’t worry you’ll lose the next 10.

There is no rhyme nor reason to it except “game says you win/lose now”. It all adds up to a terrible game, and a very poor gaming experience.

Yes, Sonic the Fighters DOES get this blurry

Yes, Sonic the Fighters DOES get this blurry

Story

Dr Robotonik is building Death Egg II, Tails decides to build a single seat plane to fly to Death Egg in the hope of destroying it. Tails then hosts an eight way battle to the death, where the victor of each round takes the Chaos Emerald from his presumed dead former chum and claims the seat on the plane. The winner of the tournament then combines the EIGHT Chaos Emeralds allowing you to beat Robotonik and Metal Sonic.

– It isn’t as though that only 7 Chaos Emeralds exists or anything. So they break the only real rule in the Sonic universe, and the plot hinges on Tails being too much of a prick to build a slightly bigger plane.

Bean the fucking Bean in the head!

Bean the fucking Bean in the head!

Overall

Sonic the Fighters explains a lot to me. I can now understand why Sonic fans get so salty about life and criticism of their beloved franchise. Sonic fans are akin to abused spouses with Stockholm Syndrome, or the more sinister “they only beat me because I burnt dinner” type. They are so blinded by the one time Sonic turned up to their house on Prom night with a nice bouquet of flowers, and they forget about the beatings.

Sonic fans, you don’t deserve it. Nobody deserves to be treated this way. Play Mario, I know he has eyes for other genres and has a wide repertoire of cash-ins, but at least he spent more than 5 minutes cobbling them together. The worst Mario games are better than 90% of the Sonic Universe.

Seriously, move on. You deserve better. If we try to put some perspective on the game, even the Sega Saturn didn’t want to get a home port. You will find this bundled on the Sonic Gems collection for PS2 or Gamecube, but this is the second compilation released, meaning it containedall the shite deemed not good enough for the first collection.

Again, avoid.

Pros: Not playing the game, it doesn’t look as bad as Sonic R

Cons: Playing the game when you could literally be doing anything else. I hate Craig for making me play it. The game gave me diarrhea for 3 days.

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20 thoughts on “Sonic the Fighters. Sega AM2. (1996) Arcade

  1. Summed up my feelings on it pretty well there! I only ended up playing this through one of the Mega Drive collections that was released on PS2, but it was so bad I think I suffered temporary arthritis of the thumbs whenever I even thought about playing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa, you definitely didn’t like this one! I really enjoy it though and still have it marked down as one of the more enjoyable Sonic games. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, Sonic 2006, Shadow The Hedgehog, Sonic DX, and Sonic Battle are my top 5, but Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Heroes would likely be the next 2. The roster is definitely small, but the sound effects were killer and it was always satisfying to slap your opponent around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just couldn’t get into it. I found the character balance to be way off, and random difficulty spikes were just weird.

      Interesting list of favourite Sonic games though, I have heroes and Shadow but never played them.

      Sonic Adventure 2 will always be weighed down by how bad SA1 was.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no, I definitely liked that game quite a lot. I gave it an easy 8/10 and it probably would have gotten a 9 if it had been a teensy bit longer. That’s a general complaint I have with most Sonic games though, I just wish the adventure would continue on and on. I’m just a huge fan of Sonic in general so I have really enjoyed almost all of the games in the series. Most of them get at least an 8 or higher with only a few of them being a miss for me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree that it was short, think my play through (on PC) clocked in at a little over 5 hours. It came across as a respectful retrospective of Sonic games of the past though. The latest one has just released on 3DS but I’m reluctant to try it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely, Generations was handled well. I’ll definitely be grabbing the new Sonic Boom game myself since I enjoyed the first, but I’ll probably wait until the price goes down a little. I’m hoping we get a Sonic Adventure 3 at some point, but for now I guess I can be satisfied with Generations 2 coming out soon and Boom to pass the time by. Hopefully they’ll be able to be closer to 10 hours although I won’t hold my breath.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mania should be fun. I’m a little disappointed that it appears to be a remake with a few new levels, but I never really got to play most of the old Sonic games so I’ll probably still pick it up as long as it is a physical release. It is the big anniversary game after all!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I never played it too competitively so it’s hard to say how balanced it is, but some characters are definitely better than others. Even in top 5 all time competitive games like Melee and Smash 4, only a fraction of the cast is viable at higher levels. I imagine here that roughly 1/4 or less of the fighters are actually good. In Melee, only about 3-4 out of 25 are good and in Smash 4 it’s a little better with around 10-15 guys running around. Some in Sonic the Fighters are definitely doomed, but intentionally picking a low-tier can be a good way to win respect and credibility from peers at tournies.

        Liked by 1 person

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