Eternal Champions. Sega Interactive (1993) Sega Genesis

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Alright, do you have a 6 button Genesis pad? No? Well go get one, I’ll wait.

6 months later

Bought one yet? I ask because if you try to use a regular 3 button pad then it is almost impossible to do any move in Eternal Champion. The punches are one set of three, the kicks the other, like Street Fighter. But imagine playing street fighter with 3 buttons and having to quickly press the start button to switch to a different attack?

Sounds abysmal doesn’t it? Well that is what happens if you use a three button pad. Now go buy the 6 button pad like I told you to.

I still don’t understand why some character select screens didn’t show everyone!

Difficulty

I thought I was terrible and unable to beat the first match because I only had 3 buttons, turns out I’m just shit. Really REALLY R-E-A-L-L-Y SHIT. Even with 6 buttons I can’t beat the first fight. I can’t even cheese a shit jump kick win or fluke one round.

I never claim to be good at Tournament Fighters – orĀ  as Craig incorrectly calls them “beat ’em ups“, numb nuts a beat em up is Streets of Rage – Sorry, bit of a side bar then… but I freely admit to being terrible at punchy kicky games and my favourite ones tend to be ClayFighter, Tekken, or Mortal Kombat 4 because they are easy, fun, and I can complete them. That said I do appreciate a good beat em up/punchathon/fighter-majig, unfortunately I can’t really tell if Eternal Champions is a good one or a bad one.

Can’t beat this guy, and the UI is awful

Politely sitting on a fence

So I can’t play the game, I’ve spent a few hours trying the game with different characters and I still can’t beat the first level so I can’t talk much about it.

The moves are not the easiest to pull off and they don’t feel intuitive. I can play most tournament fights and figure out how to throw an hadouken type move. For the life of me I cant figure out any moves in Eternal Champions. This led me to the internet and a fair few YouTube videos.

Some stages loot decent enough

I still can’t do any moves. I really can’t. I have tried 8 (yes EIGHT) different pads (3 are 6 buttons) and nope. Still can’t do shit. The enemy simply doesn’t give you a chance and will fuck your shit up.

Tekken works because it has difficulty settings that allow you to slowly learn the game. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat work by starting easy and ramping up the difficulty allowing you to learn the moves.

Eternal Champions starts at “Goro” and I don’t know where it goes from there as I can’t beat Goro.

The speed and finesse of a wounded gazelle

One thing I can comment on other than my shear ineptitude is that Eternal Champions feels a little stilted. The combat is not smooth, and from what I have experienced is not on a par with Street Fighter or even Mortal Kombat and watching YouTube videos some moves lack animation frames.

Movement is relatively crisp and you can leap around the screen like a cheetah on a trampoline. But do a roundhouse kick and it looks like a 24st me trying to roundhouse kick. That is to say poorly, and not in the slightest bit speedy or gracefully. Just in case you imagine me as some lithe spinstress.

HAHAHAHA, this fatality is just a fucking vine dragging you into the sea…

Watching the rest of the game on YouTube

Even watching better people play Eternal Champions it still feels ponderous with battles taking an age to be over. The final boss is a test of your patience too, in this fight the 99 second time limit doesn’t actually drop and the boss either whales away at you or blocks. It means your moves have to be timed perfectly or you need to hope you luck punch him a few times.

The epilogues for each character is a massive disappointment, since the concept of Eternal Champions is you’re dead and fighting for the chance to be sent back to before you died the epilogue shows none of this. Instead you get a really dry description as the credits roll when you beat the game. I know a Genesis wasn’t going to have a CGI cutscenes but it could have used a few still images and do the credits PowerPoint style like the N64 did.

Urrrgh, a text crawl

Overall

Anyway…

I’m not going to score Eternal Champions I am simply too shit at it to be able to fairly score it. What I will do is advise you to not bother playing it. There is simply too much of a time commitment to getting good enough to beat a level.

If you have that skill then you might enjoy the game, but chances are if you have that skill you have been playing it for 25 years. If you’ve never played it there isn’t really a reason to try it. There are better fighters out there and almost all of them will be more user friendly and have a much fairer learning curve, with a fairer pick up and play style.

Pros: Interesting story

Cons: a bit stilted, too hard for me, small roster, moves awkward to pull off. Looks like shit compared to all its contemporaries

Fuck it.

55%

Back in the Day:

Eternal Champions received mixed reviews at release with many people suggesting it was a disappointment scoring between 60 and 80%.

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