Forgotten Gems: Fighters' Megamix

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Very few people could argue against Super Smash Bros. Brawl being the modern epitome of fan service.  Its characters hail from every corner of the Nintendo universe.  Really, where can you see Star Wolf engage in an intense duel with Meta Knight?  The only other place lies in the fever-addled dreams of a Nintendo mega-fan.  In fact, the game might be overstuffed with nostalgia.  You can't throw a pokeball without hitting a trophy shaped like Little Mac or a CD that plays the theme of Tetris.  However, the fans wouldn't have it any other way,  To them, this is fan service done right.  Moreover, Brawl isn't just a hit with fans, it's a hit with every gamer.  The game's sales have reached and exceeded the multi-million range here in the US.  Clearly, pandering to the fans works wonders.  Of course, the question remains: why hasn't anyone else tried to emulate Nintendo's winning formula? Surprisingly, Nintendo wasn't the first to capitalize on their fans' wishes.

1997 was brutal year for Sega in North America.  Similar to previous two years, Sony's Playstation was soundly kicking the Saturn's poorly designed behind all over the store shelves.  Moreover, many developers stopped supporting the Saturn because of its unnecessarily complex architecture, and flocked to Sony's platform instead.  To last nail in coffin seemed to be Sega of America's refusal to bring over any of the (rather good) selection of Japanese titles. Thankfully, there were a few particles of brightness milling around in this bleak void. 

For one, Sega had an awesome stable of arcade titles.  From this rich tradition, Yu Suzuki and AM2 crafted a game that would be become one of the ultimate expressions of love towards the Sega brand.  True to its name, Fighters' MegaMix was crazy blend of everything Sega.  The base game pitted the more realistic Virtua Fighter combatants against the anime-inspired pugilists of the Fighting Vipers universe.  Moreover, The styles of the two games meshed together.  The game retained the complex move sets and combos of Virtua Fighter 2, but it also borrowed Viper's air recovery and armor systems.  Furthermore, AM2 even added the escape button from VF3!  The union between the two fighters didn't win any awards for balance, but it fun with a capital F.  What added to the amusement was the plethora of hidden characters stashed in the game disc.  Who doesn't want to duke it out with the race car from Daytona USA? That's right, no one!  Even the name entry screen plays a tune from Outrun.  Oh my god, I almost forgot to mention the coolest thing of all: you get to fight as a giant pickle in leather chaps and topped off with a ten-gallon hat.  Yes, this game is AWESOME!  Take that, Nintendo!   

 

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This page contains a single entry by EthanShepley published on September 10, 2010 5:03 PM.

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