Everyone has a secret little pastime. I find happiness in train spotting, while Big AC looks as though he participates in a spot of Pit-Fighting in his spare time! How else can you explain his bleary eyes, blank expression and general complete disarray every Monday morning?
In Pit Fighter the Tengen coin-op conversion two-players a compete as either Ty, Buzz or Kato. Ty the kickboxer is the most agile of the three, Buzz is a powerful, but slow moving, ex-wrestler and Kato is merely your common or dojo third degree karate black belt (see Peter Sellers' 'Pink Panther' movies).
The enemy is known as 'The Executioner' and 'The Ultimate Warrior' (the ultimate bad guy and your last opponent). To reach the 'Ultimate Warrior' you must first battle past seven other opponents. After every third bout your fighter enters into a grudge match with a mirror image of himself for bonus cash and a harder reputation (like Ed Laurence's).
In the excellent two-player mode another character can be controlled by a friend or enemy, whichever you like. Just make sure you've practiced enough to whop him.
The main sprites scale in and out of the screen in much the same way as their arcade parents, with some decent sound effects too. Most worthy of note is the incredible title screen and accompanying sound track. Although a touch awkward at first, character control soon becomes second nature and beating the living blazes out of the computer, or even better a friend, is very satisfying. Good value at this price.
Label: Hit Squad
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Paul Davis
STEVE: Even with Street Fighter II claiming all the glory at the moment Pit-Fighter still contains some unique features (the use of weapons for example) to mark it out as a worthy addition to any beat 'em up fan's collection.
Well it's finally here and it's bigger and badder than even we had imagined! The production team of this little number had their work cut out for them from the very start and have amazingly not only stuck to the coin-op's game style, but made a totally convincing attempt to keep it's look as well!
Pit Fighter's digitised graphics would take up an immense amount of memory on the humble Speccy, so rather than reduce game play to non-existent levels the programmers have cheated a little and redrawn the characters to make them LOOK like they're digitized. The result is very impressive. Up to four large sprites patrol the screen at any one time whilst the backgrounds are occupied by punters, gamblers and the like egging the fighters on.
The idea behind the game is as beautifully simple as Ulreka Johnson (T.V. am weather girl). Take control of one of three pro fighters Ty (Kickboxer), Kato (Karate 3rd degree Black Belt) or Buzz (Pro Wrestler) in an illegal brawl against eight different opponents, all of whom have their own techniques and dirty tricks. Once you have defeated seven of the eight street warriors the finale takes the form of the Championship Match and your war weary hero must defeat the Ultimate Warrior. But that's not all because every third round is Grudge Match time and you must grapple with your friend (in two player mode) or an exact replica of yourself to gain the knockout!
Don't be fooled by the shallowness of the scenario it's going to take that extra special bit of spunk to be King of The Pit. If you're fresh out of spunk however, throwing stars, crates, kegs, barrels and iron bars are all on hand to be picked off the pit floor and are lust as good. If all else fails a friendly body can be scooped up and hurled at the meatheads! And believe me nothing's as enjoyable as picking up a huge mound of offensive blubber and bouncing him off the decks.
Enclosed in some of the pit objects are flashing power pills which make the recipient twice as STUDLEY as their enemy and reduce the aggressors to half strength. Take care though, if one of the mongrels gets to the pill before you do you'll probably be watching the next World Cup from a hospital bed. At the end of a bout there are three ratings. A Fight Purse tells you about the dosh you've won, a K.O. bonus for how many knockouts and a Brutality Bonus tells you how brutal you are.
Loads of different moves are available to your characters and they are all unique to the fighters. Ty has an awesome flying spin kick, Kato the flip kick and Buzz cracks skulls with the pile driver to name just a few.
The much talked about graphical excellence of Pit Fighter's sprites could be misleading. Taken out of the game and examined closely they are nothing more than a series of well used blocks, but integrated into the game they are a joy to watch. Most appealing of all is the way the sprites get bigger or smaller as they come towards the front of the screen or go back. This is more apparent in two player mode when one of you is in the foreground and one in the back, swapping between the two. Speed and updating of code is always constant and if is the overall smoothness and slickness of the games appearance that is excellent (sounds not bad either!).
Nothing quite like Pit Fighter has been seen on the Spectrum before and although there is a tiny delay between joystick command and actual sprite reaction Pit Fighter is realistic a beat 'em up as you could want. If there was such a contrivance as a beat 'em up sim this is as close as you could get!
Price: £11.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen
GARTH: I'll admit it, I didn't think Pit Fighter was possible to convert but now I've seen the game I'll believe that any thing's possible on our Spec chum (Hurrah!) etc!
YVETTE: Man I love anything with muscles and these boys certainly have got what it takes!
STEVE KEEN: Excellent intro animation screens set the scene tor an excellent conversion against all the odds. One of the few two player games out that is just as much fun played alone.
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