ClayFighter 63 1/3 Review

ClayFighter 63 1/3 goes right back to boring players to tears.

ClayFighter was originally a Super Nintendo game. At the time, it was a welcome change from all the other fighters out there. It made use of Street Fighter-like gameplay, but replaced all the characters with clay figures such as Bad Mr. Frosty (a snowman with an attitude), Icky Bod Clay (a ghostly pumpkin-head), and the Blob (a mass of clay that formed into various shapes like a block or a buzz saw when necessary). ClayFighter 2 continued the tradition, stretching the already-hair-thin premise to the breaking point. ClayFighter 63 1/3 picks up where the series left off and goes right back to boring players to tears with its derivative gameplay, pathetic graphics, and annoying sound effects.

The gameplay in ClayFighter isn't simply stolen from Street Fighter anymore. Now the game has the moves and super moves of Street Fighter, the already-ill-conceived combo system and dual life bar from Killer Instinct, and finishing moves a la Kombat. The characters can sidestep, but it doesn't prove to be a very useful technique, aside from dodging the occasional projectile. Unoriginality aside, the game is also pretty uninteresting to play. The CPU AI is sketchy at best - most of the time it simply can't fight, but from time to time it unloads a 13-hit combo on you without any warning. Then it simply goes back to fighting like a dolt.

Graphically, ClayFighter falls somewhere between average and horrible. The backgrounds are polygonal, and look fairly nice, although there is a lot of pop-up and fogging at longer camera distances. The characters look pasted on top of the world. They may have several more frames of animation when compared to the old SNES games, but they still look very choppy. The game's sound is atrocious. The only thing it has going for it is the fact that it uses lots of speech. Unfortunately, it uses so much speech (and what they're saying is so stupid), that it becomes instantly annoying. The music is also quite bad.

You really have to wonder what a company is thinking when it puts out a game like this. It simply can't compete with a real fighting game in any category. Even if the graphics and music were great, the game would still play terribly. If you're so starved for N64 games you're considering picking this game up, do yourself a favor and at least rent it first. You'll probably have a good laugh, but not in the way the developers originally intended.

The Good

  • N/A

The Bad

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.