Pit-Fighter


by Teque Software Development Ltd
Domark Ltd
1991
Crash Issue 95, January 1992   (1991-12-27)   page(s) 59

PIT-FIGHTING HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST VIOLENT GAME EVER. YOU HAVE TO BE WELL 'ARD, A SADO-MASOCHIST OR A SUICIDAL MANIAC TO EVEN THINK ABOUT ENTERING. BEING BRAVE AND MACHO (TEE-HEE -ED), MARK CASWELL `VOLUNTEERED' TO GET IN THE PIT WITH A BUNCH OF PSYCHOS. SECONDS AWAY, ROUND ONE! (DING!)

It's a funny old game, isn't it? I mean, what sort of person would want to jump in a ring and have the living daylights beaten out of them? Oh well, it takes all sorts.

Despite being highly illegal and oh-so painful, pit-fighting draws huge crowds and many young hopefuls (mugs!) who want the Pit- Fighter crown. Alone or with a partner, you play one of three chaps, all newcomers to this particular contact sport but tough as old boots. The choices are Ty, an ex-kick boxer, Kato, a karate expert, or Buzz, an ex-pro wrestler.

KICK 'EM IN THE... KNEECAP
Once the characters are selected, you're put against the toughest pit-fighters around, Including the Ultimate Warrior, the current champion. Your task is 'simply' to eliminate all contenders.

Your battle starts with the pleasantly named Executioner. Each competitor has an energy bar depleted by hits; move fast and deck 'em hard. There's a finite number of kicks and punches available plus a unique move for each character.

Once a combatant's energy bar hits zero they're out of the contest (and probably dead). If, by any remote chance, you win a bout, your score is totted up, according to how well (and how aggressively) you fought. A basic 'fight purse' is awarded to the victor, then KO and brutality bonuses awarded, if warranted.

Every third bout is a grudge match, where you battle either a computer-controlled clone or a mate. Yes, the pit's a tough place to be, but you're no big girl's blouse... are you?

WHAT'S THE GAME LIKE, THEN?
Unfortunately, it's a pile of doggy doos. I'd hoped games like STUN Runner and Hydra were a glitch in Domark's marketing plan. But sadly, Pit-Fighter is, ironically, the pits! The graphics are horrendous. The sprites seem to have been expanded from half an inch to around four inches in height, resulting in a blobby mess lumbering around the screen like a pregnant hippo. Combined with very jerky scrolling, this makes a very disappointing game, which is a shame 'cause Pit-Fighter in the arcades is very spiffy indeed.

MARK ... 29%


'You have got to be joking! This isn't a computer game, it's the poor reception you get during a thunderstorm! On loading, there's a display of badly digitised animation and pathetic expanded text accompanied by a tune which drives you potty. I battled through the control selection and started a game only to be stunned in disbelief! Each sprite seems to have been defined really small end blown up to fill the screen. Perhaps this was done to compete with the likes of Final Fight - failing, of course. The graphic artist has used some colour in the graphics... pity it leaks out of the fighters and into the background, really! Come on, Domark, what are you playing at? There are much better beat-'em-ups available for a couple of quid, down the market. I know the Spectrum doesn't have the graphic capabilities of 16-bit machines but its games don't have to be this bad. If I'd paid £10 for this pile of rubbish I'd be well cheesed off. Keep away!'
NICK ... 24%

Presentation: 28%
Graphics: 15%
Sound: 33%
Playability: 30%
Addictivity: 26%
Overall: 27%

Summary: Oh dear, whatever's happened to the ace coin-op? It's been poorly converted, that's what!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 71, November 1991   page(s) 13

Doom, death, destruction, disruption, dissection, distortion and, above all, distress. Yes, one of the most violent arcade games in a long time has been converted to the Speccy. It's harder than a very hard thing that's been lovingly soaked in creosote for three days.

But then, when was the last time you played a computer game which didn't have any violence in it? Personally, I think you're far more likely to have been knocked down by a king size skateboarding strawberry with sunglasses on, than have played a game untainted by the ghoulishness which is icky violence. (Rant, rant, rant! I think it's time for your afternoon lie down Andy. Linda)

Pitfighter is a beat-'em-up, pure and simple. However, in this particular game there are none of those namby-pamby rules like no hitting below the belt, no head-butts, no knives no chainsaws and no harsh words. Nope, in this game you can use any means at your disposal to knock out your opponent. And that includes shouting harsh words at them.

The game is played in a kind of make-shift arena. It's make-shift because the limit of the ring is actually determined by the spectators. It's all remarkably reminiscent of those altercations at school when everyone would gather round in a big circle and shout, "fight, fight, fight". The peeps around me edge do a good deal of jumping up and down, although they aren't a very vociferous bunch.

PSYCHO-KILLER IN THE RING, (TRA-LA-LA-LA-LA!)

At the beginning of the game you can choose your character. You've got a choice of three - Buzz, Ty or Kato. Each of these psychotic personages has their own brand of peculiar fighting skills and, therefore, varying chances against their sadistic opponents. Take a peek at that lovely box over there and swoon over the tanned and muscley fighting machines.

Once you've decided which character you'd like to control, you can really get into the match. Your first opponent is a grisly chap named The Executioner. He isn't too hard to beat, although as you progress through me game you'll find yourself up against harder and harder scrapping kings and queens.

To win a fight all you've got to do is knock your opponent out. You can tell how well (or how badly) you're doing from a bar meter at the top of the screen. There are seven options open to you in the fight arena. You can jump, duck, kick, jump kick, defend punch, perform your secret funky move or pick up an object. So, if you can anticipate what your opponent is going to do, you can either block him or make sure you whack him first.

On each level mere are various collectables. There are knives, bales of hay, and even motorbikes that can be sent smashing into your opponent. (Oh, and we'd just like to make clear that we don't recommend throwing motorbikes around after a heavy lunch - you'll only strain yourself!)

After every two victories a grudge match takes place. If you've been playing in the two-player option then your opponent is your friend. If not, you get to give a computer-controlled character (who's wearing exactly the same as you) a pasting. Succeed, and yet more money is pumped into the old purse to be spent down at the pit-fighters tuck shop.

Plain, honest-to-goodness violence it might be, but Pit-Fighter does get a bit boring. It'll probably end up being one of those games that you load up in order to have a quick scrap with a mate. Y'see, the computer players get a bit samey (especially if you don't progress very fast), so the two-player option is your best bet. Personally, I think I'll stick to my Etruscan stamp collecting, thankyou very much.


Life Expectancy: 78%
Instant Appeal: 81%
Graphics: 80%
Addictiveness: 77%
Overall: 80%

Summary: A simplistic but largely enjoyable beat-'em-up which owes much to International Karate.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 87, March 1993   page(s) 43

Hey. it's 1993 and all the European barriers are down! I was thinking of doing a review in German as a bit of a celebration of the fact, but my German vocabulary is either obscene or "Sprachen sie Englisch". (Actually. it's sprechen' not sprachen'. Ed) Exactly. Anyway, just as I was ready to scrap the idea Linda gave me Pit-Fighter. Hmm, perhaps it's possible to do the review using the prior example alone...

Only joking there, YS is a family magazine in any country. But let's face it, Pit-Fighter is, well, crap! Jonathan managed to sum up everything last month in the review of the Super Fighter compilation, but hey! Let's think happy thoughts instead.

Pit-fighting is your average pummel-someone- to-death sport. It's more illegal than owning an Oric-1, and all the action takes place in a pit. Could this be where the name comes from, perhaps? You have six moves to your advantage. Kill your opponent and you go into a pointless Grudge Match, where you just hit a clone of yourself. To quote Jack Dee. "Huh!"

The graphics are huge, and keep rescaling (probably because the programmer's proud of his rescaling routine) so it takes an aeon or two to update each frame, and everything jerks. The view you have zooms in and out faster than me with a touch of botty trouble, and for absolutely no reason at all! It's ridiculously hard to line up with opponents and weapons due to all this, so when one kick hits 'em, don't move back or forth!

Another thing... I'm the first to admit that I'm crap at a lot of action games, but on my third go I managed to get through seven rounds and into the championship! My technique was unusual in as much as I just wanted to see the frames of animation, and wasn't really trying to play it! This says a lot about the difficulty level.

Finally (phew!) it only loads in 48k mode, but the inlay just says '128K-Select Loader option'. It doesn't work! Aargh! Disinformation! Basically, leave Pit-Fighter on the shelf, and buy Smash TV (or Steg if you haven't done so already) and make your Speccy feel happy. Me? I've already put in the bin, and now I think I'll scrape all the old powder from the drawer of my beloved Rinsamatic just to recover from the shock.


Overall: 30%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 133, March 1993   page(s) 31

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
Memory: 128K
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.

Graphics: 92%
Sound: 79%
Playability: 82%
Lastability: 82%
Overall: 84%

Summary: I was impressed with Pit-Fighter's superb graphics when it was first released and at this budget price it really is a stylish steal.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 116, October 1991   page(s) 23

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!

Label: Domark
Memory: 48K/128K
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.

Graphics: 89%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 79%
Lastability: 80%
Overall: 85%

Summary: Excellent intro animation screens set the scene for an excellent conversion against all the odds. One of the few two player games out that is just as much fun played alone.

Award: Sinclair User Silver

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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