In the early 1990s, Street Fighter II was the undisputed king of fighting games. Upon the tremendous success of that game, many companies created their own fighting games to cash in on the genre. Dozens upon dozens of fighters tried to claim the fighting crown. Some tried admirably, while others failed miserably. Where does Tuff E. Nuff fit into the mix?
You Feeling Lucky Punk?
The storyline is a very familiar sounding one. In the year 2151, a war to end all wars devastated the earth. In the aftermath, civilization was destroyed. The entire world was left barren and desolate. Those who were the strongest took control. Does this ring a bell?
Anyway, a man named Jade, the fighting king, amassed power and influence and uses an old tower to hold fighting tournaments. Participants of Jade’s contest were never seen again.
Then, four fighting champions from around the world decided to join one of Jade’s tournaments. You will play as one of the four champions to see if you’re “Tuff E Nuff” to defeat the Jade King. Are you up for the challenge?
Controls and Gameplay
Controls are typical for a fighting game. Y is used for a weak punch, X for a strong punch. Press B to execute a weak kick, and A for a strong kick. You can throw your opponent with the strong punch or strong kick when you’re in really close quarters. Holding left or right in the opposite direction of the adversary will make your fighter block. Pressing up or diagonally back up or diagonally forward up will allow your character to jump. The shoulder buttons are not used.
Each fighter has three special moves. If your familiar with the Street Fighter II special move controls, you’ll get the hang of controller sequence here for the most part. However, there are moves that are pretty tricky to pull off without the help of sheer luck.
Playing through the game, you can tell it borrows some character designs from other titles. One glaring similarity is between two of the fighters Zazi and Syoh. They have the exact same moves! And guess what? They both employ moves that look very similar to the Hadoken and Dragon Punch. I’m surprised Jaleco didn’t get sued over that one.
Also of note are the characters:
Whom do these two characters remind you of??
There are three modes: Story, Player1 vs. Player 2, and Vs. CPU.
Story mode is is the meat of the game. You’ll be able to choose from 4 heroes looking to defeat Jade in his own tournament. There are 10 stages in all. You’ll square off against the three other heroes in a stadium before entering the tower and defeating a sub-boss or two per floor ala “The Game of Death”, until you reach the top of the tower to duel Jade.
Vs. CPU mode allows you to fight certain sub-bosses seen in the story segment. Just select the enemy you want to face off you go! There’s a code that will allow you to select any boss: At the mode selection screen press left on the controller pad 3 times, right 3 times, then left again 7 times and press start. You now can fight against any boss you like!
Obviously Player 1 vs. Player 2 is the two player mode. At first glance, it seems you and another player can only select the four heroes… and that would suck. Here’s another pro-tip folks: Press right on the control pad 3 times, left on the control pad 3 times, and right again 7 times and press start. If you have done everything right, you can select any character in the game in 2 player mode!
Speaking of two player mode, it should go without saying I had more fun playing with a human opponent. This would make a good game to play for an all guy’s night or something to that effect.
The game is enjoyable, but lacks the polish needed to make it great and stand out among fighting games.
Firstly, the story mode doesn’t really have a story. There are no conversations between fighters before or after the fight! Most fighting games at least have a scene after the battle having one fighter tell the other how well he whupped them. Even more egregious is the fact there is no ending cinematic telling you what happened after you beat Jade. All you get is a black screen with a few words, then the credits. That’s it! I have heard the Japanese version had real endings. Shameful!
Secondly, none of the characters in the game really stand out. They all seem rather generic. Heck, Syoh and Zazi are Ken and Ryu clones for goodness sake! Jade sort of reminds me of M. Bison. As a matter of fact all of the characters remind me of personalities from other games. Lack of original design really hurts this game.
Thirdly, the fighting mechanics aren’t as refined and tight as for instance, Street Fighters’.
Finally, it doesn’t have the “it” factor; that intangible magic which can’t be described, something that games like Street Fighter II and Samurai Shodown possess. It’s too bad, because I saw some potential here.
There is one thing that is unique about this game. Tuff E Nuff includes a replay function. When the match is over, you’ll will be able to replay the final moments of the fight. You can rewind and fast forward as many times as you want before you move on to the next match. It’s a novel addition, but I would’ve preferred to see more time spent on character design.
In terms of options, you can select between 3 difficulties, modify controls, and turn the time limit on or off.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are solid. Characters are detailed and have enough animation frames to make their movements look fluid. It’s just the characters seem to be knock-offs, and that detracts from my enjoyment of the sprite graphics.
Backgrounds are have good amount of attention put to them. Clouds in the sky and dust clouds stand out. Besides that there’s nothing spectacular, but everything serves its purpose and aren’t an eyesore. I also enjoyed objects that can be seen in the forefront of certain stages.
The tunes are the highlight of this game. There are a few pieces in this game I could listen to over and over again. The tunes for Vortz and Gajet stand out most. However, sounds effects are only ok. Sometimes the fighter’s voices sound muffled.
Besides the instant replay feature, there’s nothing original about this game. Everything has been done before and done better. The game is playable and has a certain degree of fun, but it doesn’t come close to taking Street Fighter’s crown. Next challenger please!
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