APTN National NewsThe federal New Democratic Party is calling for an independent investigation into the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Justice Canada’s conduct at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.On Wednesday, the tribunal panel accused both departments of knowingly misleading the tribunal and the parties involved in a discrimination case against the government.“The government has obligations at this tribunal,” said NDP Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder. “And they are well aware of them and they have disregarded those obligations.”The tribunal is hearing a case brought on by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations. Both accuse Canada of spending less on First Nations child welfare than what provincial governments spend for non-First Nations children.The controversy is around tens of thousands of documents relevant to the case that Canada failed to disclose to the tribunal and the parties involved. The discovery of the 50,000 documents only came after Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, became curious about the lack of information being disclosed by Canada at the hearing.In the fall of 2012, Blackstock filed an access to information request to Aboriginal Affairs. In April 2013, she received a compact disc containing thousands of records dealing with First Nations child welfare agencies across the country and information regarding some of the witnesses who had already testified at the tribunal for the case.When Blackstock cross-referenced the information to what the government had disclosed, she found that the information was no where to be found.“There needs to be an investigation into the procedure,” said Crowder. “Who made the decisions? If the access to information hadn’t come up, those documents may never have come to light.”The tribunal panel overseeing the case chastised the government for its lack of transparency.In a ruling released Wednesday the panel wrote: “The respondent (Canada), knew of the existence of a number of these documents, prejudicial to its case and highly relevant in the summer of 2012 and yet failed to disclose them.”According to the panel, the government knew back in October 2012 that it would miss its deadline to disclose the records set for February 25, 2013. It was informed by the company it hired, Public History Inc., that it was at risk of missing its deadline because of the vast amount of information it was sifting through.The government hired a second company to assist in the procedure. Canadian Development Consultants Inc. that also informed the government in March of 2013 that it would not have a package ready until the end of September.“It is deeply troubling that the federal government continues to delay and obstruct an inquiry aimed at achieving fairness, justice and safety for First Nations children,” said Jonathan Thompson, director of Child Welfare for the Assembly of First Nations.”The panel noted in its Wednesday ruling that Canada had several opportunities to inform the tribunal and the parties of the extent of the information and the delays but failed to do so, “had the respondent communicated the challenges it faced in obtaining these large amount of disclosure, the tribunal, with the parties, could have worked together to find a solution. The respondent has denied this opportunity to everyone and forced the tribunal, to put it bluntly, into a mode of damage control.”“The lengths to which this government will go to avoid accountability and responsibility is simply astonishing,” said Liberal Aboriginal Affairs critic Carolyn Bennett. “Their priorities are crystal clear in this case: political damage control is more important to them than the wellbeing of Aboriginal children. Canadians should and will be disgusted by this.”Now months behind schedule, the hearings into the discrimination case will resume in September.Cindy Blackstock supports a call for an independent investigation but only on certain conditions.“I would very much welcome an independent review so long as it respects the integrity of the tribunal process,” said Blackstock. “It is very concerning to me that in a case impacting 161,000 children that the Government of Canada has repeatedly tried to derail the tribunal hearings using procedural technicalities and within the past month has been found responsible for violating both the Privacy Act and tribunal disclosure rules in relation to the child welfare case.”APTN asked the department of Aboriginal Affairs to respond to the allegations leveled by the tribunal panel. Instead, the following statement was sent by the department.“Our Government believes that the best way to ensure First Nations children and families get the support and services they need is by working together – with First Nations, provinces and territories. To date, the government has provided 158,000 pages of relevant material to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and we will continue to abide by their rules and procedures by ensuring that all documents relevant to the proceedings are provided.”email@example.com
WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump works out the details of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), he’s thinking about adding a possible meeting with China’s president to his itinerary.The White House hasn’t released details on when Trump might meet Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) as the leaders try to settle a trade war between the economic powers.Trump tells reporters he’s considering trying to see Xi when he’s in Asia later this month for expected denuclearization talks with North Korea’s Kim.Trump says the time and date of his summit with Kim will be announced next week.The Associated Press
Sheni said another 20 of the locally built gunboats would be delivered to the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy has commissioned 30 locally made and nine Sri Lankan gunboats into service, and unveiled an indigenous 38 metre long patrol vessel, the Defence Web in Africa reported.The vessels were commissioned in Lagos on 17 August in a ceremony attended by Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Danjuma Sheni and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, amongst others. The 30 gunboats, which are 8.2 metres long, were built by the Epenal Boat Yard in Port Harcourt. Officials said they would be used to patrol the Niger Delta. The vessels displayed last Wednesday appear to be armed with ST Kinetics 40AGL automatic grenade launchers. Nine of the boats were earlier acquired second hand from Sri Lanka for $4.2 million. They were handed over on 6 May in a ceremony in Sri Lanka. According to the Sri Lankan Navy, six Arrow class boats and three Wave Rider class boats were handed over in what the Navy said was its first international defence sale.The 14.5 metre long and 3.5 metre wide inshore patrol craft are powered by two 350 HP engines. They are equipped with a radar system, GPS and electronic compass. The contract included training for Nigerian personnel in Sri Lanka. In addition to the smaller gunboats, the Nigerian Navy will receive a locally built patrol boat, which was apparently also commissioned last week. NNS Karaduwa is the second Seaward Defence Boat to be built in Nigeria and is 38.9 metres long. (Colombo Gazette) Ete-Ibas was reported by local media as saying that said the Epenal-built boats were an improvement on 30 others unveiled in Port Harcourt in February and featured modifications that improved sea-keeping, amongst others. He said the vessels contribute to Nigeria’s national security and prosperity and come at half the cost of acquiring vessels from overseas, something that is important as “mounting operational challenges in the face of [the] progressively dwindling economy necessitated the navy to explore more cost saving options through local construction of these patrol boats.”
“The best solution to the conflict in Darfur is to achieve a lasting peace, allowing conditions to normalize so that citizens can live without fear or intimidation,” Mohamed Ibn Chambas said in a news release wrapping up a series of field visits, his first as the head of the AU-UN peacekeeping mission in the Darfur (UNAMID). The joint envoy’s eight-day trip from April 22 to 30 included meetings with “representatives of internally displaced people, traditional leaders, State authorities and UNAMID staff,” a spokesperson for the Secretary-General told journalists today in New York.In East Darfur, Mr. Chambas travelled to Labado and Muhajeria, where clashes between the Sudan Liberation Army – Mini Minawi and the Government of Sudan have displaced thousands of civilians in recent weeks causing them to take refuge near UN peacekeeping bases. On 29 April, UNAMID and its humanitarian partners delivered the second phase of emergency aid to the families. The first phase of the operation was conducted on 23 April, and consisted primarily of delivering food rations, bottled water and medical supplies delivered and protected by UNAMID peacekeepers, and provided by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).In meetings with authorities in East and South Darfur, Mr. Chambas stressed “the importance of ensuring continued access by UNAMID and humanitarian organizations to enable the delivery aid to the IDPs concentrated around the UNAMID Team Sites in Muhajeria and Labado,” according to today’s news release. An estimated 200,000 civilians remain near the bases.Also in Muhajeria, Mr. Chambas met with UNAMID personnel and expressed appreciation for their professionalism in the protection of civilians, particularly after the killing of a Nigerian blue helmet and injuring of two others by unidentified assailants. In Central Darfur, the UNAMID chief highlighted the benefits that both the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur and the Darfur Donor Conference’s $3.7 billion in financial pledges could bring in terms of achieving lasting peace and much-needed development in Darfur.The Doha Document, negotiated with the support of the Government of Qatar, forms the basis for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting that began in Darfur ten years ago, pitting government forces and allied militiamen against rebel groups.The Sudanese Government and two major rebel groups have committed to the accord. During his visits, Mr. Chambas met with internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Hassa Hissa and Nertiti Camps in Zalingei, Central Darfur, the Kalma Camp in South Darfur, Shadad and Niyasha Camp in North Darfur and Mornei Camp in West Darfur. He also met with State leaders, including South Darfur Governor or “Wali” Adam Mahmoud Jaral-Nabi and East Darfur Wali Abdul-Hamid Musa Kasha.Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate, but is also tasked with contributing to security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements and assisting with an inclusive political process, among other responsibilities.According to UN estimates, some 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since the conflict between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen erupted in 2003 and about 2.7 million others have had to flee their homes. Both sides have been accused of numerous human rights abuses.
Addressing the opening of the 2015 session of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Eliasson called on the UN system, the international community and all concerned stakeholders to work to revive negotiations for a two-State solution and end the impasse between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples which, he noted, had dangerously deteriorated. While originally designated as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 2014 had been “grim” for the region, as talks between the two sides broke down and violence escalated, he continued. Last summer, for instance, hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of almost 2,200 Palestinians and 72 Israelis, along with the wide-scale destruction of the war-ravaged enclave. According to a recent UN assessment, as it stands now, over 100,000 homes remain damaged or destroyed, affecting more than 600,000 people. Many people still lack access to the municipal water network. Blackouts of up to 18 hours per day are common. He added that Gaza remained “a desolate place under blockade and with much human suffering” and called on donors to fulfil pledges made at last October’s Cairo conference for the reconstruction of Gaza.In addition, the year also saw rising levels of violence in the West Bank with incitement fanning religious tensions in the region and beyond. “I regret that the parties have since taken unilateral steps that have deepened mutual distrust and distanced them from a prospect of negotiated settlement,” Mr. Eliasson declared. “I urge both parties to refrain from any action that could further exacerbate the situation and to demonstrate the necessary leadership for reaching and implementing the difficult decisions that lie ahead.”The Deputy Secretary-General reiterated that Israelis, Palestinians and the international community together held the responsibility for what had become “a collective failure to advance a political solution” to the crisis and said “all good forces must now be mobilised” for a new, successful push for peace.“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our Organization, I call on this Committee to exert all efforts to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights,” Mr. Eliasson concluded. “I reiterate the commitment of the United Nations to help achieve a just and durable peace between Israel and Palestine, resolving the conflict by ending nearly half a century of occupation and establishing a sovereign and independent State of Palestine – living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.”
WHEN YOU THINK of wearable technology, watches, glasses and clothes would come to mind, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has applied this technology to reading.The project, called Sensory Fiction, allows readers to experience the protagonist’s emotions through a wearable vest.The vest uses a combination of sensors to convey a character’s emotions through vibrations and other indicators.Depending on what part of the book you’re reading, any changes in the protagonist’s emotional or physical state triggers feedback either through changing the heart rate, creating constriction through air pressure bags or by changing the temperature.The prototype book used was a science fiction novella called The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree Jr., which won the Hugo Award for best Novella in 1974.The researchers chose this story as the basis because “the deep love and ultimate despair” the main protagonist experiences throughout the story.The project was one of many created in the Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class. (Video: Felix/Vimeo)Read: Google developing smart contact lens that will aid diabetics >Read: Smart ring sends you phone updates to your finger >
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR David Petraeus, who resigned in November after revealing he had had an extramarital affair, will join the investment fund KKR.It quoted people close to the situation as saying Petraeus would lead a new institute created by the fund and specializing in economic forecasts, public policy and emerging markets.KKR, which has specialized in taking over large listed companies, hopes to cash in on Petraeus’s contacts and experience to assess potential acquisitions, the paper quoted its sources as saying.Since leaving the CIA, Petraeus, 60, has said he planned to teach at the University of Southern California and City University of New York.Petraeus, a hero of the Iraq war and former commander of the allied force in Afghanistan, took over the CIA in 2011. He was one of the most decorated and respected military people of his generation.He resigned November 9, 2012 after admitting an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, 20 years his junior.© AFP, 2013Read: Obama: ‘No security threat’ in Petraeus and Allen sex scandal>More: New twist in Petraeus sex scandal as top US commander investigated>
Woman (40s) dies after house fire broke out in Co Meath this morning The fire broke out at around 9.40am in a house on Castlemartin Avenue. 7 Comments Share119 Tweet Email Mar 23rd 2019, 2:56 PM Image: Google Maps 22,558 Views A WOMAN IN her 40s has died in a house fire in Co Meath this morning. The fire broke out at around 9.40am this morning in a house on Castlemartin Avenue, Laytown.Gardaí in Laytown are investigating the incident. A woman in her 40s was fatally injured in the fire. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body has been taken to the mortuary in Navan General Hospital where a full post-mortem examination will be carried out. Investigations are ongoing. Short URL By Hayley Halpin Castlemartin Avenue, Laytown, Co Meath https://jrnl.ie/4557440 Saturday 23 Mar 2019, 2:56 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Castlemartin Avenue, Laytown, Co Meath Image: Google Maps
Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie 10,883 Views Tuesday 26 Jun 2018, 6:00 AM Short URL By Michelle Hennessy Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 1 Comment Share14 Tweet Email Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie http://jrnl.ie/4090342 THE IRISH PRISON Service is currently investigating a number of allegations by staff received through protected disclosures.In its annual report yesterday, the service said six disclosures were received by the head of internal audit last year. Four of these, however, were not considered as protected disclosures as they were not made by staff as set out by the legislation, or they were considered better dealt with under standard grievance and human resources procedures.The remaining two protected disclosure allegations regarding “management practices” are currently under investigation. There is also one case under consideration from 2016 where allegations of penalisation were made by a member of staff.Speaking to reporters yesterday, Director General of the Irish Prison Service Michael Donnellan said one of the agency’s aims in its current strategy is to improve its relationships with staff:“To support our staff who do a very difficult job behind the walls on behalf of Irish society and to encourage their training and their development. So, the more open an organisation we can become, the more support we can give our staff doing a very difficult job then I think the less of those stressful events that can happen.”He also said the need to keep members of rival gangs separated in the prison is putting “huge pressure” on resources.“You’re having to run several regimes within a prison environment which the prison service technically was never set up to do.” Prison service investigating two staff allegations about management practices Another case under consideration from 2016 involves allegations of penalisation. Jun 26th 2018, 6:01 AM
NameJack Miriklis, 25.Your greatest achievementsBeing National President of and receiving life membership to NUGAS.How did you get to where you are now Perseverance, hard work, long hours and caring about the community.Your greatest challenge Leading a part of the community.Goal for the futureOwning my own IT company and continuing to serve the Greek-Australian community.Best moment of your lifeWatching as 700 people danced at the NUGAS ball and thinking, I helped create this.One word that describes youQuirky.Persons you most admire and whyJason Calacanis, a Greek-American tech entrepreneur and my girlfriend Regine for being as passionate about the Greek youth as I am.Best thing about being Greek-AustralianThe mix of culture, and our passion. If I could say anything to the Greek community… Greek youth are the next leaders of Greek-Australian community. Give us the ability and freedom to pursue new things, while guiding and educating us at the same time.Most embarrassing Greek momentWhen everyone sang Happy Birthday to me at the SAE Conference but I missed it because I was outside! Favourite place to go or hang out atVanilla in Oakleigh, Cafe Greco on Chapel Street and Pancake Parlour in Doncaster.Favourite Greek foodKeftedes.Song that I can’t get out of my head at the moment One Wild Night – Bon Jovi.I can’t live without…My girlfriend Regi, a frappe/coffee and my iPod. If I was Kevin Rudd for a day I would… Give massive tax breaks, then resign. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Apple : l’intérimaire qui a remplacé Steve Jobs grassement récompenséÉtats-Unis – 22 millions de dollars. C’est ce qu’Apple a décidé de verser à Tim Cook, le dirigeant intérimaire qui avait remplacé le PDG de la firme à la pomme, Steve Jobs, durant son arrêt-maladie. Chez Apple, on sait dire merci. Le géant américain avait déjà récompensé Tim Cook pour sa prestation en 2009 lors d’un remplacement de six mois du PDG Steve Jobs. La firme à la pomme lui avait alors versé 12,3 millions de dollars en actions. Mais Apple a décidé d’aller encore plus loin, en versant cette fois 22 millions de dollars supplémentaires à ce même Tim Cook, en actions mais aussi en espèces sonnantes et trébuchantes. Lors de son arrivée, les investisseurs s’étaient inquiétés de l’état de santé de Steve Jobs et du peu d’informations ayant filtré avant sa greffe du foie. Avec Tim Cook à la barre, les actions d’Apple ont grimpé de 85 à 140 dollars.Le 18 mars 2010 à 12:31 • Emmanuel Perrin
See All RAV4 EV sounds unlikely as Toyota doubles down on Hybrid Checking the tech in the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 2 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: A tougher looking electrified crossover • Super Bowl 2019 Toyota More on the Toyota Rav4 Car Industry Hybrids SUVs Crossovers Car Culture 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous What do the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the world’s first woman to get a full-ride college football scholarship as a nonspecialist for defense have in common? Before now, nothing, but Toyota wants to show us with its 2019 Super Bowl ad that it dropped on Monday that making assumptions about things isn’t always the right thing.Antoinette “Toni” Harris is a 22-year-old native Detroiter who became the first woman to be offered a college football scholarship to play on a regular defensive team. She is attending school at East Los Angeles College but has just signed a contract to play for Bethany College in Kansas. Comments 2:06 Super Bowl 2019 “I am thrilled to partner with Toyota on our like-minded quest to defy expectations, lead the charge without compromise and overcome adversity,” Harris said in a statement Tuesday. “I hope this will inspire others who are experiencing a similar journey.” The recently redesigned Toyota RAV4 is maybe less of an underdog than Harris, given that it is the world’s best-selling SUV, but Toyota is out to show that its hybrid models can be about more than just efficiency. In fact, the hybrid RAV4 has always been the most energetic of the bunch, and the new one keeps that tradition alive.The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid makes more power and torque than any of the other models, and along with all the myriad improvements that Toyota made to the RAV4 when it rebooted it for the 2019 model year, it is even more of a force to be reckoned with than before, just like Harris. Share your voice Tags 62 Photos Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better More From Roadshow Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar Now playing: Watch this: May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot reading • Toyota’s 2019 Super Bowl ad makes us wish we were as tough as Toni and the RAV4 Hybrid Toyota
2011 has been a tad rough so far for Sony. If it’s not coping with yet another network breach, the company is probably busy preparing itself for hack-related litigation. Following the massive PSN and Qriocity incident, Sony was targeted by lawsuits around the globe. Now Sony’s being taken to task once again, this time facing allegations that it not only ignored signs of increased risk to its networks, but also that it made matters worse by laying off members of its network security team.Prior to the very public attacks that began back in April, Sony had fallen victim to several less-noteworthy attacks. And while you would hope a company of Sony’s stature would respond to such things by battening down the hatches to secure the data of millions of loyal customers, Sony had other things on its mind. Priority was given to securing its own confidential corporate data, on which this new lawsuit alleges the company spent lavishly. There’s no crime in protecting trade secrets, of course, but when you’re aware that people are actively trying to breach your network it seems a tad irresponsible to lay off staff who are in charge of security. Yet that’s precisely what Sony did.While specific numbers aren’t mentioned in the court documents, a “confidential witness” asserts that Sony laid off a large percentage of the Sony Entertainment Online workforce — including a number of personnel from its Network Operations Center. These, of course, were the very same people who were tasked with preventing and responding to network security issues. In hindsight, that probably doesn’t look like a very smart decision — if only for PR reasons. But then again, this is the same company whose CEO said the PSN hack was just a hiccup, so maybe Sony really just didn’t get it.Does anybody with some coding skill want to do Sony a solid and whip up some kind of content-hiding tool for breach-related news like the ones which make Justin Bieber references disappear from the Web?More at Reuters
No, Solid Snake Isn’t Coming to ‘Tekken’‘Street Fighter V’ and ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Get Ne… Stay on target Every year at the Evolution Championship Series, or EVO, fighting game fanatics from all over the world gather in Las Vegas to prove who is the best of the best for glory and cash prizes. This summer’s EVO was historic for a few reasons. It was the tournament’s 20th anniversary. This is the first EVO to feature Street Fighter V, the latest installment in a series that has single-handedly defined the fighting game genre. And the SFV final were broadcast on ESPN2, creating a new sports hero, Long Island Joe, in the process.The Street Fighter games are arguably the best-known fighting titles ever released (only Mortal Kombat comes close), and the series has sold a staggering 37 million copies. Fighting games, though, have been around since the very beginning of the medium. The first one we hit on this list landed in arcades in 1976 – a full 40 years ago! Lace up your gloves, charge up your ki, and let’s write the book on the history of fighting games.I tried to play, either on original machines or through emulation, every single game that could be considered a “fighting game” in the history of video games. I’m going to try and talk briefly about as many as humanly possible, and provide YouTube links for gameplay footage, but please let us know in the comments if I missed any. And since this article is, seriously, the length of a novella, we’ve included a handy table of contents so you can easily hop between sections.Table of ContentsThe Prehistory of Fighting GamesPlay at Home: Fighting Games Hit ConsolesMartial Arts Mayhem: Everybody Kung-Fu FightsThings Get Real: Street Fighter ArrivesCopycats and Clones of Capcom’s ClassicHere Comes a New Challenger: Street Fighter IIPro-Gear Spec: SNK Enters the ArenaFinish Him: Mortal Kombat Changes EverythingBring on the Blood: Fighting Games Get ViolentCreatures of The Night: The Spookiest Fighting GamesKill or Be Killed: Killer Instinct’s Krazy KombosSuper Powers: Fighting Games Meet Comic BooksA New Dimension: Fighting Games Embrace 3DHalf and Half: 2.5D Fighting GamesBringing it All Back Home: Street Fighter II EvolvesBootleg Bashing: Street Fighter RainbowAlpha Flight: Street Fight Goes Back in TimeA New Generation: Street Fighter IIICome Together: Franchise vs. FranchiseSmash Me Up: Nintendo’s Magnificent Fighting Game MeleeArc Reactor: From Guilty Gear to BlazBlueDirty Players: Erotic Fighting GamesOdds and SodsAlso-Rans in 3DThe Worst of the Worst: Fighting Games Hit Rock BottomOff the Turnbuckle: Wrestling GamesKing of the Ring: Boxing GamesThe End of ArcadesHomemade Hand-to-Hand: Indie Fighting GamesRoll Your Own: Custom Fighting GamesReturn of the King: Street Fighter IV and MoreTo the Future: What’s Next for Fighting Games? The Prehistory of Fighting GamesThe very early days of arcade gaming were a time of relentless experimentation – before the traditional joystick and buttons setup became the norm, designers built custom cabinets with wheels, levers, bumpers and pedals. Project Support Engineering’s 1976 Knights In Armor featured a pair of levers that let two players square off as knights on horseback and attempt to unseat the other. It may well be the first electronic fighting game, but no machines are known to exist.Sega’s Heavyweight Champ was also released in 1976, and stuck closely to what we now consider the traditional fighting game model. Players controlled large pixelated boxers on the screen with an unusual control lever that was shaped like a boxing glove, moving it up and down to block and pushing it towards the screen to punch. You couldn’t adjust their positioning, and the overall play was unexciting, but the basic theme was there: hit or be hit.1979’s Warrior was a top-down vector fighting game created by Cinematronics. It was only playable by two people, who each controlled a knight with a long sword that could be used to stab the opponent or push them into holes. The game is fairly primitive, but things would get fancier pretty soon.Table of ContentsPlay at HomeArcade games were expensive to produce, but with the advent of home consoles and computers the market started to fill up with software.Boxing games would be the prime medium for man-to-man combat for some time. Activision’s 1980 Boxing for the Atari 2600 showed a pair of pugilists in top-down view and let you “block” attacks with proper fist positioning. The Intellivision got its own boxing game the next year, with a roster of six fighters to choose from, each with different abilities.In 1982, Funvision announced Karate for the Atari 2600, which featured large fighters facing off in a rectangular arena. Although the game featured a variety of attacks triggered by holding a joystick direction and pressing the Atari controller’s lone button, hit detection and movement were incredibly sluggish and the game didn’t make any real impact.One of the strangest early fighting games came out the same year for the Apple II computer. The Bilestoad was a top-down combat game like Warrior, but with pixel graphics instead of vector. It’s the first fighting game that let you chop your opponent’s arms off, which would cause some trouble later.1983’s Swordfight was the first one-on-one combat game for the ZX Spectrum, with clunky graphics and awful, cheating AI. It did, however, debut a feature that would be common in future 3D fighters – the ability to replay the match after it finished.The same year, the Commodore 64 saw Super Black Belt Karate, another very primitive martial arts game with one-button and joystick controls. It did, however, have some nice backgrounds. For the same machine, taekwondo simulator Black Belt was significantly better. The game was responsive and well-crafted, with multiple attacks and a lot of attention paid to the rules of the art – turning your back on your opponent or leaving the sparring area led to penalties, for instance.Let’s head back to the arcades for a bit to talk about some significant contributors to the fighting genre.Table of ContentsMartial Arts Mayhem: Everybody Kung-Fu Fights1984’s Karate Champ represented the next step in fighting game evolution. With a dual-joystick control scheme that let the player perform multiple different moves, it introduced features that we still use today like holding back to block attacks. The animation was jerky and the game was very difficult to get good at, but it was a harbinger of things to come.Taito’s Great Swordsman came out the same year, with three different fighting styles – kendo, fencing, and gladiator combat. Like Karate Champ, the game used a points-based system to determine the winner.Home games saw the martial arts craze boom in the early 80s. One of the most important early fighting games was Karateka, the first game developed by Prince of Persia‘s Jordan Mechner. The smooth, rotoscoped animation set a high bar for games to follow, and the quirky details – the ability to bow to enemies, for example – made it a classic.The newly-released Nintendo Entertainment System got its own fighting game with 1984’s Urban Champion, which pitted two evenly-matched brawlers against each other in a slugfest in the streets. Environmental hazards like falling flower pots jazzed it up a bit, but it’s widely considered one of Nintendo’s worst games.The ZX Spectrum battled back the same year with Kung Fu, a slow-paced combat game with four attack moves and no jumping. Interestingly, you could use your attacks to block your opponents, which added a bit of strategy, but on the whole the game was pretty dull.Yie Ar Kung Fu, released to arcades in 1985 by Konami, added one of the most important features to the martial arts genre: multiple distinctive characters. Although the player was limited to controlling protagonist Oolong, he faced off with a wide variety of foes, each with their own appearance, weapons, and special moves. Learning how to beat them required careful observation and lightning-quick reactions, and the game was a commercial success.The company would release a second fighting game that year that, while obscure today, introduced many of the features of the genre – Galactic Warriors. As one of three giant robots, players had life bars, took chip damage from blocked attacks, and could switch between ranged and melee attacks with a button press. Oh, and there was a female robot who could shoot her boobs as missiles.That same year saw the release of Taiyo’s Shanghai Kid, which also featured multiple characters and life bars, but the enemies were less AI-based and more repetitive patterns, so it wasn’t nearly as notable. It did introduce “combos” that could be performed by button mashing at specific points, as well as a primitive counter system that let you turn high attacks into throws.1985 also saw the debut of the first fighting game with a female main character in Typhoon Gal from Taito. The judo-heavy game played differently from traditional striking-based titles. The only way to finally defeat an enemy was through throwing them, and main character Yuki’s health slowly regenerated over time, giving it a keep-away aspect.At home, the multi-platform Way Of The Exploding Fist was a straight Xerox of Karate Champ, but it would wind up one of the most influential fighting games of all time. With smooth, fluid animation and detailed backgrounds, it was a huge hit. The 1986 sequel Fist II added a bogus “adventure mode” and further refined the fighting action. International Karate was so close to Champ that Data East actually unsuccessfully tried to sue publisher Epyx. It was one of the first video game lawsuits, and the courts ruled that Epyx had indeed infringed on the trademark (a ruling that would later be reversed).Listing all of the Exploding Fist copycats would take pages – some included Kickboxing Vigilante, Shanghai Karate, and Way Of The Little Dragon. There’s pretty much no reason to play any of them.Several lesser attempts also came out in the next few years – Chop Suey for Atari computers, Brian Jack’s Uchi Mata for a variety of platforms (which was the first game to feature the kind of complex controller motions that would become a staple of the genre), the NES port of Capcom’s Trojan contained a one-on-one fighting bonus game, and Sega’s dry Champion Kendo. One of the most popular was Barbarian, which sold well in part due to having a foxy bikini babe on the cover.Numerous companies had taken their own stab at the fighting genre, but soon one would debut the title that would change everything.Table of ContentsThings Get Real: Street Fighter ArrivesIn 1987, Japanese company Capcom made their entry into the genre with Street Fighter, which had some of the largest and most detailed characters in any fighting game so far. As protagonist Ryu, you traveled the world facing off with ten distinct opponents, including British punk Birdie, boxer Mike, and Muay Thai master Sagat.In addition, the game had a unique control system. Capcom had little experience making hardware, but they paired with Atari to create “punch pads” for the cabinet – the harder players hit them, the harder the punches and kicks would be. Unfortunately, these were impossible to use correctly and started injuring arcadegoers, so the company re-issued the game with a six-button replacement that would follow the series.The game was incredibly ambitious – Capcom wrote backstories for the characters, hid special moves that could be executed with specific joystick motions, and created custom backgrounds for every stage. It was an expensive production, and a commercial failure. The controls were difficult to use and the game was punishingly hard.Thankfully for fighting game lovers, the success of side-scrolling brawler Final Fight gave Capcom the confidence they needed to make another combat-based game. This time, they’d do it right, but it would take a few years, and a lot would happen in the interim.Table of ContentsCopycats and Clones of Capcom’s ClassicEven though the original Street Fighter wasn’t a success, other companies were fascinated by it. The game was incredibly ambitious, and up-and-coming software company SNK could use some of that ambition. Before the sequel came out, SNK poached several key employees from Capcom, including director Takashi Nishiyama. Ironically, Nishiyama himself had been grabbed from IREM after he made Kung Fu Master, so he was a dude in demand.Nishiyama actually developed a fighting game for SNK two years before SFII was released – brawler Street Smart. It had some interesting ideas, like being able to juggle opponents hit in the air, but it was just a start.Other fighting games in the gap between 1987 and 1991 included the very weird Kageki, which pit Japanese yakuza against each other in a strange quasi top-down environment where every fighter had a giant head. The NES version of Double Dragon had an extra mode where you could battle other people (like the earlier Trojan).The most graphically advanced fighting game of the pre-SFII era was the quirky Last Apostle Puppet Show, which featured digitized graphics of its big-headed fighters. The game itself was dull, but it’s fun to watch in action. Like many early arcade fighting games, the difficulty is way out of whack.1988’s Fighting Road for the NES had a super meter that let players launch fireballs when it was full, but the game was so difficult to control that nobody really remembers it today. Namco’s 1989 Tenkaichi Bushi: Keru Nagūru was probably the best fighting game on the system, with nice animation and 15 different characters (although many were palette swaps).Probably the second-weirdest fighting game of the decade was Spitting Image, an Amiga title based on a then-popular satirical British puppet show that skewered world leaders and celebrities. The graphics were top-flight, but as was the case with many of the early fighting games the gameplay was just Exploding Fist all over again.1989 was actually a very potent year for fighting games, with a pair of well-received titles. Hippodrome let the player take control of a well-muscled gladiator in unique battles against a variety of mythical creatures. The enemy visual design in this was the best any fighting game had ever seen, but it was painfully difficult, designed to suck quarters down at a breakneck pace.Violence Fight not only had an incredible name, but high-quality graphics with big sprites. The controls were simple, but the ability to pick up and throw environmental objects added a wrinkle to the play. The 1991 sequel Solitary Fighter had you punch a bear, so that’s a point in its favor.1989 also saw the first portable fighting game, Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King Of Universe on the Game Boy. It was a stinker, even for the time.Special mention needs to be made for Tongue Of The Fatman, which licked home computers in ’89 as well. Considered by many to be the worst fighting game of all time, it featured ten different alien warriors that you could barely control in interminable, boring bouts.1990 saw the release of arguably the most famous fighting game to date: Atari’s Pit Fighter. Using then-trendy digitized photographs for its characters, the brawler featured up to three players in the “pit” at once and spectators who would occasionally get physical with the combatants. It was a huge hit, but with the gift of hindsight it’s easy to see just how awful it was.Panza Kick Boxing was an attempt to bring Thai martial arts to home consoles, with a fealty to realism that was unusual at the time. The endorsement of French kickboxing legend Andre Panza didn’t mean much in the States, but the game itself is quite good. Even though it’s limited to the joystick and one button, it has a solid variety of moves and the player-on-player mode can be strategic and fun.So that gets us up to speed with the rest of the industry. Now let’s see what Capcom was doing in those three years to change everything.Table of ContentsHere Comes a New Challenger: Street Fighter IICapcom learned from their many mistakes with Street Fighter and in 1991 released a sequel that was unlike anything else in the arcades. Ryu and Ken returned, but now they were joined by six other playable characters from all over the globe. High-kicking Chun Li, stretchy Dhalsim, and obese E. Honda all played totally differently, introducing individual player preferences before the match even started.The team making Street Fighter II was the biggest Capcom had ever assembled at nearly 40 people. They were encouraged to come up with the wildest ideas they could think of for the player characters, and iterated constantly to make them as unique as possible.The effort paid off. Street Fighter II was an instant arcade success. The player-on-player “vs. mode” made game owners money hand over fist, as competitors were throwing in quarters every few minutes to keep their streaks going or challenge the dominant player. SFII would usher in a new arcade boom.Things start to get crazy here, so instead of going in chronological order we’re going to examine individual franchises and developers, starting with one of Capcom’s biggest rivals – SNK.Table of ContentsPro-Gear Spec: SNK Enters the ArenaSNK wanted its own fighting franchise, and Nishiyama gave it to them with Fatal Fury. The company was developing its Neo-Geo hardware, which was an arcade cabinet that took special ROM cartridges that could be switched out, giving them increased return on investment. The system quickly became known as a home for fighting games, with the Fatal Fury series joined by King Of Fighters, World Heroes, and Samurai Shodown, among others. Let’s go through those franchises one at a time and see what made them tick.Fatal Fury hit arcades in 1991, just seven months after SFII. With only three controllable characters, the game is mostly a historical curiosity. The series spawned multiple sequels, which iterated and refined upon their unique qualities. The ability to “lane change,” move into the foreground or background to dodge enemy attacks, was a major gameplay feature. Sequels continued to come out until 1999’s Garou: Mark Of The Wolves, although a final game was planned and, according to leaks, 70% completed.The next year, SNK kicked off their other major franchise with Art Of Fighting. Set in the same fictional universe as Fatal Fury, AOF introduced Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, two playable characters on a quest for revenge. The huge processing power of the Neo-Geo did allow for huge, well-animated fighters, but their sheer size kind of reduced the available strategies. Two sequels followed of increasingly lower quality. The third installment is notable for the addition of unblockable, highly damaging attacks that basically destroyed the balance of the whole game.1994 would see SNK fuse the two franchises to create their most popular series: King Of Fighters. Instead of the traditional rounds of combat, KoF let you choose a team of three fighters, all of whom had to be knocked out before your game was over – and, of course, you had to do the same to prevail over the opposing team. The fighting engine was the smoothest SNK had released to date, with the ability to quickly dodge attacks and juggle airborne opponents. KoF would receive yearly updates until 2003 and sporadic ones afterwards.1992’s World Heroes was the game that wore the Street Fighter influence most blatantly. The title removed the few innovations of the Fatal Fury series and replaced them with colorful, over-the-top characters including a robotic German army officer, a mystical Russian monk, and a French swordmistress. Although it was derivative, World Heroes controlled well and introduced some concepts to the genre, including double-jumping (ninjas Hanzou and Fuuma could jump a second time when in the air). The sequel, World Heroes II, was released less than a year later and spawned an additional pair of games.SNK debuted the Samurai Shodown series in 1993. The weapon-based fighter had detailed graphics and zoomed in and out of the screen as players got closer and farther from each other. The series abandoned some of the tropes that had become common – instead of combos chaining multiple hits, SamSho focused more on landing single, powerful blows. Sequels further refined the gameplay, allowing super moves to break weapons, introducing parries, and eventually kicking off a 3D side series.1997 would see the release of The Last Blade, which was sort of a spiritual sequel to SamSho that let you parry attacks and choose between two “modes” for your character – Speed let you chain combos, while Power increased the force of your attacks. The sequel introduced a third EX mode that would combine the two.Those are the main series, but there were piles of other one-on-one combat games on the Neo-Geo, including 1994’s brawling-based Aggressors of Dark Kombat (which also featured an instant-kill attack), anime-esque Kabuki Klash, superhero-themed Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer, weapons-based Savage Reign and sequel Kizuna Encounter (that let you switch fighters if you were standing in a special spot on the battlefield), 1996’s Breakers and its sequel, Ninja Master’s (yes, that apostrophe is intentional) that let you take out or put away weapons, Ragnagard, bizarre cartoonish Waku Waku 7, Korean-developed Fight Fever, et cetera.Table of ContentsFinish Him: Mortal Kombat Changes EverythingYou’ll notice that, up to this point, successful fighting games almost universally came from Japan. Ed Boon and John Tobias wanted to change all that. The duo worked for Midway, the arcade juggernaut that had recently acquired pinball maker Williams, and were put together to create a title that would challenge Street Fighter‘s dominance in American arcades. Tobias had worked on the extremely popular Smash TV, which fused cartoonish gore with classic twin-stick shooter action, and he figured that a little red stuff was just what the fighting genre needed.The game started as a tie-in for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Universal Soldier, but after the license fell through they kept on working on it, knowing that the game would be a hit for the company.The first thing that the team decided on was digitized graphics. Instead of the painstakingly hand-drawn sprites of their competitors, Midway would hire actors and film them on a soundstage, cutting out the backgrounds to create fighters that looked as real as technology would allow. In addition, MK eschewed holding back to block, instead devoting a button press to it. That said, the first game was pretty clumsy. Super moves had bizarre control motions, every character shared the same moveset with a few specials added on, and the balance was totally out of whack.None of that mattered. Mortal Kombat‘s impact was immediately felt. The arcade version was hugely successful, but things got really hectic when the game was ported to home consoles. A congressional investigation into video game violence brought the public eye into the arcades, and the fact that the Genesis version had blood where the Super Nintendo’s didn’t gave Sega one of its first big advantages in the console wars.The history of the Mortal Kombat games could be an article of its own. The franchise produced new installments at a breakneck pace, but unlike the incremental improvements of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat stayed pretty much unchanged for years, simply adding new characters to the mix (along with grislier Fatalities). That didn’t hurt the series much, though.Mortal Kombat 4 would transition the series to using 3D models instead of digitized photos, but motion capture was used to create their movements to maintain the traditional MK jerkiness. The new style let players sidestep attacks into the foreground and background, which was intended to add a layer of strategy to the aging fighting system. The sequel, Deadly Alliance, eschewed arcade release entirely but added the ability to select from multiple fighting styles for each kombatant.Multiple sequels followed, but the general quality of the franchise was pretty lousy. 2011 saw a reboot of the franchise that focused on high-quality mechanics, and it brought the game into the competitive scene. The latest installment, Mortal Kombat X, is the most solid entry the franchise has seen yet.Even Capcom tried to copy Mortal Kombat‘s success – the tie-in game for the Street Fighter movie used digitized actors instead of hand-drawn sprites. They weren’t the only ones, though.Table of ContentsBring on the Blood: Fighting Games Get ViolentThe success of Mortal Kombat ushered in a new era in fighting game development. Instead of mimicking Capcom’s cartoonish fighters, companies could now go the gore-filled route, and in the mid-90s multiple titles came out trying to up the ante on brutal violence.Time Killers was the first Kombat kopy to hit arcades in 1992, and it found success. In addition to gruesome blood-spurting special moves, players could chop off arms and even heads. Controls were clumsy and character design was generic, but something about the game proved reasonably popular.It was followed in 1994 by an unofficial sequel, the absurd BloodStorm. It was developer Strata’s last game, and for good reason – it’s virtually unplayable. Controls are awful, characters are ugly, and more effort was put into hidden secrets and codes than the fighting engine itself. Maybe Strata should have skipped the “big head mode” and invested in some playtesting.1993’s Blood Warrior seems like it was built as an ordinary fighting game and then had gouts and splatters of red stuff added in a hurry before it hit the arcades.Sammy’s Survival Arts came out less than a year after the first Mortal Kombat game, and it shows. It also uses digitized actors for its fighters, but the developers blew them up to such a huge size that you have no room to maneuver on the screen, making it difficult to play. The last boss also explodes into a fountain of pictures of Hitler when you finally beat him.Probably the nadir of Mortal Kombat-alikes was Data East’s completely inept 1994 Tattoo Assassins. As we’ve seen, Data East had a reputation for putting out some of the worst fighting games in the arcades, but this was something special. Digitized fighters with magical tattoos faced off in a number of gory arenas, but what made Tattoo Assassins was the fatalities and finishing moves – a whopping 2,196 of them! The game was never officially released, but it has been leaked and lord, it’s bad.The same year saw a fighting game that might have been even worse released for PCs. Catfight was published by a front company for porn studio Vivid and starred eleven digitized female fighters. How bad is it? Catfight has an 8 on Metacritic. Out of 100.Not all Mortal Kombat knock-offs hit arcades. Home takes on the concept included Naughty Dog’s Way Of The Warrior, made while the company was in bankruptcy with the motion capture done in front of a sheet in an apartment, Sega’s Eternal Champions and its sequel which fused hand-drawn artwork with stage-specific “Overkills,” and Kasumi Ninja for the Atari Jaguar, which let parents set the level of gore they were comfortable with their kids seeing.The Jaguar actually had several bad fighting games. The only things you need to know about Ultra Vortek is that it has a song on its soundtrack named “Krappin.”Interplay’s ClayFighter series was intended to copy the style of the MK games without the blood and gore – which was kind of the whole point. They featured digitized sprites of stop-motion clay animation and controlled like absolute garbage. A pair of sequels followed the original game.Once the Mortal Kombat franchise moved to 3D, copycats tried to do the same. Forgettable titles like Mace: The Dark Age, Bio F.R.E.A.K.S., and War Gods deluged the market – some of them coming from Midway itself.Table of ContentsCreatures of the Night: The Spookiest Fighting GamesLooking to kick off a new franchise, Capcom unleashed Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors in 1994. Mixing the fast-paced play of the latest Street Fighter updates with a Gothic horror theme, the game pushed the envelope with the addition of air blocking, being able to move while crouched and execute easy “chain combos” that let you link multiple attacks of different strength together. The game was originally intended to star the classic Universal Pictures monsters, but when the studio refused the license Capcom producer Alex Jimenez created an all-new cast in an hour.Some of his creations have become company-wide staples, most notably succubus Morrigan and catgirl Felicia, who appeared in many, many other games. The rest of the cast was unique and fun to play as well, and Darkstalkers spawned multiple sequels. Fans have been begging Capcom to bring the franchise back for decades, to no avail.Other interesting Capcom fighters from this era include mecha battler Cyberbots and fantasy-themed Red Earth, both of which featured the gorgeous sprite animation the company was becoming famous for. 1994’s Capcom Fighting Evolution mixed up several of those franchises into one game.Table of ContentsKill or be Killed: Killer Instinct’s Krazy KombosThe lack of blood on the Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat was a big blow to the system, so Nintendo had some interest in recapturing the fighting game demographic. They recruited British developers Rare, who worked with cutting-edge hardware to create what was without a doubt the hottest arcade game of 1995. Killer Instinct featured 3D modeled characters turned into 2D sprites, a bevy of diverse, dynamic fighters, an over-the-top announcer, and a special move that could break out of combos.A sequel followed in 1996, but the franchise lay fallow until Rare was sold to Microsoft with all of their intellectual property. 2013’s Killer Instinct brought it back on the Xbox One. Released as a free-to-play game where you had to buy characters, it’s developed into a solid tournament series. The game was hugely influential, with several companies trying to make their own Instinct killers. One notable unreleased game was Atari’s Vicious Circle, which was nearing completion at the end of the fighting game boom and bust.Table of ContentsSuper Powers: Fighting Games Meet Comic BooksComic books made for perfect inspiration for fighting games: larger-than-life characters duking it out with fists and feet was exactly what people wanted to play. In 1994 Capcom got the Marvel Comics license for fighting games and brought out X-Men: Children Of The Atom, which took mutant heroes and villains and put them in a fast-paced fighting environment that captivated arcade players.1995 saw the engine expanded to include more Marvel characters like Captain America with Marvel Super Heroes, and another sequel in that franchise followed.And then things got interesting and kicked off what is now known as the “Vs. franchise.” 1996 saw the release of X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, which used characters from the previous game as well as Street Fighter Alpha 2. Battles were now two-on-two, with the ability to tag in and out added. 1997’s Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter would expand the cast to include non-mutants like Spider-Man and the Hulk, and the next year saw the first Marvel Vs. Capcom game, which brought in Darkstalkers, Mega Man, and other franchise characters.2000’s Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 came at the end of the company’s first big wave of fighting games. Following a design philosophy best described as “insane,” it featured a roster of 56 different characters, ranging from the massive Juggernaut to the tiny Servbot. Fights were now three-on-three, and moved almost faster than the eye could follow. Even though MvC 2 was obviously egregiously broken, a rabid community of competitive players grew around it and it was played in competition for over a decade.In the interim, Capcom teamed with Japanese firm Tatsunoko to make a Vs. game using their stable of costumed heroes. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes didn’t get much scene support due to being a Wii exclusive, but the underrated game had some interesting concepts.Old-school fans lost their marbles when Capcom got the Marvel license back and put out Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in 2011. Abandoning sprites for 3D models, the sequel managed to please most fans of the franchise with the return of favorite characters like Sentinel, but some changes designed to make it more friendly to casual players like the X-Factor comeback mechanic weren’t as well-received. The game got an update, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, later in the year, but Capcom no longer has the Marvel license so don’t look for another Vs. game for ten years or so.During the period when Capcom lacked the Marvel license, other publishers got to play with it, with worse results. 1995’s Avengers in Galactic Storm, made by our old friends Data East, was a tremendously bad arcade game with low-poly Avengers facing off against generic enemies during an invasion by the alien Kree.2001 saw Paradox get the job making a tie-in game for the X-Men movie, and 3D fighter Mutant Academy was the result. At the time, it was reasonably well-reviewed, but in hindsight it looks and plays pretty badly. It sold well enough to spawn two sequels, ending with X-Men: Next Dimension on the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.Things didn’t get much better when EA got the license to make 2005’s Marvel Nemesis: Rise Of The Imperfects. The 3D fighter was the only game the two companies made together, a follow-up was planned at EA’s Chicago office but the studio closed before the project was finished, and Nemesis was a sizable disappointment. The cast of new heroes and villains, known as the Imperfects, created for the game were supposed to have an impact in comics as well, but most of them haven’t been seen since.2014’s Marvel: Contest Of Champions is a free-to-play mobile game that fares a little better, although given the limitations of the platform there’s not a ton of strategy or nuance in its fighting. It’s reasonably fun and free, though.Moving over to the Distinguished Competition, the first DC fighting game was 1995’s Justice League Task Force, released in the bold era of Mullet Superman. In an interesting footnote, the SNES version was one of the first games developed by Blizzard. How off-base is the game? Aquaman is one of the best characters. ‘Nuff said.Another DC fighting game wouldn’t come out until 1998’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which took the then-current 3D MK engine and characters and transplanted Superman, Batman, the Joker and others in, fatalities and all. The game was a novelty, and hardcore gore-hound MK fans didn’t love that the franchise’s HD debut on the PS3 and 360 was a tamer, T-rated, superhero crossover. It was the last thing Midway Games would do before entering bankruptcy.The MK/DC connection would continue, however. 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us refined the NetherRealm Studios formula, stripped out the Kombatants and created a fairly solid fighting game featuring alternate-universe versions of heroes and villains duking it out. It actually got some competitive tournament play, which is pretty rare for a DC title.1993’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters was released on three different home platforms – the NES, SNES and Sega Genesis. Each version was completely different. The fighting amphibians came back in 2005 with TMNT: Mutant Melee, a Smash Bros-esque four-player brawler. A sequel to that game by the actual Smash Bros. developers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, dropped in 2009.In other superhero franchises, 1995’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition, released to tie in with the movie the same year, is widely known as one of the most dementedly unbalanced fighting games ever. Villain Ivan Ooze is so absurdly overpowered that he can easily beat any other character without taking damage – and you can play as him.Overseas, many manga and anime franchises had multiple fighting games based on them. Most notable are Ranma 1/2, which had a pretty decent SNES title, and the legion of sub-par Dragon Ball Z games. This section would triple in size if we listed them all, but thankfully they’ve started to increase in quality in recent years so we’ll just show you 2015’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse and call it a day.The Gundam franchise also saw multiple fighters, starting with 1997’s Gundam: The Battle Master. These games dispensed with many fighting game conventions – the huge robots move slowly, can take part-specific damage, and can’t block projectiles, which are limited in use.Table of ContentsA New Dimension: Fighting Games Embrace 3DDetailed sprite artwork had become one of the hallmarks of fighting games, but new technology was quickly making it obsolete. The hotness at the end of the 20th century was polygons rendered in three dimensions, allowing for dramatic camera movements and new styles of gameplay. The first fighting game rendered in 3D was Sega’s Virtua Fighter in 1993. Although primitive, it introduced a number of concepts that would go on to define a genre.Characters were no longer locked into facing each other on a flat plane – they could now step sideways to dodge attacks and counter, adding a (pardon the cliche) new dimension to strategy. The novelty made Virtua Fighter a success, and it became Sega’s main fighting franchise, spawning multiple increasingly polished sequels as well as a big-head spinoff, Virtua Fighter Kids.They also used the engine for a second franchise, Fighting Vipers. Instead of the deliberate pace and (relative) realism of VF, Vipers pushed things in a more cartoonish direction. One of the programmers put 3D versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails in as a joke, but Sega liked it so much that they developed Sonic The Fighters off of the same engine.That wasn’t the most absurd take on the Virtua formula, though. That honor goes to 1996’s Fighters Megamix, which brought in characters from other Sega franchises – including a race car from Daytona USA.The first PlayStation launched with Battle Arena Toshinden from developer Tamsoft. The weapons-based 3D fighter wasn’t very good, but the novelty of large polygonal characters battling it out was enough to spawn a small franchise with three more sequels on the same system.Although Square was best known for RPGs, they had a few fighting games as well. Their first, Tobal No. 1, was notable for an unusual visual style featuring untextured polygons and free 3D movement. The game’s sequel never came out in the United States and was one of the hottest imports for years. They also released Ehrgeiz, which continued the theme but included Final Fantasy characters.Squaresoft’s Bushido Blade is a 3D fighter like none other – the realistic samurai action featured fights that could be won with a single brutal strike and expansive arenas. It’s a cult classic. The sequel polished some of its quirks down and resulted in a less satisfying game.Namco’s 1995 Soul Edge was a weapons-based 3D fighter that featured a diverse, interesting cast of characters with pronounced strengths and weaknesses. Although rough, it spawned the Soul Calibur series, which remains one of the leading entries in the genre. The franchise made weapons-based fighting smooth, flashy, and easy to learn, but left enough room for advanced competitive strategies to flourish.The same year saw the release of the horribly sluggish Criticom, which spawned 1997’s Dark Rift (the first fighting game to run in 60 FPS). The next year, the same developers put out the equally lousy Cardinal Syn.1996 saw the launch of Tecmo’s Dead Or Alive franchise, which built on the now-standard formula with a complex interacting system of attacks, blocks, and grabs. The series has, over time, become more famous for its big-boobed fighting babes than its fighting engine, but advocates insist that it’s still a top-tier game.1996’s Heaven’s Gate was a generic 3D fighter from Atlus that was their first take on the genre. It was totally undistinguished.Even LucasArts got in on the 3D fighting craze with 1997’s Star Wars: Masters Of Teras Kasi. Apparently that’s a martial art in the Star Wars universe, just like “jizz” is a musical genre. It’s not a particularly exciting or good martial art, but the game does let you play as Chewbacca so that’s a point in its favor.Hudson’s 1997 Bloody Roar took the established 3D fighting formula with free movement inside an enclosed area and added a lycanthropic twist – each character could morph into a more powerful half-animal form for a short time. The franchise was big business for a hot minute, but in 2003 the last game came out and it hasn’t been seen since.2000’s Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry and its 2002 sequel took unlikely inspiration from the classic cat and mouse cartoon, letting the cast battle to the death in diverse 3D environments that included a kitchen, a boxing ring, and… Hell.The popular Naruto manga series has spawned a giant pile of fighting games, starting with 2003’s Clash Of Ninja. In general, these titles are simple, fast-paced fighters with not a lot of strategic depth, but with the launch of the shockingly gorgeous Ultimate Ninja Storm series, developers Cyber Connect 2 worked to make the gameplay more complex and rewarding. The most recent entry in the franchise, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, has 100 playable characters.Although Capcom kept primarily to 2D fighters, they did dabble in the third dimension with giant robot brawler Tech Romancer and fast-paced Power Stone. Final Fight Revenge brought Haggar and crew back to fight it out once more. Star Gladiator featured bizarre polygonal aliens duking it out with laser swords and cosmic yo-yos. Special mention needs to go to 2001’s Heavy Metal: Geomatrix, which was licensed from the legendary sci-fi/fantasy magazine.Table of ContentsHalf and Half: 2.5D Fighting GamesOther games used 3D engines but kept the fighting stuck to the traditional 2D plane. The most famous example of this is the Tekken series, first launched by Namco in 1994. With a diverse cast of polygonal fighters and a curious control scheme (four attack buttons, marked for right and left hands and feet), the series is known for its complex and often ridiculous storylines. Namco has stuck with the franchise through thick and thin, mixing it up with two-on-two mechanics in Tekken Tag Tournament.Konami tried their hand at this subgenre twice in the mid-90s, with deathly dull results each time. Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken and Fighting Bujutsu are deeply forgettable.Capcom wasn’t immune to the polygonal craze either. The Rival Schools games introduced an all-new cast of high school brawlers, and Street Fighter EX brought classics like Ken and Ryu into conflict with newly created combatants. The company attempted to follow it up with Capcom Fighting All-Stars, but it tested so poorly it was never released.Some other 3D games on the 2D plane worth noting are Yukes’ odd Evil Zone, which had only one attack button, and quirky N64 fighter Rakuga kids.Table of ContentsBringing it All Back Home: Street Fighter II EvolvesEager to continue making money off of Street Fighter, 1992 saw the company release Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, which let players control the four boss characters for the first time, as well as adding “mirror matches” where both could control the same fighter and some subtle character balance changes. It was hugely successful, required significantly less effort than programming a new game, and started a cycle of updates that would keep the company afloat for years. Later the same year they’d release Hyper Fighting, which increased the general game speed and gave most characters a new special move.1993’s Super Street Fighter II kept the train rolling with redrawn graphics and four new characters – Cammy, Dee Jay, T. Hawk and Fei Long. But it wasn’t until 1994 that they’d adopt one of the most vital mechanics in fighting game history.It’s easy to write the narrative claiming that Capcom wrote the book and other companies just copied it, but after the dam broke ideas started to flow freely in both directions. The basic gameplay of Street Fighter II started to get stale after a while, so the company investigated ways to make it more exciting and tactically complex. They’d get one from Takashi Nishiyama: the super meter.Super Street Fighter II Turbo increased the play speed once more, but players now had an additional resource to keep track of. A small bar at the bottom of the screen filled up as you attacked your foe, and when at 100% you could perform a special move that did insane damage. That’s a Super Combo, and you’ll see a lot more of those. Turbo would be the last game in the SFII series for some time, but Capcom wasn’t anywhere near done with their fighting franchise.Table of ContentsBootleg Bashing: Street Fighter RainbowWe need to take a second here to talk about a Street Fighter game that wasn’t sanctioned by Capcom, but still landed in arcades all over the world. Street Fighter Rainbow was a bootleg version of Champion Edition that was released in 1993. Developed by Hung Hsi Enterprise Taiwan, it replaced chips on the program board and gave the fighters new abilities, including mid-air special moves and homing projectiles. It was horribly unbalanced but still insanely fun, and Capcom actually was inspired by some of the weird changes that the hackers made.Table of ContentsAlpha Flight: Street Fighter Goes Back in TimeOne would think that Street Fighter III was the next logical step, but logic and fighting games don’t always mix. Instead, Capcom released Street Fighter Alpha in 1995. Taking place in between the first two games, returning fighters were drawn in a new anime-influenced style and joined by the debuting Rose and Dan. Gameplay enhancements included air blocking and a three-tier Super Combo gauge. The game was followed by a pair of sequels in 1997 and 1998, which introduced new fighters and a system where you could select from multiple “styles.”Alpha helped lay the groundwork for Capcom to develop a “house style” for their games. While Mortal Kombat pushed towards realism and other companies started investigating 3D, Capcom focused on high-quality artwork and animation that could be used across multiple games. However, they’d soon make a perplexing decision that would dilute their key franchise seemingly beyond repair.Table of ContentsA New Generation: Street Fighter IIISimultaneously with the Alpha franchise, Capcom released Street Fighter III to arcades in 1997. The company wanted to make a significant mechanical step forward from Street Fighter II, and shocked fans by releasing a game that introduced a cast of completely new characters (except for Ryu and Ken). The mechanical changes in SFIII were solid, especially the ability to parry enemy attacks with precision timing, and the first sequel would introduce the EX gauge and the ability to use some bar for more powerful special moves, but overall the game was a disappointment to Capcom.1999 saw the third and final game in the Street Fighter III series, Third Strike. As the most solid and well-polished entry, it developed a fan following in the competitive fighting game scene, but its commercial performance wasn’t anything close to Street Fighter II and it would be the last numbered SF game for nine years.We should probably also mention Pocket Fighter here, a strange 1997 title that had chibi Capcom characters bashing each other with cartoonish moves and collecting gems to increase their power.Table of ContentsCome Together: Franchise vs. FranchiseSo on one side we have Capcom, and on another we have SNK. They’re both very good at what they do – but what if they joined up to make a game? That question was answered in 1999 with SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. 26 characters from both companies battled it out in a fighting engine that let players pick Capcom or SNK-styled super meters.The franchise grew from there, with games produced by both companies through the early 2000s. You can tell the developers by which company name comes first. The two Capcom games – Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 and its sequel – feature “ratio” systems where you have a certain number of points to spend on weak and strong characters. This was the series in which Capcom’s habit of reusing old character sprites would become notorious – the low-res Morrigan from Darkstalkers looks like garbage next to the fluid, colorful SNK characters.Capcom would go back to the collaborative well with 2012’s Street Fighter X Tekken, which brought Namco’s franchise characters into Capcom’s fighting engine. The game was plagued with problems, including buggy early releases and one of the most bizarre bonus characters in fighting game history – a Mega Man modeled after the NES game’s bogus American box art. Namco was supposed to be developing a response game where SF mainstays would drop into Tekken-style fighting, but it’s seemingly vanished.Other companies took the crossover route as well – Sony’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and the Jump Super Stars series, for example – but one franchise would rule them all, and it would feature some of the medium’s most iconic characters.Table of ContentsSmash Me Up: Nintendo’s Magnificent Fighting Game MeleeOne company that lagged behind in the fighting fad was Nintendo. After Urban Champion, the company stayed out of the genre until 1999 with the release of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. Developed on a shoestring budget by HAL Laboratories, creator Masahiro Sakurai put famous Nintendo characters like Mario and Samus in his prototype without permission and then pitched the game to the company.Thankfully, Nintendo approved his concept, and Smash went on to introduce a number of radical new ideas to the genre. Instead of depleting a player’s life bar, matches were won by knocking them out of the boundaries of the stage. Mobility and platforming also played a huge part – instead of fighting on flat surfaces, a variety of different terrain made matches feel very different.Smash saw multiple sequels – one for each Nintendo console generation. Competitive players still prefer Melee on the GameCube for its diverse roster and solid control. Brawl on the Wii was slower paced and introduced random tripping, which annoyed serious tournament players, but the fourth installment (simply titled Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U) has brought it back to form.Table of ContentsArc Reactor: From Guilty Gear to BlazBlueMeanwhile, in Japan, a small developer was putting the finishing touches on a game that would instantly make them major players in the scene for decades to come. Guilty Gear, released in 1998, featured seriously over-the-top fighters with supernatural attacks and unique character mechanics. Many, many titles followed in the series. Guilty Gear X2 debuted an Arc trope with “burst,” a one-shot move that let you cut an opponent’s combo short and give you some breathing room. In 2014, they brought the series back with Guilty Gear Xrd, using cel-shaded polygons instead of sprites for the first time.In 2008, Arc kicked off a new franchise with BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. By then, the company had pretty much nailed what fans wanted from them: serious anime style, powerful but not unbalanced characters, and lots of attitude. The BlazBlue franchise continues to evolve as well.The company has also had their hands in a few other fighting games, notably Under Night In-Birth, 2005’s Fist of the North Star, and 2007’s Battle Fantasia.Table of ContentsDirty Players: Erotic Fighting GamesSex and violence are a time-honored combination, so it’s not surprising that more than a few fighting games have been released that add a little nudity or sexuality into the mix.The first expressly perverted one-on-one fighter was in all probability Strip Fighter II by Games Express for the PC Engine. No, there was never a Strip Fighter I. The game is a clumsy ripoff of Capcom’s classic with an all-female cast, and when you beat one you’re treated to artwork of them nude.Hilariously, an unrelated company would create Super Strip Fighter IV in 2010. It’s the only game we know of in which you can stomp on a downed character’s exposed penis.The Sega Genesis was blessed with bizarre, super-primitive title Street Fucker, in which horribly-pixelated dudes with giant dongs leap at each other. If this is enough to get you off, you’re a bigger deviant than we thought.1993 saw the release of the first game in the Variable Geo series, a long-running fighting franchise that again saw its female combatants sexually humiliated after losing. These games were released until 2003, but the last game was a visual novel (much cheaper to produce than a fighting game).The most notorious sexual fighting game of all time is probably Illusion Soft’s 2002 release Battle Raper. As you’d expect from the charming title, the game lets you physically molest the four female fighters with horned-up grapples and force yourself on them after you win. Bizarrely (but fortunately?), the game’s 2005 sequel Battle Raper 2 features no actual rape.Table of ContentsOdds and SodsHere’s where we’ll look at 2D fighting games that came out after Street Fighter II but don’t fit into any existing well-known franchise. Some of them are pretty cool, though.Namco is one of Japan’s biggest publishers, and they tried to get in on the action quick with Knuckle Heads. With only six playable characters and weird controls (including a dedicated button for jumping), it didn’t perform well. Fellow big name Konami brought out Martial Champion, which featured separate buttons for high, mid, and low attacks.1992’s Blandia also used a three-button layout similar to arcade game Gladiator. The characters also wore armor that had to be broken off before they could take damage, adding an interesting strategic layer to the proceedings.The same year also saw Doomsday Warrior on the SNES, which featured some interesting mechanics but a totally broken throwing system that let you toss your foes around like they were sacks of potatoes.Also that year, Kaneko released Power Moves, which let players add points to various stats between fights in a light RPG system. Jaleco’s Tuff E Nuff had a similar gameplay element, with special moves getting stronger every few fights.Data East, who you’ll remember sued companies for ripping off Karate Champ, found themselves on the other end of legal threats with 1993’s Fighter’s History. The company took almost everything from Capcom’s breakthrough game – the six button control scheme, a female fighter with flashing leg kicks, and identical special move motions. Thankfully for the future of the genre, Capcom lost the suit. Two sequels followed, both of which were pretty bad.Atlus’s 1993 Power Instinct is a curious franchise – even though it had some interesting features, like double jumps and, by Groove On Fight, a tag system, it never really built up a fan base. The bizarre cast (there’s multiple senior citizens and a baby in a diaper) and inconsistent fighting engines might explain that. The pick to play is probably 2003’s Matrimelee, a weird Neo-Geo game where the prize in the fighting tournament is the hand of a princess in marriage.1993’s Joy Mech Fight for the Famicom is a robot-themed fighter that overcomes the console’s limited hardware in a pretty interesting way. Instead of animating a whole giant character, all you see are the salient parts of your android fighter – the head, hands, torso and feet. Multiple special moves, throws, and other features make this one of the best fighting games you’ve never played.The same year, Video Systems released Ta•o Taido, their only fighting game. The bizarre engine had players hold down both attack buttons to charge up special attacks, then release while holding a direction to perform them. It didn’t really work, and the game’s insanely floaty jumps didn’t help matters.Sega’s 1992 Holosseum was played on their unique hologram cabinet, which projected images not on a flat screen but rather in the middle of a curved projection that approximated a 3D space. The mechanics were incredibly primitive for the era, and with only four playable characters it was a novelty at best. They tried to make a more traditional fighting game the next year with Burning Rival.Japanese developer Culture Brain tried to make their Hiryu No Ken series happen over multiple console generations. Previously-mentioned Shanghai Kid was the first, and thankfully the last was Virtual Hiryū no Ken for the PlayStation.The company would follow it up with Dark Edge the next year that would use sprite-based graphics in another pseudo-3D battlefield. Their Genesis console would also see the release of Eternal Champions, which mixed the dark fantasy style of Mortal Kombat with some interesting gameplay quirks, including a depleting bar for special attacks and environmental kills.Sega also tried to bring an existing franchise into the fighting era with Golden Axe: The Duel, transplanting heroes and villains from their series of brawlers into a well-animated but inessential fighting game.Developer Hot-B only took one stab at the fighting world with 1993’s Schmeiser Robo, and that’s probably for the best: it’s really bad. Points for a battling ‘bot piloted by a Salvador Dali clone that walks on its hands, though.The same year, IREM released Perfect Soldiers. It’s pretty generic, but many of the staff would move to SNK to work on their fighting franchises.One cult favorite fighting game is 1994’s The Outfoxies, which casts players as hitmen trying to take each other out in massive, constantly-changing environments. Liberal use of weapons and traps make this one stand out from the norm.The Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter series launched in 1994 as well (seeing a theme here?), with an all-female fighting cast that provided lots of panty shots when taking and receiving punishment. Similar slightly pervy franchises included Asuka 120% Burning Fest and Metal & Lace: Battle of the Robo Babes, the last one released for MS-DOS computers.The mid-90s saw a couple of PC-only fighting games. Some were decent, like robot fighter One Must Fall 2097. Most of them were pretty awful. We’ll give extra demerits for 1995’s Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport, which combined awkward characters, clumsy controls, and a Barney the Dinosaur parody to create something truly awful. Body Blows was one of many fighting games for the Commodore Amiga, and probably the best. Developed by Team17, the minds behind the Worms series, it’s a solid take on the Capcom formula.Taito’s 1994 Kaiser Knuckle is another Street Fighter-alike which was released as Global Champion abroad. It’s nothing special. A sequel was planned but abandoned.Atari hit a hot spot in 1994 with Primal Rage, a fighting game set in prehistoric times and featuring dinosaurs and giant apes duking it out. The game had some cute features, including the ability to snack on wandering Neanderthals for health and gory finishers. A sequel was developed but never fully released, as Atari didn’t think they’d sell enough cabinets.Banpresto’s curious 1985 Metamoqester barely qualifies as a fighting game – there’s no player-on-player mode, for example – but the gameplay is classic Street Fighter with a twist, as you travel the world fighting five enormous, bizarre monsters. It’s not “good” per se, but it sure is interesting.Also very weird is Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Rantou Hen, which transplants characters from the homoerotic shooting series into a mid-air fighter. If you want to battle using powerful farts, this is the game for you.We’ve talked a lot of smack about Data East in this thing, but their 1995 Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty is actually pretty solid – a weapons-based fighter with the ability to disarm your foes, it’s not flashy but everything works and feels good, which is more than you can say for most of their games.Double Dragon: The Movie brought the traditional side-scrolling brawler series into the fighting genre, with mixed to poor results. It did have Abobo as a playable character, which is good for a few sympathy points.Japanese company Psikyo is best known for shooting games, but they dipped their toe into the fighting genre twice. 1994’s Battle K-Road is a quasi-realistic tournament of fighting styles including karate, boxing, and… being a cyborg. Their next game is significantly more interesting. Set in a city ravaged by a massive earthquake, The Fallen Angels has gorgeous character animation and some really interesting stages. It’s hilariously unbalanced, unfortunately, or it could have been a big hit.Rabbit, created by Electronic Arts’ Japanese subsidiary Aorn, only saw release overseas in arcades and on the Sega Saturn. It’s a hidden gem, though – players control a variety of martial arts masters and can steal animal spirits from fallen foes, which can be used to trigger a variety of special moves. It’s somewhat similar to Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure game, based on the popular manga, which would hit four years later. That game is also notorious for having one of the most unfair characters ever: Pet Shop, a flying bird who is immune to low attacks.Sunsoft’s ’88 witch fighter Astra Superstars is weird as hell – you can fly all over the screen and each button triggers a different attack. You’re also “ranked” through some inexplicable combination of attack and defense and if time runs out and your rank is lower than the opponent’s, you lose – even if you’ve drained more of their health.Developer Fuuki didn’t get into the genre until relatively late with 1998’s Asura Blade, but the weapons-based fighter is fairly solid, with responsive controls and well-animated sprites. The 2000 sequel is even better.Also in 2000, Slap Happy Rhythm Busters dropped as one of the weirdest home fighting games ever. The cel-shaded PS1 title stars a stylish cast of interesting fighters and incorporates special “Beat” moves, where pressing buttons in a timed sequence to the beat lets you deal big damage.Table of ContentsAlso-Rans in 3DHere are 3D fighters that don’t fit in anywhere above, for whatever reason. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just bizarre.Arika’s Fighting Layer isn’t atrocious, but it’s a shadow of what the company would be able to accomplish once they started working with Capcom.Developer Artdink is one of Japan’s strangest companies, churning out niche titles that we can’t imagine anyone buying. Their take on the fighting genre, Buchigire Kongou: Battle Construction Vehicles goes to a very weird place: instead of controlling humans or aliens or what have you, you pit trucks, tractors, and cranes against each other in a fight to the scrapyard.Equally bizarre is Sega Saturn game Elan Doree, which mixes things up a bit by having all of the fighters ride dragons. Psychic Force is another 3D fighter with full axis movement, pitting mentalists with a variety of supernatural skills against each other.Paradox Interactive developed a fighting engine for 1998’s cancelled Thrill Kill, a PS2 game that would pit four demented fighters against each other at the same time. They went on to recycle it in Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, a fighting game starring the Staten Island rap crew, as well as a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game in 2000.Speaking of hip-hop, the trio of Def Jam fighting games starting in 2003 brought other microphone maniacs to the martial arts word. The first two games were more wrestling-based, but Def Jam: Icon was more boxing-styled.Finally, 2004’s Fight Club tie-in game was a mediocre offering that completely missed the point of the movie, but it did let you beat the bejesus out of Fred Durst, so that was something.Table of ContentsThe Worst of the Worst: Fighting Games Hit Rock BottomI had to stake out a special area for fighting games that are so completely inept they need to be seen. These games aren’t just ugly and unoriginal – many of them are downright unplayable.1992’s Dino Rex has a dynamite idea – pitting ferocious dinosaurs against each other – but the execution is so amazingly bad it’s hilarious. Each dinosaur has maybe two dozen frames of animation, one special move each, and some of the worst collision detection I’ve ever seen in a game. The ridiculous bonus stage – where your dinosaur is transported to the future to kill cops(!) – is just the cherry on top of the sundae.Shaq Fu is famous for being one of the most idiotic licenses ever, and the game itself is just as lousy as you’d think a fighter starring a goliath NBA star would be. Probably the funniest thing about it is that Shaq is by far the weakest character in the roster. Actually, no, the funniest thing is a crowdfunded sequel is set to drop in 2016.Also incredibly bad: Banpresto’s Ultraman game, which has an idiotically tiny moveset, ridiculously unresponsive controls, and a level of difficulty so high that you’re lucky to land a single hit on your giant monster opponent.1994’s Rise Of The Robots, developed for multiple platforms by Mirage Studios, was painful to play even in that era of lowered expectations and is even worse today. The clumsy brawler had multiple strikes against it, but probably the worst was that the robots couldn’t even turn around to face the other direction!2002’s Bikini Karate Babes tried hard to cash in on the sexy fighter category a little too late, with ineptly digitized female fighters spanking each other in jerky animated sequences.We would be remiss to list bad fighting games without giving a shoutout to Jackie Chan Fists Of Fire, which used digitized pictures of the Hong Kong action star and other schlubs to create a stiff, weird fighter that is still played ironically on charity streams.We’ll close this out with Xbox launch title Kabuki Warriors, a game so lousy people thought it would spell the end for Microsoft’s entry into the hardware market. Launch day fighting games are almost always bad, but this one was so awful that its failure helped drive publisher Crave into bankruptcy.Table of ContentsOff the Turnbuckle: Wrestling GamesWe’re going to put wrestling games, which can be considered a very specific fighting game subgenre, in their own section. Listing each and every one would be pointless (do we really need to elucidate the differences in year after year of mediocre WWE titles?), so here’s a quick history of the genre as a whole, with some high and low points.The first pro wrestling game that we know of is Tag Team Wrestling, which hit arcades in 1983. It’s a pretty clumsy title in which you select the move you want to do from an on-screen menu that pops up whenever you grapple. It would receive a NES port that stands as one of the system’s worst games.Sega’s 1984 Appoooh is a little better – you can select from one of eight caricatures of famous grapplers (including a hilarious Giant Baba) and fight it out in the ring.Probably the most famous game of this era is Nintendo’s own Pro Wrestling, which featured a hilarious cast of fictional fake fighters and some ridiculous moves. The NES also had the first official WWE game with Acclaim’s Wrestlemania in 1989.Multiple other companies would handle the WWF license over the years, from perennial stinkers LJN to beloved Japanese developers AKI, whose No Mercy still stands as the best WWF game of all time. In arcades, the games made by Technos (like WWF WrestleFest) offered big characters and fast, if shallow action. Rival federation WCW also had a handful of games, with the final one – Backstage Assault – being the worst.Wrestling manga series Kinnikuman (known here as M.U.S.C.L.E.) also got some games, starting with the absolutely atrocious 1986 Tag Team Match: MUSCLE and winding up with the surprisingly fun 2004 Galactic Wrestling.Easily the champion of all wrestling franchises is the Fire Pro series, which first debuted in 1989. The Japanese games are beloved for their strategic grappling system, huge roster, and ability to edit the appearance and moveset of your fighters. The series peaked in 2007 with the absolutely brilliant Fire Pro Wrestling Returns.Less realistic wrestling games included Popeye 3 for the Commodore 64, where the spinach-chewing sailor squared off with the Xenomorph from Aliens, the King of the Monsters series for the Neo-Geo that replaced the ring with a city and the fighters with Godzilla-esque monsters, and Paradox’s Backyard Wrestling series that brought the favorite pastime of Middle America Juggalos to your home console.Table of ContentsKing of the Ring: Boxing GamesWe’ll do the same for boxing games. We started this journey with one, and talked about a few others in the prehistory portion, so it’s only fair to give a little time to other fisticuffs simulators, good and bad. We’re only going to talk about games that let you go head-to-head with another human, so stuff like Punch-Out!! doesn’t count.1985’s Ring King was an early standout, with big-headed boxers able to circle, block, weave, and punch in a large ring. Over-the-top special moves like a spinning windmill fist add to the fun.Taito’s 1988 Final Blow presented its pugilists in screen-filling side-view sprites. Strategically, there’s not much to talk about, but the graphics were insane for the era.1992’s Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing increased the level of realism even more, as did Champions Forever Boxing for the PC Engine.Midway’s 1999 Ready 2 Rumble Boxing was probably the truest heir to the Punch-Out!! throne. A variety of funny punchers with their own unique styles were easy to control but with a decent amount of strategic options.The Victorious Boxers series was based on a popular anime and blended more cartoonish action with its realism. Two sequels followed.Probably the king of the genre is EA’s Fight Night series, which offered a unique method of using analog sticks to control the speed and placement of your punches. We haven’t seen a new installment since 2011, which is a shame.Table of ContentsThe End of ArcadesWith every boom, there must come a bust. The golden age of arcades ended in the early 2000s, as home consoles became more and more able to deliver arcade-perfect experiences without the cost of quarter after quarter. The major players in the industry drastically cut back on their releases, and the little guys simply went out of business.Don’t close the browser window just yet, though. With every darkness there must come a dawn, and the resurgence of fighting games is a victory you’ll feel deep in your bones.Table of ContentsHomemade Hand-to-Hand: Indie Fighting GamesIn the 2000s, the big companies mostly moved away from fighting games. Without an arcade market to sustain them, they had to focus on consoles, and other styles simply sold better. However, the rise of independent hobbyist programming made creating fighting games even easier, and a doujin scene started to spring up in all over the world.Type-Moon’s Melty Blood series, a hybrid visual novel and fighting game, first debuted in 2002 and has grown steadily in popularity since then. They’re defiantly anime-styled fighters with a primarily female cast.2004’s Super Cosplay War Ultra has spawned multiple sequels. It’s a solid fan service-oriented brawler with female characters that change into different outfits when they do combos.Japanese developer Team Shanghai Alice is best known for shooting games, but in 2004 they released Immaterial and Missing Power, which brought their magical girl characters into the fighting arena. “Touhous,” as the characters are often referred to, boast insanely overpowered projectile attacks that make this one fun to watch.In 2006, the Arcana Heart series debuted. Even more female characters, but an added strategic layer of choosing an “arcana” that altered your special moves made this one pretty successful and spawned a few sequels.In 2008, former SNK staffers released the first public build of Yatagarasu: Attack on Cataclysm, a fighter heavily inspired by Third Strike but with a four-button setup instead of six. The final game was released in 2014 to solid reviews.2007 saw the release of Big Bang Beat: 1st Impression, a super-slick independent fighting game featuring characters from an erotic visual novel game. Ten characters square off in a variety of arenas, with the big twist being that use of super moves is limited by a meter that needs to recharge.Akatsuki Blitzkampf was one of the first Japanese doujin fighters to get attention in the West. The 2007 game has a heavy Nazi influence, making it a little awkward to play in public, but it’s quite fun and very well-animated.Skullgirls, created by long-time fighting game community veterans, was in development since 2008 and released in 2012. The hand-drawn female characters and vast, complex combo system made it extremely hype, even as problems with the publisher decreased its sales potential. Crowdfunding campaigns have allowed developer Lab Zero to add additional characters.Mark Essen’s brilliant 2014 Nidhogg takes fighting games back to their roots – a pair of pixelated swordsmen face off in one-hit kill battles in a variety of environments. The whip-tight controls prove that complexity isn’t important to a fighting game. A similar statement would be made in 2013’s Divekick, which controls with just two buttons: Dive and Kick.Table of ContentsRoll Your Own: Custom Fighting GamesIt was only a matter of time before fighting games became so easy to make that anybody could do it. A number of creation kits are available for people to create their own characters, moves, stages, and more.The most famous of these is MUGEN, which was released by Elecbyte in 1999 and has undergone numerous upgrades since then. A massive community of creators has grown around the platform, ripping characters from just about every game you can think of. Because there’s no consistency, though, many characters are insanely unbalanced. MUGEN is typically more fun to watch than to play – there’s even an online casino where people bet on AI-vs-AI matches streamed over Twitch.Japanese company Enterbrain has released a number of titles in their Fighter Maker series, focusing on both 2D and 3D action. The first PlayStation installment actually got a release in the United States – Fighter Maker allowed gamers to create some seriously insane moves.Some notable doujins made with Enterbrain software include Axel City, Vanguard Princess, and Destruction Desire. You also should check out Arm Joe, which is basically Les Miserables: The Fighting Game.Special mention needs to be given to Dong Dong Never Die, one of the weirdest fighting games of all time. Developed by a Chinese hobbyist team and released in 1999, it’s a mish-mash of digitized photos, clunky hand-drawn art, Optimus Prime, and utter madness. Surprisingly, it’s pretty fun to play.Table of ContentsReturn of the King: Street Fighter IV and MoreCapcom announced their return to the Street Fighter franchise in 2008 with Street Fighter IV. Developed in collaboration with Japanese firm Dimps, the game brought the series back to basics, with Yoshinori Ono saying that he wanted to keep the systems simple to learn. New “focus attacks” let fighters soak up damage and retaliate with unblockable counterattacks.The game was a huge success and rekindled the fighting game scene in the U.S. and abroad. It spawned a number of updates for the next two years, and the installment as a whole has sold over 8 million copies. Seeing Capcom back in the fighting game world was a game-changer, and many other firms would follow suit. In addition to older franchises like Mortal Kombat and Tekken debuting new installments, we saw renewed interest in new fighting games.One of the most interesting franchises to hit in the new century was Persona 4 Arena, based on the cult hit role-playing games from Atlus. These stylish 2D fighters became huge sellers in Japan and built a competitive scene.2013 saw a new JoJo’s game from Bandai, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle. The hybrid 3D fighting was a little shallow, but overflowing with character.Table of ContentsTo the Future: What’s Next for Fighting Games?And that brings us to right now, with Street Fighter V available on PC and the PlayStation 4 exclusively after multiple public beta periods. The game is visually gorgeous, smooth as silk, and already offering a bounty of new combat strategies. Adding individual “V-skills” to each character helps differentiate them without making the controls too complex, and we’d bet that it’s going to be a competitive cornerstone for quite some time. While the initial release in February 2016 may have been lacking in content, numerous updates have really fleshed the game out.It’s not the only fighting game that’s hit or is hitting this year though – look out for Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, an updated Mortal Kombat, King Of Fighters XIV, hilarious indie Gang Beasts, fantasy animal brawler Pokken Tournament, Rising Thunder… it’s a great time to be fighting.Thanks for reading! Why not start again?Table of Contents
Kolkata: Left Front has called a 6-hour Bangla bandh on April 13, to protest against the ‘reign of terror unleashed by Trinamool Congress’ over the filing of nominations by Opposition candidates. Left Front chairman Biman Bose said there has been unprecedented violence over filing of nominations throughout the state.He said the bandh will start at 6 am and end at 12 noon. The CBSE candidates who will have exam on that day, will be exempted.It may be mentioned that the Opposition parties have fielded over 68,000 candidates in Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishad. Of these, Left Front has fielded 24,768 candidates.
Tyson Beckford | Photo: Chocolate City Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS- The star furthermore said in the caption: ‘I’m not gay.’Well, that clears that up then!Posting a pic of him working out to Instagram, the actor said: ‘Train 5-6 days a wk,weights Martial Arts and Firearms and I defend those who can’t defend themselves!’He furthermore added: ‘I support LGBTQ, even though I’m not Gay. It’s just the Human thing to do [sic].’ A representative for Tyson declined to comment on the story when approached by Gay Star News.‘Sis we all know why you don’t care for it’The model and the reality star‘s feud started after Tyson made derogatory comments about Kim’s body on social media.Suggesting the star has had plastic surgery, Tyson wrote: ‘She is not real, doctor fucked up her right hip’, followed by a vomit emoji. He later added: ‘Sorry I don’t care for it personally.’Kim replied by commenting on Instagram: ‘Sis we all know why you don’t care for it.’‘No one is saying that we shouldn’t also body shame women’Meanwhile Kim’s sister Khloe has been quoted on the feud in a new interview.Speaking to Extra she said: ‘I was with her when that was going on.‘What I hate is that people are saying that she is homophobic for that, but no one is saying that we shouldn’t also body shame women.’On the subject of whether Kim is homophobic, Khloe said: ‘She is anything but. It’s ridiculous.’Tyson has acted in Into the Blue and Supermodel. He also appeared as Britney Spears’ love interest in the video for Toxic in 2004.Kim Kardashian just made this 12-year-old boy’s dreams come true Tyson Beckford has responded via a topless selfie after Kim Kardashian called his sexuality into question earlier this week. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Kim Kardashian denies she’s homophobic: ‘All my best friends are gay’Kim K gay-shames Tyson Beckford after he says this about herColton Haynes mocks Kim Kardashian in Instagram postRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/tyson-beckford-responds-to-kim-k-implying-hes-gay/
Posted by Travelweek Group Thursday, November 22, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Children, G Adventures, Welfare Share No photos, no gifts: G Adventures’ new guidelines on how to interact with local kids TORONTO — To commemorate UNICEF World Children’s Day this year, G Adventures has unveiled new guidelines for travellers on how to interact responsibly with children during their travels.The campaign, which was officially launched on Nov. 20, was developed in partnership with international child protection experts ChildSafe Movement, and Planeterra Foundation. A short, shareable video has been released to support the campaign, plus travellers are being encouraged to sign a pledge to be more responsible when interacting with children in the destinations they travel to.This month, G Adventures became the first global travel company to be officially ChildSafe Certified. This is in recognition of the world that has been undertaken to safeguard children’s well-being, both with G Adventures’ travellers and staff.According to the company, taking selfies with children, geo-tagging their location on social media, visiting school classrooms, and giving money and gifts directly to children are all potential harmful activities well-meaning travellers need to stop doing.Here are some tips for travellers, as outlined in G’s child welfare guidelines:Photos: To local children, travellers are strangers. Be considerate and don’t take photos with children without their parent or guardian’s permission, and don’t geotag children as this can make them susceptible to trafficking and desensitize them to strangers.Classrooms: Interrupting a lesson is never okay. There are better ways to learn about local life than school classroom visits.Handouts and gifts: It’s easy to think a dollar or a gift helps children, but travellers should think about the long-term effects. Over time, this behaviour can force children to stay out of school to beg, leading to a cycle of dependency and poverty. Instead, donate to organizations that help youth and their families, such as G Adventures’ non-profit partner, Planeterra, which supports a number of youth and family projects globally.Safety: If you see a child in a situation that just doesn’t seem right, do the right thing and report it right away.Think about what you’d do in this scenario at home: if you wouldn’t do it here, don’t do it anywhere. Kids are kids, no matter where they live.More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthJamie Sweeting, vice president of social enterprise and responsible travel at G Adventures, says the guidelines are the latest in G Adventures’ ‘G for Good’ suite of responsible travel initiatives, which are designed to help people travel better, and they complement guidelines for protecting wildlife, and Indigenous people and cultures.“As a travel company we want to make sure we’re doing the best we can. With ChildSafe Movement’s help, we’ve developed a policy based on the global guidelines to govern all G Adventures’ operations, which is helping us make appropriate changes in how we educate our travellers, as well as our office and field staff,” she said.Sweeting also added that the company has swept its digital assets and owned channels to ensure all its media complies with the guidelines, plus it has removed all classroom visits from its itineraries. G also completed an internal training program for all staff, and established a task force to monitor and report compliance with its policy.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughts“It will be an ongoing effort to continue to live up to our ChildSafe Certification,” said Sweeting.For more information and to sign G Adventures’ pledge, go to https://www.gadventures.com/about-us/responsible-travel/child-welfare/.
Four Seasons Hotel SydneyLounge 32 Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has opened the doors on its new executive club retreat, Lounge 32, which features a central open-plan kitchen with open bar, self-service fridges stocked with Australian wines and gourmet dishes.Located on level 32, Lounge 32 features plush armchairs and velvet lounges, designer homewares, a meeting room, and sweeping views of Sydney city and harbour.“While hotel executive clubs are traditionally intended for corporate travellers, we have created a private, luxurious and comfortable space designed for both holidaymakers and business guests to feel at home in when travelling,” said general manager Rudolf van Dijk.Lounge 32 is reserved for guests booked in a Club room or Club suite on the top floors at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, with exclusive privileges including complimentary buffet breakfast with eggs cooked to order, all-day refreshments, evening gourmet canapés and open bar, premium Wi-Fi, private check in and out, personal Concierge service and valet pressing.
Chef Aktar IslamGo back to the e-newsletter >Coco Bodu Hithi returns with Savour 2016, a sophisticated culinary experience that is fast becoming Coco Collections’ homage to fine dining in the Maldives. From 21 February to 4 March 2016, guests can experience the exclusive opportunity to indulge in award-winning creations with renowned chefs.Leading this signature event are three celebrated personalities Coco Bodu Hithi is proud to welcome back. From France, Michelin starred chef Frédéric Doucet from Restaurant Frédéric Doucet, from the UK, Michelin starred chef Nigel Haworth from Northcote Restaurant in Lancashire, and Aktar Islam from Lasan Restaurant in Birmingham.A dedicated programme spread over two weeks will delight gourmets with 5-course dinners prepared exclusively by the chefs. While each chef brings a hint of nostalgia with regional tastes, at the core of each course are exquisite flavours and a unique sense of cooking. Similarly, master classes will enable guests to get up close and personal with all three chefs as they demonstrate how to re-create dishes from their menu for a light lunch.The wine tastings with an expert sommelier invites guests to explore the light flavours of Rosé with themed tastings such as ‘Rosé Soirée’. The team at Coco Bodu Hithi further enriches the programme with special demonstrations. While the head chef of Tsuki shares the impressive techniques behind Japanese cuisine, another chef teaches some tricks behind the skill of Wok cooking.Starting from USD 4,250 for two persons, guests can enjoy luxurious accommodation in an Island Villa for 5 nights, two exclusive dinners created by the visiting chefs, two master classes to take home some expert culinary tips, and two wine tastings with a sommelier to discover wines from the old and new world. Guests are invited to indulge in this culinary journey spread over two weeks, valid for stays from 19 February – 7 March 2016.Go back to the e-newsletter >
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Posted Jul 2, 2019 10:45 am PDT She said, he said: What’s next with Taylor Swift’s catalogue? FILE – In this May 1, 2019 file photo, Taylor Swift arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group, home to Swift’s first six albums, including the Grammy winners for album of the year, 2008’s “Fearless” and 2014’s “1989.” (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) NEW YORK — Taylor Swift’s feuds can captivate the public almost as much as her music, and her latest emotional salvo against one of music’s top managers not only made headlines but got key players in the industry riled up, with the likes of Justin Bieber, Halsey and Demi Lovato publicly choosing sides.But days after the storm, experts say Swift and Scooter Braun, who manages Bieber and Ariana Grande and now owns Swift’s masters, will have to find a way to work together — both to preserve Swift’s rich musical legacy but also make money and do good business.Bill Werde, former editorial director of Billboard, says “whether anyone likes it or not, Scooter Braun just became one of Taylor Swift’s most important business partners.”On Sunday, Braun’s Ithaca Holdings announced that it acquired Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group, where Swift signed at 15.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press