Developer(s) – Visual Concepts, Ringler Studios & Danger Productions
Publisher(s) – Interplay Entertainment
PEGI – 12
ClayFighter was a game released during the midpoint of the fourth generation of gaming, developed to contend with the likes of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter; minus the excessive violence. After playing this game for even two minutes, it makes me glad that I didn’t grow up playing it. I think if I did, there would have been an inevitable prerequisite based on nostalgia, compelling me to have liked it to a certain extent. But in my opinion, it is one of the worst fighting games I’ve ever played; if not, the worst.
Graphics – 1/10
From a conceptual standpoint, especially compared with many other fighting games at the time, this game is an absolute embarrassment. It supposedly features visuals inspired by claymation, but it isn’t made noticeable to any great extent. To me, it is just a mishmash of stupid idea after stupid idea. Aside from pointless characters such as Bad Mr. Frosty the snowman and Ichybod Clay the pumpkin (I wish I was making this up), there are also even more generic-looking characters, such as Taffy and The Blob, which are basically just indiscriminate blobs of clay. For a development studio called Visual Concepts, this game certainly doesn’t live up to that name.
Gameplay – 1/10
The game’s play is also substandard as well as outright boring. The idea was to develop a game to compete with the likes of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but if the developers weren’t even willing to add any more gameplay features than what was included, they never stood a chance. ClayFighter has no combos, no fatalities, no brutalities, and not even one secret character to unlock as far as I’m aware. Like many developers since and before them, they put their efforts into all the wrong places and came up with a complete mess of a game.
Controls – 5/10
If the game’s play wasn’t bad enough, there are even issues with the controls, feeling stiff as well as redundant. For a game that had significantly fewer features than that of most of its competitors at the time, I suspected that there shouldn’t have been any kind of problems with the controls, but alas, these issues cropped up.
Originality – 0/10
Though the characters in this game may differentiate from many other characters in many other fighting games, they differ from them for all the wrong reasons. They stand out for being particularly uninteresting and for the most part, completely nonsensical. In particular, N-boss, who is made up of a series of spheres, which make faces based on his mood.
To summarize, I would rather be locked in a room with Adrian Chiles than have to ever play ClayFighter again; it would be a close call, but I think Chiles would provide only fractionally more entertainment.