Genre: Fighting Developer: Kaneko Publisher: Kaneko Players: 1-2 Released: 1992
Well, I first found out about Deadly Moves when I was browsing through the Digital Press Rarity Guide. I often browse through old magazines looking for games that never got released, and I saw an ad for this one and checked the DP guide. It turns out that it got released, but it wasn’t very popular nor well known, and everyone said that it wasn’t a good game in any respects. I randomly ran into Deadly Moves in a thrift shop hunt and grabbed it and had to try it out since one of my favorite things to do with a few close gaming buddies when they come over is have a bad game fest. This game met the criteria tenfold and then some. Kaneko was pretty well known for its obscure and poorly made games, and it seemed to bring out its worst with this one. Read on to find out what makes this game so bad, as I’m going to try to give a lighthearted-but-serious review one of the games that I think is the absolute worst in the Genesis library.
To actually get this review started, I’m going to list some of the things that make Deadly Moves unique from other fighters of the day to paint a picture of what it’s like. In one player mode, you can only choose one fighter and face off against a series of opponents (I don’t know what happens when you defeat them all since the game is too hard), and you actually get to pick each new opponent you want to fight in any order. Each opponent has a series of stats listed when you choose them allowing you to pick the order of difficulty. After each successfully defeated opponent you get a boost in your own stats like level gaining and can save your game via a password, something I suspect was implemented because it will take you so long to defeat even a single opponent. You have to press “C” to jump because you can walk up, down, left or right now, Kaneko’s idea of adding diversity to its fighting game that only succeeds in making it harder to be on the right plane to hit your opponent.
What makes the game so bad you ask? The opponents are always at least twice as fast as you, they have a much quicker reaction time, can knock you down and keep beating you to a pulp, and they are also much stronger than you. It’s obvious someone didn’t do a good job of ripping Street Fighter off when you only have two special moves to perform, and they are slow moves at that. It was an act of patience just to defeat one opponent let alone several in a row, and most of the time I had to fight cheap and wait until the other fighter was wide open. Even then I barely won each match.
The game looks truly poor on the console. Each character looks extremely grainy and coarse animation is as bare bones as it gets, and most moves probably only have two or three frames of animation each at most. Honestly, I don’t think the game would have even looked good on the Sega Master System; it’s that ugly! The backgrounds are boring as well, and there’s almost nothing at all to look at between rounds.
The audio is as limited and rushed as the graphics. There’s no announcer and almost no sound effects from the kicks and punches during a round. When you win a round, some simple yellow text says “You Win” or “You Lose” and that’s it. The only area of this game to even reach a passing score would have to be the music, and while it’s not memorable at all, it gets a passing grade.
I used to love playing fighters, so the thought of trying such an obscure game out sounded good, but this game is just a sorry excuse for a fighting game. I can’t see it working in anyone’s book. Deadly Moves is right down there with the worst of the worst, and it’s easily as bad as FMV games such as Midnight Raiders and Supreme Warrior even though it’s not a FMV game. I took a low blow in I.Q. for the team by playing a game as bad as this, so do us both a favor and avoid this trash heap of a game like the plague. You’ll be all the better off and might keep enough of your gaming sanity to be able to play a better game!
SCORE: 3 out of 10