Sega’s Eternal Champions is one of the more controversial fighting series out there. Most people tend to either love it or hate it, and the debate only gets stronger as time goes by. The majority during the 16-bit era seems to have been on the side of the game, as Sega made a strong push to promote it and its characters. There was plenty of merchandising, and even some spin-offs, so the franchise was obviously selling. That being said, not everything with the series moniker was quality, as evidenced by the atrocious Game Gear side-scroller Chicago Syndicate, which featured private eye Larcen Tyler. The bland level design is fitting complimented by an awful fighting mechanic, resulting in a game no one ever need play again.
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Double Take: Eternal Champions
Sega’s famous fighter Eternal Champions is a game most people seem to either love or hate, with few taking the middle road. Those who defend it note its complex fighting style and unique Sega feel, while those who trash it seem to do so for those very same reasons!
After Sega scored a hit with Eternal Champions, it began to look for more ways to keep the characters in the public eye. Spin offs were quickly green-lighted for both the Game Gear and the Genesis, and anxious fans got X-Perts. Not exactly the game they were waiting for, and its development was almost canceled several times. In the end, Sega released a product almost no one was happy with, and it was a black eye to the face of an otherwise popular franchise.
Interview: Steven Lashower (SOA Progammer)
Sega Interactive was a big part of Sega’s arsenal during the mid ’90s, and many gamers underestimate the group’s contribution the Genesis line up. With hits like Eternal Champions, Star Wars Arcade, among others, it had a knack for churning out the hits. We recently got to sit down for some Q&A with Steven Lashower, one of SI’s former programmers, and he shared some great insight into some of its biggest games.
Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side
With its expanded plot and specific extras, Challenge from the Dark Side is more of an director’s cut than a full-blown sequel. Designer Michael Latham has pushed the Sega CD to its limits, upping the playable character count from nine to twenty-four (!), and by making the game bloodier than its cartridge cousin – almost to the point of overkill (no pun intended).