Fighter's History

REVIEWFighter's History is a 2D fighting game produced by Data East in 1993. It is one of the most infamous Street Fighter 2 "knock-offs" from the era. Players choose "one of eight international fighters" and "compete to be the best in the world"... sound familiar yet? From the color of the Life Bars, to the inputs of Special Moves, to the blocking hit effects, backgrounds, the way the music speeds up when a character's life is low, and the nuances of the gameplay mechanics... Fighter's History is definitely trying to be Street Fighter 2 with different characters. (Capcom thought so too, and they actually tried to sue Data East over this game but somehow lost the case in the end).


Nope... this looks nothing like SF2 because the character select boxes are on the LEFT side instead of being properly centered.  -__-

The main difference of Fighter's History when compared to Street Fighter 2 is that the character designs of Fighters History pretty much suck. (Of course that's only my opinion, but I think it would be pretty difficult to argue against it at this point. Street Fighter characters actually went somewhere in life.) Kidding aside, Fighter's History has a few unique aspects - such as clothing items on characters being knocked off of them during a fight. That's pretty cool. 

However, as a player of all fighting games in the early 90's, I didn't find Fighters History to be the least interesting or fun to play. The overall graphics aren't completely horrible for a 1993 game, but certainly didn't make a statement like other arcade games were doing at the time. Fighter's History was "different" from other fighting games in the most minimal ways possible... and offered very little that seemed truly original or innovative at the time. What was unique about Fighter's History paled in comparison to what the game blatantly took from other, already-existing hit fighting games. 

Karnov was much shorter in the first Fighter's History.

Fighters History's gameplay feels too much like SF2 (but not as good). The movement speed, the jumping speed, the "pushback" when blocking an  opponent, etc, etc, etc. It's almost as if Data East hacked Capcom's Street Fighter 2 engine and reworked it to create this silly game. Aesthetically, the game's art style and overall vibe definitely wasn't on par with other top 2D fighting games of the era (not even close). As a 10 year-old in 1993, I swear I could draw better-looking characters than those on the Fighter's History arcade cabinet. (I can prove this, actually).

"Hadouu-k..... I mean... Happy Blue-Tornado-thing!!!"



Page Updated: September 4th, 2022
Developer(s): Data East
Publisher(s): Data East
Platform(s): Arcade, Super Nintendo, Nintendo Switch
Release Date(s): March 1993                  Arcade
May 27th, 1994
August 1994                 SNES
Jan. 3rd, 2019              Nintendo Switch
Characters Ray McDougal, Makoto Mizoguchi, Jean Pierre, Liu Feilin, Ryoko, Matlock Jade, Samchay, Lee Diendou, Marstorius, Clown, Karnov

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Fighter's History Dynamite, The King of Fighters Maximum Impact: Regulation A, Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior, Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, Art of Fighting, Art of Fighting 2, Samurai Shodown, Samurai Shodown 2, The King of Fighters '94, Martial Champion, Kaiser Knuckle, Power Instinct, Power Instinct 2

Gameplay Engine  4.0 / 10
Story / Theme  2.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  4.5 / 10
Animation  5.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  4.5 / 10
Innovation  2.0 / 10
Art Direction  3.0 / 10
Customization  3.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  2.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  3.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  3.5 / 10
Characters  4.0 / 10

 4.5 / 10

 Review based on Arcade  version     


Final Words:

Fighter's History was definitely one of the most renowned and shameless "Me Too" fighting games / Street Fighter 2 rip-offs of the early 90's. There were indeed many of those games made (and forgotten) in the 90's, but at least Fighter's History earned its spot here on TFG (unlike some of those other, far worse games that will never be featured on this fighting game website). We have standards here.

While Fighter's History has its moments of not looking terrible, it was a pretty weak game when compared to its direct competition (not only SF2). When I first played Fighters History in '93 or '94... I'll never forget how put off I felt, as the game was such a blatant "copy / paste" in so many ways. Fighter's History was that kid in school, the one constantly insisting: "Hey, let me copy your homework." (Then he wouldn't be your friend after that, but who needs a friend like that anyway?) I never liked that kid... or that practice.

Overlooking those things... some 2D fighting game fans might have nostalgia for this game. Whether you like the game or not, nothing changes the fact that Fighter's History is a "repainted" Street Fighter 2 in so many ways, and lacks originality. Data East might've won the battle (parrying the lawsuit Capcom initiated), but they lost the war - since the Street Fighter series actually went somewhere in life.

In closing, I'm kinda glad such a weird fighting game exists... to clearly demonstrate how other 2D fighting games truly stood out in 1994 arcades. To end on a positive note, the sequel, Fighters History Dynamite / Karnov's Revenge, was actually a pretty significant improvement over this title.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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