Grazing through The PS Now catalogue I stumbled across a game I used to play along time ago, in the local arcade. That game was Fighting Vipers.
For those of you that haven’t heard of it (and i am sure there is many) Fighting Vipers is, as the name suggests a fighting game but one where you don’t fight any Vipers. The game was originally released in 1995 ( that makes me feel old), its a 3D fighting game that was one of the highest rating arcade games in 1996 ( thanks Wikipedia) and a game I played a lot mainly because it wasn’t Virtua Fighter 2. Not that Virtua Fighter was a bad game and in fact it still holds up reasonably well today, its just the queues to play Virtua Fighter were always a lot longer than those for Fighting Vipers and as I can’t wait I would always hope onto Vipers for a quick game.
The game played today is still as much fun as it was when played back in the 90’s the relative short roster of fighters ( only 8) is made up of characters of all different abilities, that take a while to master, all having different attributes to help the player navigate the unique fighting stages. The uniqueness of the stages and probably the main selling point of the game itself was that all the stages were either a cage with breakable walls or that traditional fighting game arena in cased in walls. Both allowing the player, if they the opposing player hard enough to fire their opponent through the cage or wall and giving the player an easy victory. Add this to another main selling point, both fighters came into the fight wearing armor, that could be broken with a small diagram in the top right of the screen showing the state of the armor this lead the fight to take a more tactical turn that would normally be found in fighting games of the time. with each fighter taking slower more tactical attacks to both maximize the damage dealt by their attack and keeping away from their opponent as to not loose their armor, you see the armor didn’t regenerate, if you lost your amour in the first round. Which is an easy thing to do against a skilled player you would could almost guarantee a loss as your health bar would turn yellow, a change from the usual green, which would indicate your weekend state, allowing your opponent to go for the K.O much more easily as even the most basic of attacks would heavily damage your health bar.
With a competitive multi player mode coupled with a decent campaign, sadly there is no story but with an ever increasing level of difficulty from the computer which adds up to some difficult matches against the last few opponents it was a pleasure to re-discover this little gem of a fighter.