Friday Flashback: The Punisher (1993 Arcade)
The 90s was truly one of the best times for arcades in the united states.Some of the greatest fighters came out at this time such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Killer Instinct, and X-men. At the same time, some incredible beat-em-ups also came out such as Aliens vs Predator, X-men(again), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons(my favorite), and of course, The Punisher.
The Punisher is a semi-obscure arcade game that was also ported to be a semi-obscure Sega Genesis game. I say semi-obscure because no one I know personally has heard of it outside my brothers and I, until I show them the sweet action that is this game.
You play as either the Punisher or, for some reason because they need a player two, Nick Fury(classic brown/grey hair cigar fury) and fight against gang members to stop The Kingpin’s drug cartel. The end of the game you even fight the big man himself in an epic battle of the Punisher (and/or Nick Fury) vs The Kingpin.
The fighting works well as Capcom had pretty much perfected the Beat-em-up at this time. One cool feature is guns. What would the Punisher be without guns, right? Well to make him seem more heroic and kid friendly I guess you can only use guns against bad guys who use guns.(But can you use GRENADES whenever though?!) Otherwise, it is your standard fists, knives, clubs, and swords. It is really nice the game SHOWS the weapon’s durability when you pick it up. Not many games of this type at this time period did that.
One this that is kind of disappointing is that Punish and Nick Fury are pretty much just reskins of each other. They both use the same basic moves .as well as similar special attacks. There are a few changes, but nothing like the difference between say Guy and Haggar in Final fight. It is more like they are Cody 1 and Cody 2.
The graphics are nice, you can easily tell what everything is, and the characters are big and bright. There is a decent selection of enemy and boss times. The backgrounds are neat and many parts of them are destructible in some way or another. The sound work is decent. The music is present, but in a loud arcade who hears the music? The sound effects are good, solid, pows, bangs, arggs! and bams. Though maybe it helps that sometimes comic sound words pop up with the sound.
Overall this is a quality Beat-em-up game from Capcom, and I would recommend it to anyone who has any interest in the genre. The console port is passable, but nothing like the arcade awesomeness. If you have a chance, check it out!