I have my head full of Street Fighter IV (and I must admit I still enjoy it), but I felt the need to go back in time for a little while and remember one of Capcom’s fighting rivals of the early 90s: Body Blows, a title which strangely did not become a franchise, even though some people actually considered it better than Street Fighter II.
Body Blows was, indeed, a title which didn’t offer too much, at least not in the main story mode: you were only allowed to choose to play as one of four characters – which was not enough even in 1993. Even stranger was the fact that the game had 10 playable characters, but all of them were only available in the versus mode.
But these are just a few details, since nostalgia still exists and I’m sure that anybody who had ever played Team 17’s fighting title still has fond memories regarding it: first of all and clearly the funniest is that you were able to play against yourself in tournaments or in versus mode, which is quite odd, I have to admit that. But not many people minded back then.
Not to mention that we had some very varied characters, from the lookalike brothers who hated each other (Nik and Dan), to the Buddhist Monk Lo Ray who was probably everybody’s favorite, to the huge Doug and the agile Ninja and the beautiful Maria. Yes, maybe the characters’ names weren’t the most creative, but they all had different styles, strengths and were a joy to play.
This is, of course, before the Street Fighter IV era. Body Blows is one of those games which only had a few possible attacks, no combos and generally, judging from today’s perspective, were not too much fun. But it was still a game which topped the sales charts and was an immense success. As I said in the intro, it was, up to a point, more popular than Street Fighter back then! Still, it didn’t have the power to be turned into a franchise. And maybe that’s better. Sometimes it’s nicer to have a long gone game to care about and fondly remember. Don’t you agree?