Battle Circuit

David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-04-23 18:11:37

Battle Circuit - Rank B

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ROM Filename: batcir
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Date: March 1997

Battle Circuit is a Capcom side-scrolling beat-'em-up that released only in Japan and Europe. It's notable for its manga-inspired art style and mishmash of random themes. Capcom must've had a big pile of ideas they wanted for their last Final Fight clone, and just decided to stuff them all in. Battle Circuit sports a fantasy/science fiction/pop culture/cyberpunk/mythological aesthetic with a light jazz/pop/electronica soundtrack. Just look at the first boss in that screenshot. You go from fighting Elvis, to a giant baboon wielding a cute female anthropologist, to some sort of cyber-samurai on a pogo-chariot pulled by Cerberus. You fight robots, ogres, near-naked chicks on Akira cycles, and lizard-men amidst an Egyptian mythological backdrop.

Regardless of the visual blitz, Battle Circuit is fun, especially with multiplayer. Up to four players can choose from five distinct characters that are equally bizarre and random. There's your typical Captain Commando fighter type, a cat girl, an alien plant creature, a little girl on a pink ostrich, and a sort of stretchy speedy guy.

The nifty part of the game is that these characters are bounty hunters, and they can purchase new moves with the money they earn from their beatdowns. They have fairly bland moves-sets when the game begins, but you slowly add Street Fighter-esque attacks as you progress. They're pretty simple affairs, such as DOWN-UP+ATTACK, but it's fun when you have a half-dozen of them to mix it up with. Unfortunately, the combat feels a little soft, as there's not enough punch and impact when you make contact.

It's not a stellar game, but worth a playthrough, and you really should check out this strange adieu to the beat-'em-up genre. MAME away; I can't find any evidence it was ever released in any other form.

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