ClayFighter 63 1/3 (N64) Review

Voice acting in video games is often a mixed bag. Sure, the simple lines like “It’s-a me Mario!” can sound great, but any extensive voice work is silly at best. Fighting games usually have a lot of lines that are repeated over and over and over again, so if the voicework is poorly executed, the games can be grating.

Marvel vs Capcom 2
Rocket punch. Rocket punch. Optic Blast! Uni-beam!

That’s why ClayFighter 63 1/3 is so unusual. The voice talent featured in this game is nothing less than an all-star lineup of amazing voices. Here’s a list of the voice actors and some of their better known roles: Charles Adler (Buster Bunny), Jeff Bennett (Brooklyn from Gargoyles), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), Jess Harnell (Wakko Warner), Tress MacNeille (Dot Warner), Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner), Frank Welker (Megatron), and Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson). Those aren’t just good voice actors; they are the best voice actors.

But voice acting is a small part of the overall game experience. How does it play?

Poopy
Something like this

It’s not a terrible game design. It draws super moves from Street Fighter, fatalities from Mortal Kombat, and combos from Killer Instinct. Too bad they just don’t mix all that well. The fights become cheap combo fests and they’re really not that fun. It felt better when the game was new, but it really hasn’t aged well.

The graphics look like blurry vomit, but that’s expected for an N64 game (which were all notoriously blurry). But the worst part is the freaking impossible difficulty level. The computer is a cheating bastard and even on easy you’ll get caught in unbreakable combos (at that point, you just sit back and watch as your character gets pummeled to death) I understand the desire for some challenge in games, but this is ridiculous. There’s a fine line between challenge and sadism and this game is miles past that line. This game can make grown men cry (I’ve seen it)

In the end, it’s an interesting chimaera of a game. The graphics and gameplay suck like a Hoover, but the voice actors might be the best line-up you’ll ever see (in any medium). Too bad those talents are wasted (like any studio musicians that have to play back-up for a Ke$ha track)

Final verdict: Do I need to show the poop image again?

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