Little Things: Cyberbots

Cyberbots isn’t my favorite fighting game, but it’s my favorite obscure one. It’s a mid-1990s experiment by Capcom’s talented designers, paying tribute to the orbital-war intrigue and clanking, realistic robots of Gundam. It’s full of huge, well-animated mecha smashing each other in front of richly drawn backdrops, and I often wonder why it doesn’t command even a fraction of the attention given to Street Fighter and Darkstalkers.

And then I remember why Cyberbots isn’t popular. It’s far too shallow to entice the combo-memorizing players who take on fighters competitively, and it doesn’t have the marketing to pull in the anime and model-kit fans. Yes, the giant-robot collectors of the world will buy variations of the same Gundam and Mazinger figures year in and year out, but they don’t want a big plastic version of Blodia, the flagship machine of Cyberbots; its spokesmecha, if you will.



Blodia is the Ryu of the game: a well-rounded combatant and the chosen robot of the game’s ostensible hero, the gung-ho Jin Saotome. Blodia also embodies the impressive level of detail in Cyberbots. When it comes to the small touches in the game, I can’t think of a better example than the spent shells that fly out of Blodia’s arm with each punch.



Mind you, that happens with every regular punch. It’s not a special move. Just tap one of the game’s two attack buttons (I told you it was shallow), and Blodia will spew tiny casings from its elbow.

Blodia and Jin Saotome later showed up in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, gaining some hilarious, excessively damaging attacks. Still, nothing really strikes my admiration like those little empty cartridges tumbling through the air.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What? No mention of the MvsC move where all of Jin's clothes fly off for no apparent reason?

Mark said...

I'd buy a Blodia kit. :( Then again, I'd line my shelves with those shoot-em-up fightercraft gashopon if they were cheaper.