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FX Fighter Turbo


Reviewed by: Chris McMullen
Author: Argonaut Price: Retail:£39.99 UK
Category: Beat-em-up Released: November 1996
Platform: Windows 95. Version: Release
Multiplayer: Up to 2 via Modem/Serial, Multi-controllers, IPX.

Graphic modes: 320x200x256, 640x480x256
Controls: Gamepad, Keyboard
Sound devices: Windows 95 supported cards.
Computer Memory HD space CD speed Other reqs/options
Minimum P75 8M 20M x2 Win 95 required. Game includes version for S3 Virge graphics cards (untested)
Reviewed on P133 16M 20M x4
Recommended P133 16M 20M x2


Siren gains the upper hand with her statically charged thigh-length boots

Have a listen to this excerpt from FX Fighter Turbo's manual, and tell me if this doesn't rank as the corniest, and generally incoherant game plot ever. 'The Cadre sent Kwondo out to fight Rygil and destroy Anarchis. Along the way Kwondo met with Linna, one of the high-commanders of the Dhotis forces. Linna had managed to avoid the destruction of her planet, and had stood by in horror as it was destroyed by Anarchis. Now, together with Kwondo, it was time for revenge...'

Eh? Come again? There's two pages of this stuff, explaining the plot behind the game, which is basically this. Some psychotic cyborg has nicked a Death Star type machine, and is going round the galaxy challenging various races to come and have a go if they think they're hard enough, and blowing up their planets if they aren't. It's up to you to stop him. There you go... I encompassed the entire plot in two lines. And since when did a beat-em-up (for FX Fighter is such) need a plot? You don't need a big spaceship to start a fight. Who writes this stuff?

Punch up

Beware the Super Twisty Stare of Death (TM)

After that introductory ramble, perhaps a little more explanation is in order. FX Fighter Turbo is the semi sequel to FX Fighter, a beat-em-up which first appeared on the PC three years ago. Written by Argonaut, the team behind Star Fox on the SNES, it was a 3D beat-em-up, a little like Virtua Fighter, and Toshinden , both of which have since been converted to the PC. At the time, FX Fighter was the only 3D beat-em-up on the PC and received a mixed reaction from the PC press. Personally, I thought it wasn't all that good, and that the game was relying too much on the 3D gimmick to lift itself out of the beat-em-up detritus.

The game gave you control of one of eight fighters, each with an assortment of fighting moves, and pitted you against the other fighters, and the big boss guy, Rygil. The rest you can probably work out... fight, fight, fight, lose, fight, fight fight, lose, fight, fight win. And so on. But now Argonaut have released an updated version of the game called, somewhat originally, FX Fighter Turbo. So what's changed?


Do your passport photos look like this? Then consult a physician.

Well, I'll start off with the 'Turbo' in the game's title. Tur-bo. Roll it around your tongue. What does the word 'Turbo' suggest to you? Turbo charged, perhaps? Faster, maybe? And is FX Fighter Turbo any faster than the original? Er, no. It's slower. Much slower. And it runs under Windows 95 which doesn't exactly do much for the performance of a game anyway. You could happily run the original game on a 486DX66, with all the textures on. This version, however, requires a P60 minimum, and even then, you'll have problems. Aside from the decrease in speed, there are an assortment of new moves for the existing fighters, and two new fighters have been added. There's modem and network play modes, and the graphics have been spruced a little. Apart from that, not much has changed. But what's really important is.. how does it play?


'Eat hippy sparkles, fiend!'

The answer is, 'not all that well'. The fighters are slow to respond to moves, even at the highest speed setting, which can prove fatal in a match. The collision detection is also a tad suspect. And no, that's not just bitterness at losing. A number of times I found my fighter downed by a blow that clearly didn't connect. And the moves aren't particularly impressive, just the usual selection of fireballs and flying kicks, with the odd throw thrown in. There are few of the complex body throws and reversal moves found in Virtua Fighter. On top of that, the fighters don't seem to be that intelligent; I know they can't be as smart as real players, but they seem to do little more than pull off random moves. It's easy to get them into a pattern of knocking them down, whacking them as they get up, and repeating this. Not sporting, I admit, but it's fairly easy to do. There's none of the challenge or complexity that made Virtua Fighter such good games.

Smack in the gob

'Tournament rule number 14: females are admitted only if wearing a low-cut top or bikini.'

The SFX + Graphics in FX Fighter Turbo aren't particularly good either. The bloke who announces the fighters, sounds like a bored Nigel Planer voice. For anyone in the US reading this, Nigel Planer played Neil in the Young Ones. I keep expecting the announcer to finish a match with 'Oh, wow, you like win, man.' It's almost funny. But not quite. The other sound effects aren't much good, although the background music is a little better. I had a major problem getting the game to work properly with the sound on.. the characters kept freezing for about a second. In the end, I had to disable sound via the Windows 95 Control Panel. There was no option in FX Fighter Turbo's menu to turn it off. The graphics aren't much better, either. The characters look blocky, and are poorly animated. And slow, too; both Toshinden and Virtua Fighter run faster, in SVGA mode than this game.


Magnon fights a refugee from the 'Money for Nothing' video.

To summarize, FX Fighter Turbo is a very average game. It offers little real improvement over the original FX Fighter game. It's uninspiring, and not particularly playable. There are two other 3D beat-em-ups on the PC, Toshinden and Virtua Fighter both of which beat FX Fighter Turbo in the gameplay and graphics stakes. Look elsewhere, and give this one a miss.


  • Well, it's not complete rubbish.


  • But it's not brilliant, either.
  • It's slower than the original.
  • It needs Windows 95 to run.
  • There's nothing really original.
  • Toshinden and Virtua Fighter are better.


Appeal: Beat-em-up fans who feel the urge to own every beat-em-up in existence.
Originality & Storyline: It pretty unoriginal, and the plot is the usual 'fate of the galaxy/world' stuff.
Graphics & Video: Not particularly good, and the animation isn't very good.
Audio: The music is average, and the SFX aren't much good.
Longevity: A few days.
Presentation: Poor... there are two separate menus, accessible in different ways.
Packaging & Docs: The manual's okay.. it lists most of the fighting moves.
Bugs & Problems: Game jerked a lot on my PC, and only disabling sound stopped this.

Copyright © Chris McMullen for the Games Domain Review, 1996. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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