Wednesday 18 August 2010


Oh my god what am I doing with my life.

Remember a while back when I played Shaq Fu and claimed that it wasn't as bad as people made out? Well I think it's probably time to show you a fighting game that is truely terrible. That game is "Fatman", or to give it its localised and more disturbing title, "Tongue of the Fatman" (or in the US, "Slaughter Sport"). Hold on to your children.

Fatman was developed by Brian A. Rice, Inc., a company known for educational computer titles. It was thrown onto the Commodore 64 and DOS computers, but today the focus is on the Sega Mega Drive version, released in 1990. It was the days before Street Fighter II, so you can expect things to be a bit off, but you can also expect a degree of quality, because this is part of the Mega Drive's library - a cutting edge console for the time.

So. Fatman is mostly unplayable, with the only entertaining section of the game being the introduction, in which a talking stomach welcomes you to the game. There's no character selection screen, so you're always forced to play as a fire-breathing human bloke, and your mission is to defeat everyone else and claim their souls for some reason. All of this is done under the watch of Jabba the Hut-esque character, "Mondu the fat", an obese creature surrounded by half dressed women. I'm sure it makes sense to someone.

Thrown into battle, you're faced with an opponent that is identical to yourself, but in a delightful shade of blue, and you have to kick his face in. A seems to be the "attack" button responsible for both punching and kicking. B lets you stand still breathe fire and C triggers items... or rather, restricts your enemy from jumping for a bit, because it's unlikely you'll get to play with anything else.

The game is extremely unfair for one key reason. If you get knocked off your feet, you'll always stand up facing the wrong way, and then will have to waste valuable time turning round. The computer doesn't have this problem, and is therefore at a huge advantage. All movements are slow and often unresponsive, so essentially it's almost impossible to beat the first stage. That is, unless, you duck and kick constantly. That seems to work. Though don't expect similar success stories on the second stage.

The physics are off a little too. I managed to punch someone across the room and I'm not sure how or why. Generally the game feels extremely clunky and broken and it's astonishing to think anyone actually developed it, letalone bought it.

The graphics don't change much either, which doesn't really go far in helping Sega to promote the wonders of 16-bit video game consoles. Granted, it did originate from computer versions that were limited by the size of floppy disks, but that's not an excuse for laziness. It's clearly a game made on the cheap... which is probably why it didn't get very far in life.

The music isn't great either. Most tracks don't last longer than ten seconds before repeating and they don't make great use of the console's sound capabilities. Yes it has digitised voices, but so did many other games of the time. It's nothing new.

One thing that is slightly interesting is the way the game is presented. It's a fighting game that's based around a tournament, and has some violence, along with a big fish that comes and eats you when you get a game over. It's almost a precursor to Mortal Kombat, though Mortal Kombat has the advantage of being playable.

Overall, a very bad game. I think you can give this one a miss, but hey, it's called Fatman.


  1. What!? You're telling me about "FATMAN" without showing a picture of the fat man himself? How crass!

    I thought his name was Mondu, by the way.