Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix

Pocket Fighter (Japanese: ポケットファイター), also known as Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix in North America and Europe, is a Japanese fighting video game parody, released by Capcom in 1997 for the CPS II arcade system. It was ported to the PlayStation, which retained the Pocket Fighter title for its North American and European releases, then the Sega Saturn and WonderSwan (in Japan only), as well as the PlayStation 2 as part of the SFA-themed compilation title Street Fighter Alpha Anthology.

Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Gem Fighter sales flyer.png
Sales flyer showing the ten main fighters
Developer(s)Capcom
Publisher(s)Capcom
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, WonderSwan, PlayStation 2 (Street Fighter Alpha Anthology)
ReleaseArcade
  • JP: September 4, 1997
  • NA: 1997
PlayStation
  • JP: June 11, 1998
  • NA: July 1, 1998
  • EU: November 1998
Saturn
  • JP: July 9, 1998
WonderSwan
  • JP: April 6, 2000
PlayStation 2
(as part of Street Fighter Alpha Anthology)
  • JP: May 25, 2006
  • NA: June 13, 2006
  • EU: July 7, 2006
Genre(s)Fighting
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
CabinetStandard
Arcade systemCPS-2
DisplayRaster, 384 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors

The game uses the same SD character designs previously used in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, a puzzle game by Capcom.[1] The return of most of the "puzzle fighters" on the roster includes characters from Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge; Also including special guests from CPS III fighting games such as Ibuki from Street Fighter III and Tessa from Red Earth. It also features many character cameos from various Capcom games scattered in the background of the stages.[2] Two mobile-only spin-offs based on this game, Solitier Fighter[3] and Poker Fighter[4] were released for cellphones in 2003 in Japan only.

GameplayEdit

In addition to the standard fighting, there are various gems (similar to the ones seen in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo) that the player can collect during matches to power up their character (based on Red Earth), as well as elemental orbs which can be thrown to the opponent in a variety of angles (visually based on elemental hits in Darkstalkers), which may affect the opponent (turn into stone, freeze, etc.). Each character starts each match with one of these (Tessa always starts with the ice orb, while Ryu starts with the lightning orb).

There are two bars and three sub-bars in the interface. The two main bars are the life bar and the super bar, the first indicates the character's health and the second their ability to perform "Mighty Combos". The Mighty Combo gauge itself can be filled up to 9 stocks. Each Mighty Combo has a level assigned to it, which determines how many "Mighty Combo" gauges it will need.

Each character has animated stock icons (or lives) on the interface. Throughout the battle, the stock icon emotions for a character will change from happy, to sad, to surprised (only happens if a character is K.O.ed, or has lost a round via time over). All fighters normally start with three stock icons at the beginning of a match.

The three sub-bars at the bottom corners of the screen displays the level of three of the character's special moves. Each character has at least three special moves, as shown in the sub-bars, and each of these corresponds to a color. Some characters have one or two additional Special Moves that aren't affected by sub-bars. Each time an attack connects to an opponent, gems pop out of him or her, and which can then be taken to power up the corresponding special moves.

There are four buttons: Punch, Kick, Special, and Taunt. The Special button performs a chargeable move that cannot be blocked and upon impact drops gems in the opponent's possession. More gems will be dropped depending on how much the Special attack is charged. Holding Down, Forward or no direction at all when using the Special button will cause a specific gem color to drop from the enemy. Holding Back along with the Special button allows for a defense that is specific against the unblockable Special attacks. Other kinds of attacks do no damage when blocked, and unlike most 2D fighting games, this includes special moves and Mighty Combos.

Gem Fighter also features "Flash Combos", or "Costume Combos", where the player can perform a combo by pressing the Kick or Punch button after striking their opponent with the Punch button for a total of four hits. Flash Combos will usually cause a character to change into various costumes during the sequence[2] (except for Ryu, who uses accessories for two of his Flash/Costume Combos), and perform a powerful attack in the end - this final hit is usually the hardest in the sequence to connect with. These costumes range from uniforms (such as traffic cops or schoolgirls), to swimsuits, and even cosplays of other Capcom characters. For example, Chun-Li may turn into her version of Jill from Resident Evil, while Felicia may turn into her version of Mega Man, or other Darkstalkers characters not playable in the game.

The commands are also very easy compared to the Street Fighter series, thanks to the Special button. By doing a motion (for example: qcf or hcf) and pressing the Special Button, this will make a fighter perform their Mighty Combo.

Playable charactersEdit

Street Fighter charactersEdit

  • Ryu - Ryu searches for Tessa who may know a new challenge for him. In his ending, she sends him to battle Hauzer. However, Tessa realizes that those who went to battle Hauzer never returned alive. His attacks have lightning-themed elements
  • Ken - Ken is looking for a beautiful woman to have tea with when he and his wife Eliza begin drifting away after their honeymoon. In his ending, he eventually finds Morrigan and has tea with her until Eliza sees through this and begins attacking Ken mercilessly, much to Morrigan's amusement. His attacks have fire-themed elements.
  • Zangief - Zangief seeks Felicia to convince her to perform a concert in Russia which eventually becomes a hit.
  • Chun-Li - Chun-Li goes in search of a missing zoo animal and accidentally mistakes Felicia as the missing animal. In her ending, after apprehending the catwoman, Chun-Li learns of Felicia's disappearance and goes out in search of her, not knowing she already captured her.
  • Ibuki - Ibuki is searching for Sakura, who might know the location of the ice cream shop in Harajuku. In her ending, she finds Guy in Harajuku and challenges him to a fight, but declines when treated to a baked potato. Ibuki is the only SFIII playable character in the game, but several others make cameos. As a result, she is the only default character who cannot be fought as a rival.
  • Sakura - Sakura makes it her mission to look for her friend and idol, Ryu, who agrees to train her if she can defeat him. In the end, she gets her wish during the summer.

Darkstalkers charactersEdit

  • Morrigan - In her story, Morrigan is jealous of Chun-Li's beauty and goes to find her to prove she is the most attractive and the more powerful woman. She believes that defeating her would prove it. But soon afterwards, in her ending, she finds Lilith seducing a flock of male followers. Shown-up and enraged, she realizes her quest is not finished.
  • Hsien-Ko (Lei-Lei in Japan) - Hsien-Ko and her sister Mei-Ling (also known as Lin Lin in this game) are searching for Zangief, who is offering a part-time job, mainly because they are unemployed and short of money.
  • Felicia - Felicia searches for Ken, who has contacts in the movie industry, so she can branch out her artistic pursuits. In her ending, Ken gets her acquainted with Fei Long, who gives her a part in his latest project; however, much to her dismay, she plays the part of the antagonist.

Red Earth charactersEdit

  • Tessa (Tabasa in Japan) - Tessa goes in search of a magic wand that Hsien-Ko owns. However, in the end, when she gets the magical scepter, she discovers that it belongs to Anakaris' trading company and she is, thus, transformed into a penguin in the end. She is the only Red Earth playable character in the game, although others make cameos: Leo is sitting in Tessa's chair at her den in one of the stages, she can transform into a Hauzer-like dragon in one of her supers, and she uses Mai-Ling as both a companion and human shield.

Secret charactersEdit

  • Dan - Dan is looking for students to start a new school. He finds Sakura and sees her as his first student. She leaves him after three days, however, and writes him a letter saying that she's already mastered everything he'd need to teach her and that his moves look strange in addition to being worthless in a fight. She ends the letter calling him a "loser" and Dan begins to shed a stream of tears.
  • Akuma (Gouki in Japan) - Akuma is on the lookout for a new location to practice his skills after his island is turned into an amusement park. Hsien-Ko takes him to an abandoned graveyard in the middle of a lush forest, telling him that he can practice his skills on the zombies that come out at night. His attacks have smoke-themed elements.

DevelopmentEdit

After Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo was released in 1996, development on the game began, with its internal working title at the time being Street Fighter Kids, as it is a children's game for the light-hearted. It was originally going to only have characters from the Street Fighter series as the name suggests, but characters from other Capcom games were added in, thus changing the game's title to Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix.

Some of the art designers that worked on Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo returned for Gem Fighter to work on the designs for the story and stage backgrounds, characters, and objects that were used in the game. The illustrations were done by Shima Maeda, with some minor artwork by Edayan. All of the game's cutscenes have additional voice acting in the Japanese version, but this was removed in the international versions of the game.

The game's original musical score is composed by Yoshino Aoki, as well as Isao Abe, Yuki Iwai and Setsuo Yamamoto, and the sound design for the game is done by Satoshi Ise, Ryoji, and Hiroshi Ohno. Additional sound design for the Playstation and Sega Saturn ports was done by Nariyuki Nobuyama and More Rich. Norihiko Togashi did the sound design and music for the Wonderswan version.

The primary themes for the music are a mix of catchy tunes and themes that would fit well for the game (the Wonderswan version uses chiptune variants of the game's music). Additional music was scored for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions. The soundtrack album for the game was released on December 17, 1997 in Japan, and the remixed soundtrack album was released on September 18, 1998 in Japan, which includes the music from the Playstation and Sega Saturn versions of the game, and the soundtrack for Capcom Sports Club.

The PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions of the game add in additional modes like Character Edit and Running Battle Mode, while the Wonderswan version adds in an Card Battle Mode.

A pachinko game released by SANKYO, Fever Street Fighter II[5], which was released five years after Gem Fighter in Japan only, re-uses most of the sprites for five of the Street Fighter series characters from this game.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
GameRankings73% (PS)[6]
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM7.3 / 10
Game Informer7.75 / 10
GamePro4.5 / 5[7]
GameSpot3.5 / 10
Next Generation     [8]
OPM (UK)4 / 5

In Japan, Game Machine listed Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix on their November 15, 1997 issue as being the ninth most-successful arcade game of the year.[9]

Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "The game itself is distracting fun for two players (although utterly mindless as a single-player game) and again, amusing. Solid stuff, but only for the true cognoscenti."[8]

In 2011, Complex ranked it as the 42nd best fighting game of all time.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Monster in your Pocket". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 22. Emap International Limited. August 1997. p. 11.
  2. ^ a b Harrod, Warren (November 1997). "Coin-Operated". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 25. Emap International Limited. p. 92. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "Solitier Fighter (archived)". Retrieved October 4, 2012. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  4. ^ "Poker Fighter (archived)". Retrieved September 28, 2012. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  5. ^ "Fever Street Fighter II (archived)". Retrieved December 4, 2002. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  6. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps/198303-pocket-fighter/index.html
  7. ^ Major "Mini Mix" Mike (September 1998). "PlayStation ProReview: Pocket Fighter (By Capcom)". GamePro. No. 120. p. 108.
  8. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 45. Imagine Media. September 1998. p. 136.
  9. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 553. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 November 1997. p. 21.
  10. ^ Peter Rubin, The 50 Best Fighting Games of All Time, Complex.com, March 15, 2011.

External linksEdit