Mega Drive / Genesis
ClayFighter was released for the Sega Genesis in 1994, about a year after the original Super Nintendo release. Fortunately, the Genesis version was just as good. In an era where 2D fighters seemed to be the dominant form of video gaming, ClayFighter was a step above the rest, at least in terms of originality and humor.
ClayFighter takes the typical 2D fighting game and adds claymation. Graphics were created by actually doing stop motion photography of clay figures on an Amiga. Up to 80 models were crated for each figure to get all of the moves necessary. The plot of the game involves a clay meteor that crashes into a circus turning all of the performers into clay caricatures of themselves with superpowers. This is a very humorous game and for those that like fighting games but aren’t fond of all the graphic violence or are just looking for a humorous alternative, then this is the game for you.
ClayFighter was a big success. I’m not sure why the Genesis version followed so far behind the Super Nintendo version unless it was a deal with Nintendo or they just weren’t sure how successful it would be. There were two sequels including ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay for the SNES and ClayFighter 63 1/3 for the N64 (the original was the only one on a Sega platform). There were also a couple of in-between enhancements for each platform, one of which was a Blockbuster exclusive limited to 20,000 copies (Sculptor’s Cut for the N64). Rereleases have been pretty limited with just a Virtual Console release in 2009. Interplay announced a more modern sequel and a remastered edition at different times but both were cancelled and unfortunately there is nothing currently in the works.
Screenshots above are from the Sega Genesis version of the game.