ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay Review

ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay

If you’re looking for forgotten fighting game franchises that probably should remain forgotten, it’s hard to top ClayFighter. The series holds some nostalgic value for some due to its unique art direction, which attempted to replicate the look of clay animation. But take away that one attribute and one thing becomes clear: ClayFighter is pretty bad.

ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay – an annoyingly obvious parody of Terminator 2: Judgement Day – might not be the worst game in the series, but it does a good job at summing up its many shortcomings.

The most obvious of these shortcomings being the gameplay. This was a series that spawned in the wake of Street Fighter 2’s success, so there was a standard for the genre to live up to. But ClayFighter evidently missed the memo, and borrows none of the intricacies or depth of Street Fighter’s gameplay. Even the monotonous fighting of the original Mortal Kombat feels fleshed out by comparison.

ClayFighter simply took a popular genre, and added its own schtick to the equation (clay characters) and called it a day. It’s one of those poorly conceived fighters that seems to cater to button mashing as opposed to requiring any kind of strategies, combos, or anything that requires being thought-out. There are also some terrible balance issues, with some characters – namely the self-explanatory Blob – making the game much easier due to the outrageous advantages they have over others.

The characters are an odd assortment of cartoon characters: Bad Mr. Frosty is a snowman with an attitude, Googoo is a big, ugly baby, and Hoppy is a musclebound bunny who parodies Arnold Schwarzenegger, which puts him in that most played out of cliches of a cute thing being turned violent. These are just a few of the characters, who also have “evil” counterparts who can be unlocked. The game is clearly going for a kind of tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, but the characters are so charmless that the humor never really comes through.

I must admit that the clay-inspired character models still hold up pretty well. The character designs themselves aren’t too pretty to look at, but the game was pretty successful at mimicking the clay look through its limitations. Though Hoppy’s character model looks suspiciously less clay-like, which might be a sign of either a lack of caring or time with his creation.

ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay is a hard game to recommend except for those who have the utmost nostalgia for it. Even then I’m sure those people probably have nostalgia for other games that are far more worth a revisit. “C2” just feels like a basic, rushed fighter that lacks any real creativity or depth. The graphics are fun to look at for a short time, but they can’t hide the shallow gameplay, unfunny sense of humor, poor balance, and general lack of fun.




Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

7 thoughts on “ClayFighter 2: Judgement Clay Review”

    1. I think I liked the characters in the first one more. It had Taffy and Ickybod Clay (both of which really looked like clay figures), as well as that Elvis impersonator. Only three of the original characters returned for the sequel, and the new ones weren’t very memorable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ickybod Clay was always my favorite! Though I have a bit of a weird bias, because ever since I was a kid, I’ve always thought scarecrows are totally awesome. And he kind of looked like a scarecrow with his pumpkin head and whatnot.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I heard of this series. Specifically, as you say, I heard it’s one of those series that has no relevance whatsoever unless you were around when it was first released. It looks really good for a SNES game, but that means nothing if the gameplay hasn’t aged well. Future generations wouldn’t get why it was ever popular. Actually, it makes me wonder: are there any games released within the last ten years that will ultimately suffer from this fate?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure there are some games from the last ten years that will be pretty irrelevant down the road, but I can’t say for sure which ones.

      The look of ClayFighter has held up surprisingly well, but yeah, the gameplay just isn’t there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fair enough. Even with certain telltale warning signs, only with the all-seeing, all-knowing power of hindsight can one truly say if any work has aged well.


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