Mirage‘s infamous 1994 beat ’em up, Rise of the Robots, was hyped massively before, during and after its initial release, but never managed to break free from criticism that it was nothing more than a steaming pile of donkey muck.
Before release, developer Mirage boasted that the game would feature unprecedented opponent AI, which would adapt during play and give players of different ability levels a good, fair fight. In essence, what they got was a repetitive, stale shocker of a fighting game, with robots that didn’t look very interesting, weren’t very intimidating, and didn’t have much in common with what was good in a beat ’em up.
Playing Rise of the Robots now (and then), you have to wonder whether Street Fighter II by Capcom ever happened, because if it did then Mirage certainly didn’t seem to notice it. The moves you can pull in Rise of the Robots are quite standard – you can punch, you can kick, you can jump – but the characters themselves are so rigid that they look ridiculous jumping around and flailing.
The sad fact is: Rise of the Robots IS a bit ridiculous. It was a bad idea from the outset. Robots fighting each other, Street Fight II style? As anyone with a good appreciation of beat ’em ups might know – it is the human element that makes the pain so much fun in the first place.