Have You Played… Body Blows?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I have a soft spot for slightly shoddy, me-too games from the early ’90s. The three or four football games that all tried desperately to ape Sensible Soccer after its success, for example. Or, in this case, Body Blows’ attempt to mimic the success of Street Fighter II. I played it originally on the Amiga but it was also available on DOS, and in my memories, it was charmingly rubbish.

Instead of Ken and Ryu, you had Nik and Dan, the latter of which could throw balls of fire. Instead of Zangief, you had Kossak, who had a ponytail instead of a mohawk. Not all of the fighters were inspired directly by Street Fighter, of course: spoilers for this 22 year-old game, but defeating the last fighter Max would reveal him to be a robot called ‘T17’, after Terminator and the game’s developer, Team 17.

My pointing out these similarities aren’t criticisms – or at least, not strong ones. I was around eight years-old when I played Body Blows and I didn’t mind one bit that it felt a little like unofficial Frozen merchandise does now. It was fun, it was a little bit like another game I liked, and I played it probably just as much as Capcom’s classic.

Here’s a video of it in action, from YouTube channel World of Longplays.

22 Comments

  1. Renton says:

    Why yes I have!

    What an ugly, weird, fun game that was. Or maybe I have nostalgia glasses on. I mean, I haven’t played it in 2 decades.

  2. Keiggo says:

    I actually loved this series. I had Body Blows, Body Blows Galactic and the third one that was basically a greatest hits collection of the first two games. Actually, I had that one on CD32!

    Sorry for the Peter Kay-ing nostalgia. Body Blows? Body? Blows?

  3. c-Row says:

    And that title tune…!

    • Eindvijand says:

      Oh lord. I felt so was when, within seconds of hearing that title tune, I was eagerly waiting for the “C’Mon!”.

      God, growing up with the Amiga was such a delicious thing.

  4. Michael Fogg says:

    BB has a character named ‘Ninja’ who is a ninja and also shouts ‘Ninjaa!’ every time he attacks, this is great!

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    underscore says:

    It was also WAY better than the Amiga port of Streetfighter 2.

    Sort of a Cities Skylines / Sim City 13 deal – the successor is better by just doing what the original should have done in the first place.

    • iainl says:

      That’s it in a nutshell for me. Body Blows was designed around us poor souls with a single fire button, and for all its clunky budget limitations, it was a hell of a lot better than the game struggling to claim it was SFII while suffering the same lack of input options.

      It sits in the same charming little zone that T17’s Alien Breed 3D did; it’s clearly rubbish in a direct comparison to its obvious inspiration, but in facing the hardware limitations it takes the game somewhere pretty interesting.

    • LexW1 says:

      That is true!

      Compared to Street Fighter 2 on the SNES, it was utter drivel.

      But if you didn’t compare it to that, if you compared it to sundry other fighters, including the crummy ST/Amiga ports of SF2, then it was a decent game.

  6. RuySan says:

    Don’t blame the Amiga for these rip-offs, blame Team17 for making a career of ripping off other games. Besides, Mortal Kombat was a much better SF2 alternative on the amiga than this soulless game. Or you can play the eternal IK+ which was the beast beat em up on the system.

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    Hodge says:

    To be fair, unanaesthetized bowel surgery is also better than the Amiga version of Street Fighter 2.

    The Amiga saw a bunch of these SF2 knockoffs and they were all more or less terrible, especially compared to their counterparts in console land. Shadow Fighter was the best of the bunch but even it’s not what it’s made out to be.

    Fighting Sprit had this bitchin’ title tune though.

    link to youtu.be

    • Deano2099 says:

      Came to this thread specifically to mention Shadow Fighter!

  8. kulik says:

    What comes next, Brutal: Paws of Fury?

  9. binkbenc says:

    For some reason, I remember this as having the funniest review ever in the mags at the time (I want to say Zone, but it might have been Gamer). My teenage self thought it was hilarious…all I can remember now is something about one of the characters moving so fast that his sprite had clouds obscuring his lower half, and the caption saying something about how he was so angry he’d bitten his own legs off. Maybe you had to be there (and in your early teens). The internet’s not helping me, but if anyone can find it, I’m ready to laugh again.

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    DantronLesotho says:

    I don’t remember this, but I DO remember Sango Fighter. Me and my classmates would play the demo with just two characters for hours. I remember it being soooo slow.

  11. Kefren says:

    Loved it, we used to have knockout tournaments, though banned overpowered characters like Mike and Kossak. I liked Body Blows Galactic too, but the GOG port was impossible to play when I tried last year (can’t remember why, probably a controller issue). It was an Amiga staple, but the loading times between bouts…

  12. Imbecile says:

    Ninjaaaa!
    Ninjaaaa!
    Ninjaaaa!

  13. Ben says:

    Yes! I played the demo of this (off an Amiga Power cover disk iirc) and enjoyed the thrill of getting to play a fighting game without owning a console.

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    gritz says:

    World of Longplays is a treasure.

  15. ryke says:

    So, Nik is simultaneously discount Ryu/Ken and discount Terry Bogard? Impressive.