Ahem. Time for the overly-long explanation about CPS screenshot resolution! Except it's not even quite CPS1, sort-of, which we'll also have to explain mid-article, probably. Blimey, this stuff gives me a headache. Anyway, MAME and most emulators render CPS1 screenshots out at a weird resolution- 384 x 224- because that's the actual resolution, but that's not how you saw 'em in the arcades, ain't no widescreen there unless you were playing in Taitovision (or Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact's Widescreen mode). This is explained in-depth over here, and it basically means that we've had to adjust them by way of bodging it (via HTML- we tried editing them and it turned out badly) to be 320 x 240. Also, any comic scans / covers in this article come from Comixology which has a significant amount but still incomplete collection of '80s and '90s Punisher comics. Like, the one where he fights Bonebreaker and Pretty Boy- which would've been very very useful to have, seeing as they're in the game- just aren't there. What the hell? Also, why isn't there any Krazy Kat on there, you'd really think...

Before Marvel vs. Capcom, before even X-Men: Children of the Atom, there was the original Marvel / Capcom team-up.

Today we're talking about my favourite Capcom brawler, The Punisher.

Our story begins in the '90s, as stories on this site have a tendency to do. Specifically, we find ourselves in mid-1993, with Capcom on the cusp of unleashing their CPS2 board onto the world with its first release in August, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. Just before that though, there was a system inbetween the two that was basically the same as CPS1 but with enhanced sound capabilities thanks to the inclusion of Q Sound technology and a more concerted effort to thwart piracy with the dreaded 'suicide batteries' that became standard for CPS2. Officially called CP System Dash, but often casually referred to as CPS Q Sound or CPS1.5, the list of games released for it is pretty small, but three of them are the final scrolling brawlers Capcom would release for CPS1 hardware, the last clutch of titles before the likes of Alien vs. Predator, Armored Warriors and the Dungeons & Dragons duology. Honestly, these three games- Warriors of Fate / Tenchi wo Kurau II, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and today's subject, The Punisher- are just as high-quality as their impending CPS2 successors, and are all absolutely worth exploring. For today though, let's deal with Capcom's first Marvel-licensed joint.

Now, I'm no comic book historian I'm afraid to say, but what I can tell you is that in the late '80s and early '90s, The Punisher- real name Frank Castle, ex-Marine and war veteran (which war depends on the era) who dooms himself to a senseless, endless war on crime after the murder of his family for being in the wrong place at the wrong time- was a big deal for Marvel. Created as a sort-of villain for Spider-Man in 1973 and appearing here and there alongside other Marvel heroes over the years, he got a limited miniseries in 1986 and a long-running solo series in 1987 and maintained that momentum- by 1993 Frank Castle was headlining three ongoing comics plus a separate magazine and The Punisher Armory which was a text-heavy set of comics all about guns, guns, guns. Of the ones I could find from the time period (there's big gaps in the Comixology selection) I think my favourite is The Punisher War Journal, primarily the work of Carl Potts and Jim Lee but if you're into that anti-hero stuff (you can see him as one of Marvel's contributions to the anti-hero comic phenomenon of the '80s and '90s) any of those ongoing series are solid choices (and the MAX version of The Punisher from the 2000s if you're down for some gore). His crime-fighting style (read: killing all criminals, no questions asked, even when he's in prison) put him at odds with pretty much every other hero in the Marvel universe but it made him an easy fit for video games which Marvel were of course happy to license out.

Needless to say, most of these adaptations go with guns for the core of the gameplay, such as the self-titled NES game that's in the style of Dynamite Duke, The Punisher: The Ultimate Payback! on the Game Boy which is more like a lightgun game with a cursor, and the Amiga game which sure looks like an Amiga game. That said, a scrolling brawler seems like a perfect fit for Frank, and so that's the form Capcom's arcade game based on the property took. It helps that Capcom were on a hot streak at the time, already at least six games deep into the genre. Teaming The Punisher (P1) up with Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury (P2), the two begin chasing Bruno Costa (one of the gunmen involved in the murder of Frank's family) but soon get wrapped up in the machinations of Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk, ruler of the criminal underworld who plans to put them both out of business permanently with help from villains like Bonebreaker, Bushwhacker, Jigsaw and even a Guardroid stolen from Dr. Doom (no, really). Any excuse for The Punisher to send an army of goons to the morgue, even if Fury would prefer to send them to the emergency room.

To get you all up to speed, the game's intro retells The Punisher's origin story with stark bluntness:

(Although comic book fans may recognise the art here- the panels were adapted from a recounting of The Punisher's origin in The Punisher War Journal #1.)

Onto the game itself, let's start with the very basics. This was actually Capcom's last two-button brawler for several years- they'd use three and four-button layouts for most CPS2 brawlers before going back to two for Battle Circuit- and so this hews closer to Final Fight than something like Alien vs. Predator, but as we'll see, that's not necessarily a bad thing. From just Attack and Jump, both Castle and Fury have the usual moves- a standard chain of attacks ending with a knockdown (hold Up or Down to auto-throw at the end, with Up allowing you to change the direction of the throw), a desperation attack (referred to on the flyer as SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUE, aw yeah) to attack everyone around you plus new moves like that were becoming standards in Capcom brawlers such as the Down-Up-Attack (in this case a powerful flip-kick) and rolling (a bit like running in Captain Commando but can be started from any direction and ended with an attack) as well as completely new abilities like the Izuna Drop for piledriving punks into the pavement, picking up knocked-down enemies and a desperation throw performed from a grab (it's a Giant Swing, yes yes yes). Considering there's only two buttons to work with, these basic mechanics work really well and you always have plenty of options when it comes to approaching enemy mobs or getting out of the way of danger. It's a small but very nicely-formed toolkit that's incredibly satisfying to use against goons and it's also further complimented by the other mechanics in the game.

Castle and Fury also have two weapons in their regular arsenal, the first being a limited number of grenades which act like a bomb when dropped (both buttons in mid-air) and can be used on the ground when you don't have enough health for a SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUE (as well as a bigger bang, you get a little mercy invincibility while flinging it). This is a nice 'get off me' mechanic that you don't see too often in the genre and especially helpful for bosses, and you get a sensible amount of grenades both to start with and to pick up. Something more unusual is the other weapon, a pistol, with firearms being something of a novelty in the genre. Having a game based on The Punisher without guns would certainly be odd, so Capcom found a compromise here- Frank and Nick pull out pistols whenever armed mooks or the robotic Pretty Boy enemies appear, but they don't do too much damage and they put them away when those enemies are taken out. This can be used tactically by keeping those kinds of enemies alive to take out more dangerous foes first (and can be used to chip away at some bosses, such as Bonebreaker) but the gunplay is a little fiddly, probably the weakest aspect of the combat- you have a crosshairs to show which enemy you're aiming at and you can change targets but if they're behind you this involves moving and turning somewhat slowly and it can someties get in the way if you're just trying to punch someone. Generally though it works OK, and it's a neat way of incorporating gunplay without it taking over the rest of the mechanics, although arguably the system used in Armored Warriors and Alien vs. Preadator is somewhat more elegant with a separate button dedicated to firearms.

What makes The Punisher stand out is its weaponry outside of the guns and grenades. Almost every scene in the game has weapons available, either lying out in the open, hiding in destructible scenery (not just oil drums- barrels, beds, sofas, portraits of The Kingpin, etc.) or brought onto the scene by enemies, and there's a lot of different ones. Unusually for a Capcom brawler, every weapon has a limited number of uses too (shown as an actual number rather than a lifebar so it's nice and clear) in addition to disappearing after being dropped enough times, encouraging you to move from weapon to weapon constantly, using whatever's in reach to get the upper hand on enemies. What makes this game's approach special isn't just that there's a lot of weapons, but that they all feel sufficiently different from one another in terms of usage and durability and many are multi-purpose- looking at projectile weapons as an example, you have to pick up lances after throwing them; shurikens act like a spray of bullets; boomerangs can be caught on their way back to you; M16s can spread their bullets up and down the screen, and so on. Being able to easily ditch most weapons (most striking weapons can be tossed away by jumping and pressing Attack) also gives every weapon a projectile function too! Getting score bonuses from the items you pick up during a stage further incentivises you to grab whatever you can to defend yourself, and they all feel satisfying to use. This reliance on weapons offsets one of the weaknesses of the game, that there's no selectable characters and so no different move sets or character stats. Some may baulk at this idea, but I feel The Punisher pivots its focus from character abilities to weapons so well that you don't really notice, and gives it a unique flavour among Capcom's brawlers.

Moving on to the stage designs, The Punisher mostly focuses on short-ish areas densely packed with enemies and weapons, with little in the way of gimmicks. There are some that stray from this path- Stage 4 has you moving between sections of a moving train and slowly destroying it piece by piece and Stage 6 has some rather long corridor sections similar to the Mad Gear hideout in Final Fight as well as a lift sequence- but generally things are kept at a brisk pace with very little downtime. Some may see this as a negative- especially compared to Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and Alien vs. Predator, there's less in the way of stage-specific hazards beyond plenty of destructible elements- but while they may have been nice to add, the stages are so quickly-paced that they may have just bogged things down. Additionally, the lack of enemy behaviour diversity may be a negative for some- this certainly isn't Streets of Rage II where you feel each enemy has distinct patterns, for the most part enemies are more divided on whether they're armed or unarmed and what weapons you have available. There's exceptions, of course- Pretty Boys and the Kunoichi trio are easily the most distinct (you slowly tear Pretty Boys apart until they're just legs or even a head) but generally it's not as apparent here. The game's focus on weapons gives it enough of a personality for me to not mind this- it's different rather than worse, if you get me. One thing absolutely in the game's favour is the boss fights- the majority of them are gigantic enemies that are super-fun to battle, with no fights that drag on too much because the enemy's too quick for you to pin down (looking at you, Rolento).

The Punisher's true X-Factor is its pacing, though- it is just the right length, and zips along at just the right pace, and this is one of the bigger factors for it being my favourite Capcom brawler. There's nothing worse to me for a scrolling brawler than to drag out for too long (something modern brawlers are extremely guilty of- it's OK, you don't need to be super-long) and this one I feel nails the balancing act of keeping it long enough to satisfy but not too long, with new enemies and weapons pouring in at a steady pace that you can just about keep up with. I would argue that Stage 5 and 6 do have some segments that are a smidgen too drawn-out, perhaps- the forest before the Guardroid 2 battle and the lead-up to the Kingpin fight- but this is absolutely preferable to some of the overly-long sections in other Capcom brawlers (the multi-stage Tyrog boss fight in Cadillacs & Dinosaurs springs to mind). This is almost certainly why, when I need to pick a Capcom brawler to play, I tend to gravitate towards this one, as it nails the pace while having enough going on under the hood to keep me engaged.

As for presentation, the game is on par with the other CPS Dash titles but with a comic book-style sense of bombast in parts- many actions in-game are punctuated with comic-style onomatopoeia and ridiculous (but not too nauseating) screen-shaking for explosions and the like. The sprites are a nice size too with plenty of animation frames, going for a slightly larger character size than some of the other Capcom brawlers of the time. Admittedly, the colour palette may be a bit narrow for some people's tastes as you can see from the screenshots, primarily grey greens, browns and blues with places like the forest and Fisk's headquarters mixing things up. Some of that can certainly be pinned to sticking closely to the license and not going out of its way to be colourful, so it's fitting at least, but it's not like it looks bad, just not as colourful as Cadillacs or later CPS2 games. There's a lot of detail though, and some really neat touches- the dog barking in the background of Stage 1, blowing up cars in Stage 3 to reveal a charred skeleton, tearing the underground train apart piece-by-piece in Stage 4, so it absolutely has the kind of detail you'd expect from a Capcom brawler. As for the sound design, there's a lot of fantastic over-the-top voiceclips (one day, scientists will figure out what Frank and Nick are saying when they do their SURE-KILLING MOVE but science has only come so far) and satisfying hit effects for attacks and weapons. The soundtrack, by Capcom legend Yoko Shinomura alongside Isao Abe, perhaps isn't as catchy or memorable as some other Capcom games but it's certainly fitting for the mood of the game with some standout songs being Crime Hunter and my personal favourite, Revenger -Theme of Vengeance-, used to great effect in the intro (cutting off before the second half of the song begins, punctuated with a gunshot).

I think it's also important to talk about how close this is to the comics, because much like the Marvel-Capcom collabs to follow it, it's pretty faithful. For a start, it uses a lot of familiar faces from there for bosses- even the ones you might assume are generic thugs like Bruno and Scully are from the source material, alongside known faces like Bushwhacker and The Kingpin. The one major disappointment is one of Frank's most notable enemies, the scar-riddled assassin Jigsaw, makes an unceremonious appearance as a head-swap mid-boss halfway through the last stage which seems like a real missed opportunity- he would've been a great replacement for the second Guardroid fight in Stage 5, but it's possible time restraints meant they had to make do. It's also faithful in other ways. One of my favourite little touches is how the dialogue in co-op mode (which is different from playing as each character on their own) reflects how The Punisher was seen by other characters at the time, as someone whose methods were too violent and extreme to condone, with Fury constantly asking Castle to tone it down and even threatening him for his actions. Though he didn't work on the text directly, Katsuya Akitomo, Capcom's resident comics expert, notes that the young planner of the game understood what The Punisher was about with this kind of dialogue and interaction.

Now, I will admit, The Punisher has something that, for some, might render my words all for naught and destroy any credibility I might've had- that dread spectre, nostalgia. As mentioned before on this site, I didn't live near any local arcades in my youth and so would usually only find them on trips or on holiday. Seeing games I couldn't play at home, or had never even heard of, was like a chance encounter! Such is the case with The Punisher, as in the very early 2000s my family went on holiday to Majorca and would visit a restaurant that, next door, had a magical arcade that had stopped getting new games around 1994. The most modern game there was Metal Slug 2, and that game was one of a few that would ingrain themselves into my memory, including Spin Master and Cadillacs & Dinosaurs. However. While The Punisher was indeed in that arcade, it wasn't the brawler that I would wax nostalgic about in the past. That would be Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, and a few years ago had you asked me what my favourite Capcom brawler was, that's what my answer would've been. As the years have passed and I've put more time into these games, it's The Punisher that stands on top and the one I will replay at the drop of a hat as anyone who knows me and has a Fightcade account will confirm (I'm always up for it but I call Nick Fury, them's the rules). Not to say I actively dislike Cadillacs, mind you, it's just it has blemishes that are a little harder to ignore than those in this game, mostly related to pacing and length. Goes to show you that you should never trust your nostalgia, especially when it comes to critical analysis of video games. Playing the games is generally a better idea for that (so I've heard).

After The Punisher and the rest of the CPS Dash scrolling brawlers, Capcom's dives into the genre would continue to expand and stretch it as far as it could go. Games like Armored Warriors with its improvised robot construction elements, the Dungeons & Dragons games with their light RPG elements and item management, Battle Circuit and its shop system and wildly unique presentation... Don't think I'm saying those games are bad by any means, but you might be wondering why The Punisher is my favourite when the others take the genre so much further. It's a case of less is more, I feel. There are certainly some elements that aren't as strong as others- the pistol mechanics are a little odd at times and the lack of selectable characters is absolutely a factor some might not be able to look past- but to me it feels like the ideal of Final Fight made manifest, absolutely nailing that feeling of being in a hopelessly-outnumbered fight at a breakneck pace but with a refocus on a large selection of weaponry and armaments constantly changing hands and getting smashed to bits over the heads of street punks. It's easily my favourite of Capcom's two-button brawlers, and its hyperfocus on weapons, extremely tight pacing and brevity allow it to stand tall amongst the more complex in the genre. Of all the Capcom brawlers that never got accurate home ports, this is the one that stings the most, and anyone with a slight interest in the genre (or literally anyone at all if you have a willing co-op partner) should hit the streets with Frank and Nick one of these days.

For basically being great, The Punisher is awarded...

In a sentence, The Punisher is...
Probably my favourite Capcom brawler.

And now, it's that time, folks!

Let's start with regional differences, as there's quite a few. Mostly aesthetic things but still worth talking about.

Much of this is sourced from RageQuitter87's page on the differences, so be sure to go there too.

The intro is surprisingly different- as well as having Japanese text except for these two lines of English, the images are rearranged and placed in an erratic order throughout, and the accompanying text is considerably more vague about The Punisher's origin, the player has to piece it together from the images and what the text implies. This somewhat ties in with how those images were originally used in The Punisher War Journal #1- rather than all one after another on the same page, they're used throughout an otherwise-unrelated story with no text to back them up. Thanks go out to @Arc_Hound who translated the rest of the intro when we were talking about it. Needless to say, NO LAW NO JUSTICE is something that's entered my daily lexicon.

The ending is also different- the Japanese version has two real-life photos during the ending text scroll.

One is of a person being carried by police, the other is of a homeless person which seem a little tasteless, so it's probably best they were cut.

Moving on to the game itself, the Japanese version has two moves that have a blue flame effect when they hit enemies- the Down-Up kick and an exclusive move performed by rolling then jumping and attacking at the peak of your jump which results in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style jumpkick that descends in a straight line rather than a curve. In all other versions the Down-Up kick doesn't have that blue flame and you can't do the rolling jumpkick move at all. The flame effect is used elsewhere in all versions, it's just you only see the red palette version when hit by flame-based attacks or Guardroid's laser. Finally, something we can't show in picture form but is on RageQuitter87's page, the Japanese version's voice clips for Frank and Nick are a little higher-pitched.

Now, I'd like to tell you there's a whole bunch of ports of this game.

I'd like to, but I cannot, because there's only one- the Mega Drive version.

If you're familiar with this port at all, it's almost certainly through the lens of seeing its aftermarket price in any territory and weeping openly. Released only in Europe and the US, the fact this was a fairly late release for the console (coming to us in February 1995 in America if EGM is to be trusted) and the only actual home port of the game is probably what contributed to its sky-high price... Which is a shame because, well, this is a pretty rough port, something clearly doing its best on hardware not capable of delivering. Developed by Sculptured Software (best known for the SNES version of Mortal Kombat, but their full rapsheet is over at GDRI for your perusal and harsh judgement) this conversion tries to keep as much of the game as possible- all the stages are there, most of the weapons made it in, and there's two-player co-op (with a nice extra feature allowing you to swap which controller plays as which character). The game itself feels 'off' though with some minor mechanics being wrong- you can't move around while rolling, holding Up and Down won't trigger a throw at the end of a combo string, Pretty Boys no longer make you pull your gun out, and so on. Three changes in particular ruin the mad-cap pacing of the arcade game- weapons will disappear if not picked up quickly and when you throw them from a jump (reducing your arsenal considerably) and some areas will stop scrolling to spawn in multiple enemy mobs that don't exist in the arcade game. Getting a scrolling brawler just right is a delicate balancing act, and so these little changes throw things off completely for me.

In terms of things cut from the port, a few enemy types are gone- the Red Lamp punks and the Yann Lee karetekas have been removed, but generic enemies with their names (and in the case of Red Lamps, their weapons) appear in their stead. Visually the game takes a massive hit too, with much harsher colour palettes, smaller sprites, cut animation frames, less destructible environments, the usual stuff you expect from a home conversion at the time. Some elements have also been softened up to sanitize the game somewhat, even if the ESRB gave it a Teen rating- the intro removes the images of the Castle family murder and is just a text roll in front of art of Frank, the Miyuki / Luna / Midori kunoichi trio wear full body suits and Nick Fury no longer smokes. In terms of additions, beyond being able to select what character you play as, you can set special attacks to a separate button if you like and there are multiple difficulty settings (with Easy only allowing you to play the first three stages, as was the style at the time). So yep, this is a just-barely servicable port, most likely done by a team not given enough help from Capcom themselves beyond raw assets, so I can't completely dump on it, it's just not that great. What I will absolutely dump on is its aftermarket price, do not pay three figures for this version of the game, I beg of you.

... Well, if you're in the market for three figure prices, there is another option, although you'll need some space to set this one up, if you can even find one. Arcade1Up, a company specialising in rereleasing arcade games in actual cabinets in a somewhat more affordable form than the real deal, have a pretty strong relationship with Capcom and have released a number of cabinets with their games, including several with the Marvel license included. The first of these was the Marvel Super Heroes cabinet including X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes and The Punisher. If I'm reading this very beardy Reddit post correctly, the emulator inside the cabinet is a custom-made thing called MOO and from what I can see, it seems to do the job just fine. I can't really talk any more on it because I certainly don't have one of these cabinets and they're out of stock everywhere. I imagine this is why these games were able to be rereleased at all- 'boutique' items like this and the Capcom Home Arcade have only a finite number made, and so licensing out deals with Disney for Marvel games like this (or the Alien vs. Predator license for CHA) is probably considerably easier than for something like a proper digital release on modern consoles.

Next, a tiny handful of bits of the game sourced from the original comics.

I felt that going into painstaking detail about exactly where everything from the game came from would be completely exhausting, probably a little dry and also a huge opportunity for me to talk out of my butt and get everything about comics completely wrong (I mean, it'd be a free-for-all on getting No-Prizes by emailing me about it at least) but there's definitely a few things I wanted to highlight in this regard, just a couple signs that the developers really looked into the series and put the effort in.

First, I have to talk about the Guardroid boss because you'd assume they just made this up for the game, but they absolutely did not. On the European flyer for the game, it says the Guardroid is 'the guard of the palace of Dr. Doom, the ruler of Latberia' (it's meant to be Latveria) and that Fisk stole it for hs own purposes. That's not just a cute namedrop though, in The Punisher #28 (December 1989) Dr. Doom takes on a challenge from The Kingpin to take out Frank. As payback, Frank infiltrates Doom's castle to steal his prized Fabergé egg (originally stolen from the Kremlin) and in the process he absolutely fights a robot that looks like the Guardroid from the game. I'm sure someone will point out an earlier issue where this robot appeared but I'm not flicking through a million back-issues of Fantastic Four to try and find it, I'm sorry.

Another one is the intro to Stage 1- when playing as The Punisher or in two-player mode, you'll hear Frank shout "SAY YOUR PRAYERS" as he drops in from the ceiling. This is taken straight from the comics too! It's in The Punisher War Journal #13 (December 1989), where he crashes through a roof saying the same thing as he's about to fight Bushwhacker. Capcom loved this panel so much it's included on the European flyer as a two-page spread along with in-game screenshots.

Finally, the Continue screen with Microchip trying to revive Frank is vaguely similar to this from The Punisher War Journal #13.

A tiny bit of behind-the-scenes stuff now.

If you're a fan of the Capcom Marvel games, you owe it to yourself to read this thread of Katsuya Akitomo tweets as translated by gosokkyu. Akitomo was actively translating Marvel comics in his own time to help make the Marvel games feel as authentic to the comics as possible, and so his insights into the development of these games is very interesting and illuminating. He doesn't have as much to say about The Punisher as the other games (he worked primarily on dot art) but there are two funny stories he shares. First, Capcom wanted to make The Kingpin half the size of the screen but Marvel said no because "he's a regular human, he can't be that big". When Akitomo was told about this later, he brought up Daredevil: Love and War where Fisk was indeed absurdly large, highlighting the importance of arming yourself with knowledge before engaging with a licensed game. Akiman, who worked on The Punisher, was later annoyed that The Kingpin in Into the Spider-Verse was "way bigger than ours". Second, the comic-book style text SFX for guns was originally 'BOINK' but after Akitomo explained that'd be a little goofy, it was changed to "BLAM!". Having an expert on Akitomo around sounds pretty useful for a licensed game like this, huh?

Finally... No look at this game would be complete without mentioning Biaofeng Zhanjing.

Credited to All-In Company and apparently released in 2002, this is a Chinese bootleg of The Punisher with a few changes that are common in bootlegs like this- selectable characters (including alternate-palette versions of The Punisher and Nick Fury), rearranged level order (you start on Stage 4 but eventually play it again), support for a third button (it rains TNT from the sky at the cost of your health) and sometimes your character shoots projectiles at the cost of health and sometimes they don't and I haven't really figured that one out yet. The real deal here is the sound hardware- I'm assuming the bootleggers didn't want to have to deal with Q Sound or the other CP System Dash stuff, so it's just the standard CPS1 sound. However, The Punisher's sound isn't designed for that... So every single song and sound effect is replaced with ones from Final Fight. Specifically, most of the sound effects (including jumping) are replaced with the one explosion sound effect from that game and combined with the somewhat abrasive soundtrack that game has, it turns The Punisher into the single loudest arcade game ever made. It's just completely absurd, an outright assault on the senses at times, and so you should absolutely play at least a single stage of it to see how long you can last. Sometimes, bootlegs can become something truly beautiful.

You may think this was the first Capcom scrolling brawler covered on Gaming Hell, but it was actually Avengers.

I wouldn't mind covering more in the future, mind you! None of them are as lousy as Avengers.