The Punisher makes good in digital crime cleanup
Before Marvel vs. Capcom became a relevant name to gamers, the companies collaborated on other games. Those games became essential classics to develop gamers who specialized in single-combat titles. In 1994, Capcom and Marvel brought a Final Fight-style game to the Genesis that starred comics’ most infamous anti-hero: Frank Castle aka The Punisher.
The game follows the storyline of the classic Marvel comics series. Frank Castle, a decorated veteran Marine, was enjoying a day in the park with his family when they unwittingly became witnesses to a mob shooting. As a result, Castle and his family were massacred, him being the only survivor. Castle became determined to get payback by any means necessary. With fellow warrior Nick Fury (of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Castle begins his war on crime against mob boss Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, who caused the death of his family and many other innocents.
The game plays similarly to “Final Fight” and “Captain Commando.” You can choose to play as either Castle or Fury and can team up in multiplayer. You start off with the basics, progressing to combos and various weapons such as handguns, automatic rifles and katanas. There was liberal food and other power-ups such as cash, gold bars and diamonds that increased my score and restored health since the amount of enemies coming at me was nonstop.
The graphics were pleasant enough, although they attempted to copy arcade cabinet-quality with little success. I will give Capcom credit for making the graphics comicbook-like. it was like reading an actual issue of the comics including captions “BLAM!” “KRAK” and “BOOM!” instead of playing a rushed paint job of a popular comic series video game. The music of each stage was also decent as Capcom’s sound team delivered, keeping things close to what the Punisher feels like.
With the work Capcom put in, the attention to detail made me want to pick it up to play as a returning comic book fan who knew about Castle and Fury but wanted to learn more about the Kingpin and other Marvel villains such as Bushwhacker and Bonebreaker.
The Punisher is the first successful paring of Capcom’s know-how with Marvel’s legendary vigilante who wastes no time dispensing his brand of justice on criminals. Playing through this isn’t exactly punishment.