|Back before they had, like, technology and stuff, publishers tried to make games stand out with all kinds of wacky gimmicks (and sometimes gameplay, but gimmicks seem to have been prefered). Not to be left behind, Art of Fighting 3, which you'd have thought just another 2D MVS fighting game with biggish sprites, has... wait for it... ROTOSCOPED SPRITES! OH MY GOD!|
Yes, even today few games can say that. I expect maybe they'll be able to do rotoscoping on Xbox 2 or something, but possibly with some slowdown. But the magic of SNK's MVS hardware pulls it off with true panache, giving us the blessed opportunity to discover that the way real people move isn't as fun to watch in cartoon characters as well-done made-up movement can be. And here it's stiff to the point of being arthritic. Some of the characters seem to have super moves, and some are even rather well-drawn, and they all move fluidly of course... Or hold up, see that's the thing. They LOOK fluid until you try to control them, then the horrid truth comes out: they don't do much of what you want. They're too busy doing their own rotoscoped thing to be bothered, I suppose.
And you know, we should be happy with that. Somehow rotoscoping has not got the lasting praise that it so richly deserves. Where's the "Rotoscoping" category in popular game reviews? An embarrassing oversight of most modern publications, to be sure. If they were on the ball, though, you'd see immediately that Art of Fighting 3 would have set the benchmark for rotoscoping, not to be surpassed by today's feeble offerings. Rotoscoped Game of 2004? I think it's got a shot.