CCreated by Elecbyte in 1991 and powered by community contributions, M.U.G.E.N is a free-to-play and download 2D fighting game that combines classic Capcom brawlers with other properties like those from SNK in a game that can only be described as a free for all.
You can download M.U.G.E.N for free by clicking the button which is located at the bottom of the review. And if you fancy free fighting games you should also download and check out Brawlhalla.
Ever since the legendary Street Fighter II Rainbow Edition led to the creation of Street Fighter II Turbo, the fighting game genre is no stranger to community-built hacks. Indeed, they have as much influence then as now, especially when it comes to introducing new gameplay concepts.
Known for its off-the-wall moves and matches (mainly because all of the fighters are so mismatched and their movesets so misplaced when thrown into competition), M.U.G.E.N started out using the Allegro library but now uses the SDL library as it has improved its core over time.
Available for MS-DOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows systems, and OS X, M.U.G.E.N offers eight different gameplay modes including Arcade, Team Arcade, Team Co-op VS, Team VS, Survival, Survival Co-op, Training, and spectator mode.
Controls are the basic fighting game scheme you would expect, consisting of A, B, C, X, Y, Z and Start which accommodates most move sets found in most fighting games. For example, titles like the Street Fighter series have three buttons for kick and three for punch, while other titles like the SNK fighters use a different system entirely.
Because M.U.G.E.N combines so many different genres and series, it is unbalanced, to say the least. The game attempts to compensate for this by introducing a huge element of chaos and randomness to everything. This makes it fun, but it isn’t the strategic fighter that values skills and thoughtful execution.
A lot of the draw for people who play M.U.G.E.N is the novelty of seeing The Simpsons and Super Mario Bros. characters in the same game or the relative zaniness of a fighter that is so untethered from solid mechanics.
Graphically, M.U.G.E.N is a mixed bag because, again, it combines so many different series into one game. The makers really have to rely upon the fidelity of the sprite as it appears in the game they sample. Because of this, some characters, like those from Darkstalkers, have really fluid animation while those from The Simpsons Arcade Game have relatively jerky movements.
The game doesn’t just combine different titles but also different time periods which also explains the uneven nature of everything depicted in the game. That said, M.U.G.E.N is beloved by most hardcore fighting game fans and is treated as a novelty in the community.
On top of that, it has an active group of devs that contribute to its future and push the envelope when it comes to adding features or their own spin on the M.U.G.E.N formula (if one exists).
- Really cool fighter with a lot of different characters from some of the most beloved series in fighting
- Fighting matches are crazy and varied - there’s a ton of different gameplay modes
- A fun time that really doesn’t want you to take it seriously but you will anyway
- It’s an uneven experience - some fighters are just better than others
- Moves are awkward
- Uneven graphics can be jarring