The Punisher (パニッシャー) is a 1993 arcade game developed and released by Capcom. It stars the Marvel Comics' anti-hero vigilante Punisher, and co-stars S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury as the second player's character.
The Punisher is a beat 'em up where Punisher and Fury embark on a quest to thwart the New York crime lord Kingpin, engaging on various foes and stage bosses mostly in hand-to-hand combat. Several established Marvel Universe villains appear throughout the game, such as the Mafia captain Bruno Costa, Bonebreaker, Bushwhacker, Jigsaw, and the Kingpin himself as the final boss.
The gameplay follows the same side-scrolling beat'em up formula Capcom established in Final Fight. Much in the same way that Capcom's Cadillacs and Dinosaurs did the same month, the game distinguishes itself by the frequent use of several firearms (Ingram submachine gun, M16 rifle, an improvised flamethrower), along with the traditional melee and thrown (including baseball bats, hammers, knives, Japanese swords and shuriken), as well as improvised weapons such as lead pipes or car tyres. There are also several sections of the game in which the characters draw their handguns enabling the player to shoot the enemies (only when facing the enemy characters armed with guns).
Unlike in Final Fight, Punisher and Nick Fury's size, abilities, and tactics are essentially interchangeable; they both use the same punch, kick, throw, and special piledriver and "megacrush" attacks. Common enemy characters the player confronts during the course of the game include basic street thugs, classic-style Mafia mobsters, gun-toting mercenaries, and even teleporting ninja women and skeleton-like cyborgs resembling T-800. Relatively many background elements can be also destroyed.
Mega Drive version
A home version of The Punisher was released for the gaming console Sega Genesis (Sega Mega Drive) in North America in 1994 and for the European Mega Drive in 1995. This version, while published by Capcom, was developed by Sculptured Software.
In addition to the noticeably worse graphics and sound, due to the limitations of the hardware, there were several design and gameplay changes to the game and many of the previously breakable background objects were rendered unbreakable in the Genesis version. There is also some content censorship in this version (for example, the animation of cigar smoking by Fury being removed from the game, the female ninja enemies not wearing skimpy costumes, and the boss character Scully not being shot following his interrogation instead and he is thrown off screen).
The Genesis port holds an average rating of 73.33% according to GameRankings. As of August 2010 its average rating at GameFAQs is 8.3 / 8.0 (reviews / users), compared to 8.8 / 8.6 for the arcade version.
- 'The Punisher Genesis at MobyGames
- The arcade game and the Mega Drive/Genesis game at GameFAQs
- Make Mine Marvel: The Punisher Arcade Game on Marvel.com
- The Punisher (Arcade Game) - Marvel Comics Database
- The Punisher flyers - Arcade Flyer Archive
- Japanese game guide
- Another game guide