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December 17 2018

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  Mutation Nation - ©SNK 1992

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

Side Scrolling Beat 'em up

54 Megs
Japanese Name:

Mutation Nation

Released On:


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
- The King Of Fighters: Maximum Impact (PS2)
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Review Introduction:

In all the time that I have been playing Neo Geo games, there is one question that has always bugged me. Why has there never been a really good side scrolling beat 'em up for this system? There's lots of great one on one fighters, so why no side scrolling beat 'em ups? We have had to put up with games like Robo Army, Burning Fight, Ninja Combat and a few other boring games of this genre on the Neo Geo. About the best Side scroller is Sengoku 2 and even that isn't all that great. All the best ones appear to be the Capcom beat 'em ups, like Final Fight, Cadillac's & Dinosaurs, and Dungeons and Dragons etc.


This is a 1992 game, but I was hoping it might be a little bit better than the other Neo Geo games I just mentioned, but once again it seems that Mutation Nation is a very boring fighter that plays just like all the others. It is a simple case of dodge your opponents move, press attack button a few times, then dodge again, then tap attack again and repeat the process. To give it some credit, it does have a few other moves, such as the different specials you can charge up and use. Certain items also give you different abilities (like projectile attacks) when collected. You use them by holding down the attack button for a few seconds.

You can also press the attack and jump buttons together to do a Dragon-punch style attack. One thing that the game is definitely lacking though, is a choice of characters. Player 2 can play as a different person, but he basically is the same as player one anyway. None of this really matters though because you will be so bored with Mutation Nation after 20 minutes (at the most!), you will just turn it off and play something else.


By looking at the shots above, you can see that Mutation Nation isn't much to look at either. The characters are all uninteresting and the backgrounds are average. Basically it's extremely bland. There is nothing at all of note and it uses the usual "one sprite for 70% of the opponents" on each level that you usually see in games like this. No surprises at all.

Sound effects & Music:

When I came to write about the sound in this game I had to switch it back on for a minute to remind myself what it sounded like. That's how uninspiring it is. It's not terrible, it just sounds like many early Neo Geo games... in other words: not at all memorable.


I hate to be so nasty towards a game, especially when it is quite old and also when there isn't anything drastically wrong with it, but I can't see this holding anyone's attention for any longer than it held mine. I think it's the type of game I would have enjoyed around the time it was released, but not now. There were actually much better games of this type around at that time too, like Capcom's Final Fight. I think that the aforementioned Capcom game "Cadillac's and Dinosaurs" is the best example of a 2D side scrolling beat 'em up, it just puzzles me that no one has ever come anywhere close to reproducing side scrollers of that quality on the Neo Geo.

Do yourself a favour and look elsewhere, unless you are a real die-hard fan of this genre.

Graphics: 5/10
Sound: 5/10
Game play: 5/10
Replay Value: 4/10

Overall Rating: 4.5/10

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Burning Fight
A similar old-school beat 'em up.

A better side-scrolling fighting series for the Neo Geo.

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