Mini Review: Arcade Archives Zero Team – A Long-Lost Coin-Op Relic That’s Worth Unearthing

We could be zeroes, just for one day.

While the arrival of Streets of Rage 4 and The TakeOver might lead you to assume that the belt-scrolling brawler is back in vogue, it’s still a pretty niche genre in 2020 – and, to be brutally honest, that has been the case since the mid-’90s, by which point Street Fighter II had made the one-on-one fighter the genre of choice for millions of players all over the globe.

Zero Team – the only side-scrolling fighter created by Seibu Kaihatsu, which is most famous for its Raiden series of vertical shooters – arrived at just the wrong time in arcades. By the time it rolled out in 1993, everyone was going crazy over Street Fighter, and consequently, it faded from view and was never ported to any home system. In fact, the game was largely forgotten until 2016, when it was finally made playable using MAME. That breakthrough has led to Zero Team being added to Hamster’s excellent Arcade Archives collection, and while it’s hardly in the same league as Streets of Rage or Final Fight, it’s going to be of intense interest to fans of this style of game.

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