| paleface [sys=DC; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN] |
|Download added: disc.jpg (20720 bytes)|
Port of the Neo*Geo fighting game known as "The Last Blade 2" in the States, has some interesting bonuses but also some distinctly less-than-great aspects.
The bonuses are:
- A Hanafuda card game; a traditional card game I guess: you and an opponent take turns matching picture cards in your hand some on the table, with card suits seemingly based on different types of flowers, mostly. The presentation is quite lavish, with card "battles" having Last Blade stages and characters as their setting, and even some voice clips for the characters.
- A demo movie mode, where you can unlock and watch the various movies in the game; there's even a set of what I guess are video captures of the Neo*Geo movie version, although these are kind of redundant.
- A Time Attack mode, where you try to take down as many opponents as possible before the timer expires. Sort of a weird mode because you can't even take damage for the first few fights.
- An "EX" fighting mode selection in addition to the regular Last Blade "Speed" and "Power" options; EX gives the character a third color palette, and gives you the benefits of both Power and Speed modes (the additional super moves options of Power plus the custom combo ability of Speed), but lowers your health and makes your super meter charge more slowly.
- An art booklet (I guess this was just in the manual, but it was extra pages that weren't anything to do with manual stuff) with some really gorgeous paintings and illustrations of the characters.
- An extensive art gallery mode in the game, including the booklet art, and close-ups of all the Hanafuda card images (those are fairly low detail drawings, but kind of cute), as well as Last Blade and Last Blade 2 artwork seen in covers, ads, etc.
So that's all pretty cool. Now the not-so-great stuff:
- No Arranged sound track option--this doesn't usually bug me, just thought I'd mention it since their Garou DC port (see entry 1286) had the option, and the later PS2 port (see entry 1012) does also.
- No in-game move lists.
- Can't assign attacks to the controller's shoulder buttons (grr).
- Inexplicable dithering of the graphics; almost all sprites/backgrounds have dithered colors everywhere instead of the original bold colors--granted the original used dithering in places, but not *everywhere*. I don't understand why they'd have done this for the port, it isn't as though the DC was palette color restricted, was it? Just weird.
- No English language option--bummer since the arcade ROM has such a thing, and the game's win quotes are interesting, but ah well.
- Doesn't support the Dreamcast's VGA output mode.
|Ah, EX Mode was in the arcade version, only you had to input a long code to select it. From a FAQ by Deuce:|
"To access EX Mode, select your character. Then set the mode to
Speed, then press C six times, then move the mode to Power, press B three times, move back to Speed and press C four times."
|Ahh the Time Attack mode was also a hidden mode in the arcade version; it's just accessible from a main menu item here.|
I think when I played this before and saw the "dithering" I mentioned above, I was playing it through an SCART video cable; now that I'm trying it on plain-vanilla composite video, I don't see dithering. There *is*, however, a strange sort of "Eagle"-mode-like smoothing of the graphics that goes on when the camera pulls out as the combatants move far apart on the screen, whereas in the original NeoGeo version it just got all pixelly--which is kind of neat in a way, but also kind of not-so-neat. Seen through composite, the graphics are all kind of blurry anyway, so I'm not sure if the zoom-out-smoothing is overall a plus or a minus; it was just confusing me until I figured out why the the smoothing level of the graphics changed throughout the fight.