|Rather unique 3D fighting game, this. In single player mode you pick either the male or female character, then, starting as a youth, you fight your way through some kind of plot, eventually becoming an adult and even an oldster at some point. At least, that's what it looks like in the manual. Basically I run around the little town in the difficult camera view trying to find people to fight.|
Of course, you suck as you start out and unfortunately you can't tell if the guy you meet to fight is just going to be one weakling or three monsters until you're actually in the fight, by which time of course it's too late to run. And I think you get like two continues and then it's game over, and you can't even reload your game? Maybe I have that wrong.
Very RPG-ish as you gain experience, spend money on healing stuff, talk to people, etc. No idea what's going on, story-wise. Versus mode is a lot more straightforward, you can fight a succession of different battles against CPU opponents (different characters and numbers of characters coming against you each time) or against up to seven (!!) other human opponents.
As for the fighting itself, it's a mix of relatively simple chain-combo-style attacks in a complex multi-target environment where you have to cycle through targets (this is somewhat laborious) and try to guard against two or three attackers simultaneously (this never seems to work). Your moveset is determined not by your character but by the fighting style you choose (six of 'em or so). Everything in the game has a Chinese theme so the styles are Chinese: Tai Chi, Jeet Kun Do, Drunken Boxing, and some others I haven't really heard of before. They animate pretty well but so far I'm struggling to figure out how to get these chain combos working properly, particularly when there are three guys or giant pandas milling around you. There don't seem to be a whole lot of high/low attack variations, you're just kind of punching at them, or kicking at them, or doing some kind of flip punch or kick, or maybe a throw but throwing seems really touchy.
Anyway it's all quite different from any other fighter I've played and I'm looking forward to trying it out multiplayer.
Update: tried it multiplayer and had quite a bit of fun with three people, I can't imaging what eight would be like! Some nifty touches like ring-outs and being able to cling to the edge of the ring and pull yourself back in. It's still a bit of a trick to switch targets, but found out that triangle is a DOA-style counter button that works quite well (maybe a little too, we'll see) and makes things much more interesting.