|2D beat-em-ups forever! Mad Stalker's an interesting case because despite the 3D scrolling ground-plane, everyone moves along a single horizontal line, as in most 2D fighting games. Add in fighting-game style special moves and voila, a scrolling fighting game against multiple opponents, what could be finer? Well okay, throw in lots of giant mechs, laser guns, nice music and backgrounds, and you've got one darn fun game. You can get some great juggles against the beat-em-up opponents and throwing them into each other until they explode never seems to get old.|
As with most bmups the story mode is fairly short but a handy code unlocks a lot of replay value by letting you use all five or six mechs in story mode. Where else do you use 'em? In the Vs. mode, where you can fight against a second player or the computer, or let the computer slug it out by itself for your amusement. A Vs. mode code unlocks all characters for Vs. mode play, even the little human foot-soldiers from Story mode. Are they balanced? Heck no, but it's just darn fun to play around with them.
The control is mainly two attack buttons, Weak and Strong, plus a Dash button, and then pressing both W+S together (or pressing the button that simulates pressing both of them together) to expend a little of your "Overdrive" meter for a more powerful attack. Once your Overdrive meter charges up you go into a mode where I think you can use Overdrive attacks repeatedly, and maybe a Super move too (you can do Supers in Vs. mode, anyway). Good stuff.
Only down side would be a generous amount of slowdown in Story mode when there's a lot of stuff going on at one time--which is almost always. It can make some of the more complex moves (like QCF moves) a bit tough to execute reliably but the game remains quite fun nonetheless. Too bad there's no co-op story mode, but I suppose it wouldn't work as well here as it does in the Capcom-type bmups where the fighting area has depth to it so you have more room to work with a second player.