|Clear evidence that Ed Wood is alive and making video games in Japan. You've got the big rubber monsters (here looping in perpetual agony in RealVideo 28.8k modem quality FMVs in the background of each stage), horrific acting (I feel sorry for the actors who weren't allowed to conceal their identities behind masks), and incomprehensible plot (why did all the characters get swallowed by blue-screened fire at the end? Did I win wrong or was it just symbolic of the agony involved in this "game"?) of the "Plan 9" of the fighting game set.|
All this, even the horribly animated digitized character sprites, dreckish "rock" soundtrack, and special moves so unintiutive as to be worse then useless (which doesn't prevent the AI from using them over and over of course), might be mistaken for a joke of high kitsch value but the bizarre omission of basic gaming elements (no memory save, no options screen, no pause button) and the evident earnest enthusiasm of the crew shown in the "behind the scenes" photos in the ending credits show that this is no joke. Fittingly enough they all look completely toasted in the final production shot.
I tried to laugh at the whole affair but it was so, so painful. For instance, only two of the eight playable story-mode characters have melee attacks with any kind of range--the others can't even manage jump-kicks over fireballs. Speaking of fireballs, they illustrate the horrific hit detection perfectly when you lean forward to launch a fireball and send it harmlessly through the opponent. The way in which you can select any of the characters you've previously defeated for the next round, as long as they haven't been beaten yet (you have to "continue" if the main character Gokuu loses, but this is essentially meaningless since it just sticks you back at the character selection thing again in the exact same state as before) is innovative and rather cute while of course limiting replay value significantly since it means that on average each character is playable for only half of story mode--and that's assuming that they don't lose a single fight.
Now please excuse me while I have nightmares of digitized men in saggy ear-pieced pig costumes and sunglasses attacking me with push-brooms while a blurry close-up view of a repulsive floating rubber head monster's mouth leers in the background.