| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN] |
|A colorful cast of Street Fighter wannabe characters from around the globe can't quite make up for poor animation, weak sound effects, limited moves, and boring AI.|
Somewhat entertaining for a brief time in multiplayer where you can have some fun finding out the cheap moves and funky quirks of the various characters, but falls flat in single-player due to the AI, which doesn't get any tougher or smarter as you progress, and falls for the same simple tricks again and again.
Some of the characters are fairly neat, some are dorky, and all have really poorly digitized voices and bad animation--also not so great art, come to think of it, so many times separate frames of their animation just don't look like they go together at all. Some characters have weapons and can be disarmed by a few good hits, and can pick their weapon back up if they get to it. This is quite similar to Samurai Shodown in fact, which came out the same year, and they also have very similar red-haired kabuki characters. But even SamSho 1 kicks Martial Champ's behind when it comes to quality of sound effects, animation, play balance (some MC characters seem to have no useful moves at all), and control.
Oh yeah, control. This is a three button game, but thankfully works just fine on a six-button controller. Each character may have one or two special moves, many of which are charge moves (bleh). The buttons are, basically, high, medium, and low attack, and even pressing forward or back doesn't usually alter the attack, so the overall move list is pretty limited indeed. Start does a high attack instead of pausing the game, which sucks for screenshots. :p
There's an unusual sort of group vs mode in which you play pairs of characters from five member teams against each other. I haven't tried this for real yet though. Hopefully the background changes more than it does in the main single-player "tournament" mode, where you fight in the same location two to three times in a row.
This is not a fighting game that you are likely to revisit very often. If you're looking for a way to beat the dumb yet bullish AI, try taking the stereotypical drunken master character and jumping everyone's head with the downward attack twice in a row, over and over. And over. Even the final "secret" boss falls for this like an anvil.