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Star Gladiator
  opened by paleface at 22:14:25 08/31/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN]
Good looking, not-so-good playing 3D fighter, prequel to the DC's "Plasma Sword." The character models look great and the huge 3D backgrounds portray live space battles, zero-gravity spaceports, and other nifty spacey stuff.
I'm not at all fond of the combat control however. You've got four buttons: A and B (vertical and horizontal attack, or vice-versa--I didn't pay that much attention), K for kick attacks, and G for guarding. With G and certain stick/button combos you can sort of rotate around your opponent and flip backwards or dash in. There are weird "Plasma" blocks and counters that you activate with A or B plus G and a stick direction but even the AI hardly ever uses these as not only are they a pain to activate (more on this later) but there are two of each and you have to use the correct one against the correct horizontal or vertical attack (do they both work against kick attacks? :P).
But just ignore that stuff and stick to the chain combos, because one good chain will take away half your opponent's life faster'n you can say "I whiffed my Plasma block!" And of course if you press A B and K together you do your Plasma super attack that you can only use once per round, and really these have horrible start up time and don't do more damage than a good chain combo, so why bother? 'Cause they look neat I suppose... There are also throws and ring-outs and a few special moves per character.
Now all this sounds well and good in theory but notice how those Plasma thingies take multiple buttons and a stick movement? Well, good luck doing that reliably here--control feels a bit fudgy and unresponsive, just enough to whiff your move. Heck, even just practicing chain combos in training mode you can see that button presses are lost pretty frequently. I dunno if this was by design to make you have to learn weird timing but it sucks.
Facing is also frustrating and if you happen to land with your back to your opponent there's this awkward moment in which you can't seem to do anything at all. Even with plenty of automatic combos and specials, and macro keys, it's just too much of a pain to be all that fun, particularly since the game rewards you with absolutely nothing in terms of story or character development--understandable in an arcade port, but I just hope it at least controlled tighter in the arcade.
The final burr in my britches is that regular jumping attacks are mostly worse then useless--way too high and floaty and as a rule you either land behind your opponent with your back to them (bad) or right in front of them on the ground doing the splits (worse). Even the computer fumbles constantly in this type of situation; it's downright painful to watch the game try to get back on track after people jump around and get mis-oriented.
Get Rival Schools if you really want to try a 3D Capcom fighter.

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