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Critical Blow
  opened by paleface at 00:09:05 08/18/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN]
3D fighter with 2D control--I love that.
I'm going to touch on the problems: stupid camera that pans around to the outside when near the sides of the stage, some moves that the AI doesn't counter, allowing you to be super cheap with certain characters.
Other than that, very good stuff here. The character designs are impressive and animate quite well. Backgrounds are ambitious in terms of color and lighting and for the most part pull it off successfully. Control uses normal 2D fighting game stick moves and two buttons, punch and kick. Despite the seeming lack of buttons, however, each character has a good stock of special moves. The game title refers to what you can do when you're at low health with three super stocks, though I haven't landed one of these yet (I think you also have to be at close range). Moves combo very naturally; the AI has some particularly nasty combos up its sleeve and also doesn't hold back on the super moves.
Very nice anime cinematics crop up throughout the game, particularly in "Theatre Mode" where you play as a single character on a quest to do something or other involving a scarab necklace. There's also standard tournament and Vs. modes, then the unusual "Card Mode" where you pick a character, then pick an opponent and, should you beat them in the one round match, you get a card or cards depending on how tough they were rated. You can choose to double-up your winnings by beating them again but they get a full health meter while you're stuck with whatever you had left. You can arm your fighter with a certain number of ability-boosting cards--interesting although of course I spoil it for myself by choosing a character with a cheap move against weak opponents and just keep getting perfects and doubling-up my winnings (you can only do this three times in a row though).
Very nice game, highly recommended aside from the dumb camera panning, which can really get irritating.

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