| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; loc=NA] |
|Squaresoft released this port of a 3D arcade fighting game by Dream Factory. It has some FFVII characters in it, so the fanboys went wild.|
As far as the actual fighting goes, I'm not a fan. You have low/high/speed(?) attack buttons, and a magic attack which varies per character: fireballs, drawing a weapon, turning into an animal with different moves, etc. There's also jump and block. You can remap the buttons, which is nice.
The arenas are blocky 3D, and pretty drab-looking. Some are multilevel, and these get annoying because you have to keep chasing the AI, who's constantly dropping off the jumping up the ledges.
The system is very generous as far as combos go, and each character has a fair number of chain combos. You can also hit people when they're down, a lot, which I find annoying. Ah well. Blocking seems iffy somehow, but you can get on pretty well by mashing attack buttons and blowing all your magic, especially if you took a character with guided missile fireballs or something. You can probably get down to some finesse and that sort of thing if you spend the time at it, but the control, at least with an arcade stick, is rather slow and imprecise, and just doesn't feel very fun. It's probably intended more for a DualShock though, I must admit. But I don't like it.
There are four minigames, most of which are of the button-mashing variety, but one is a real-time Othello where you race around tagging squares on a huge game board, and that's pretty neat (and that CPU is a jerk!).
Then there's Quest mode. You start out in a village and buy stuff, etc, then run into a dungeon and go down what I hear are 21 levels of randomly generated dungeon rooms--usually you go into a room, the doors slam shut, monsters appear, you kill 'em, the doors open, you loot the treasure the monsters dropped, and proceed on to the next room. There's no particular story (neither was there in the fighting mode), and in this mode there's only one attack button and the fireball button, but there are different weapons with different attack types, and on the whole it's just a lot of monster-bashing fun, pure and simple. It probably doesn't take long to get through 21 floors, but the thing has a very nice pick-up-and-smash quality about it. More games should have a mini quest mode like this!